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Judges uphold drug convictions and sentence

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A defendant’s argument that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when police searched his vehicle and found pills failed because the man abandoned his vehicle after the traffic stop. By fleeing, he relinquished any reasonable expectation of privacy in the car, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.

A police officer initiated a traffic stop of Douglas Wilson Jr.’s car after the officer saw Wilson’s car parked in a handicapped spot without a proper plate or permit. After running the vehicle plate, the officer found that Wilson’s license was suspended and he had outstanding arrest warrants. While the officer was radioing about the traffic stop, Wilson got out of his car, locked the doors, and fled.

Police decided to tow the car and found hydromorphone and morphine sulfate pills and cellophane wrappers in the car that were prescribed to Wilson’s girlfriend. Police later found Wilson, and he was convicted of Class B felony dealing in a narcotic drug, Class D felony possession of a narcotic drug, Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement, and Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while suspended.

His motion to suppress the drugs found in the car was denied at trial. On appeal in Douglas P. Wilson, Jr. v. State of Indiana, No. 79A05-1107-CR-350, Wilson claimed that admitting the evidence found in the car violated the Fourth Amendment because the officer’s search was unreasonable because it was an improper inventory search. Wilson abandoned his vehicle after the officer initiated a traffic stop, and the judges found his argument that he locked his car and took the keys with him unpersuasive.

There was sufficient evidence to support his drug convictions as Wilson had constructive possession over the pills and a witness saw Wilson trying to sell some of the pills the day before he was pulled over by police. The judges also upheld his 13-year sentence.

 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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