ILNews

Court reverses motion-to-dismiss denial

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2007
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The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a defendant's motion to dismiss because he was improperly subjected to successive prosecutions prohibited under Indiana Code 35-41-4-4.

In Virgil Lee Haywood, Jr. v. State of Indiana, 48A02-0612-CR-1131, police approached Haywood after an alleged drunk-driving incident. Haywood's child was in his car, and he smelled of alcohol and failed several field sobriety tests. Haywood struggled with police and kicked an officer in the leg while refusing to sit in the back a police car. Haywood was charged in Madison County Court with neglect of a dependent, a Class D felony; operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor; operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08 or more, a Class C misdemeanor; and operating a vehicle while intoxicated as a Class D felony.

In City Court, Haywood was charged with battery against a police officer, resisting law enforcement, and violation of probation. Haywood pleaded guilty to the City Court charges under a plea agreement.

He later filed a motion to dismiss the charges in county court, claiming prosecution on those charges was barred by previous prosecution of the City Court charges. The trial court denied his motion.

The Court of Appeals looked to Williams v. State, 762 N.E.2d 1216, 1219 (Ind. 2002) to determine whether the trial court properly denied Haywood's motion. The court had to decide if Haywood's offenses were part of a single scheme or plan that would require they should have been joined in the initial prosecution, which is required under the Successive Prosecution Statute to bar prosecution by reason of a previous prosecution.

The state conceded Haywood's charges all relate to the same incident but his motive for each conviction was different enough to warrant separate cases.

Just as in Williams, the defendant in this case committed a crime and then committed another in an attempt to avoid being caught for the original offenses. The court in Williams held that Williams' flight from the arresting officer did not break the continuity of the defendant's acts to require separate trials.

"As in Williams, it is apparent that Haywood's offenses were part of a single scheme or plan, and the Successive Prosecution Statute bars further prosecution on the (County Court) charges," wrote Chief Judge John Baker.
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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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