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Judges uphold public intox conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s public intoxication conviction, finding police had reasonable suspicion the man was intoxicated, and evidence is sufficient to support the conviction.

In Michael Woodson v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-1106-CR-543, police were called to an Indianapolis street on the report of a man and woman fighting. When police arrived, they were directed to Michael Woodson and a woman, who were not fighting at that moment. The woman left after speaking to officer Christopher Chapman, but police noticed Woodson smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred.

Woodson admitted drinking and wouldn’t keep his hands out of his pockets, so police put him in handcuffs and arrested him for public intoxication. Woodson filed a motion to suppress, which was denied. He was convicted of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication.

The COA affirmed, finding the initial encounter with police did not require reasonable suspicion to approach Woodson because it involved a “casual and brief inquiry of a citizen, which involves neither an arrest nor a stop.” But once police smelled alcohol on Woodson and noticed his impaired speech, the initially consensual encounter evolved into a Terry stop. This stop was justified by reasonable suspicion based on the phone call from a concerned citizen and the officer’s observations.

The judges also found sufficient existed to support the conviction.  

 

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  1. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  2. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  3. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  4. Different rules for different folks....

  5. I would strongly suggest anyone seeking mediation check the experience of the mediator. There are retired judges who decide to become mediators. Their training and experience is in making rulings which is not the point of mediation.

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