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Justices clarify previous decision on Criminal Rule 4(B)

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The Indiana Supreme Court clarified the ambiguity within its precedent on the issue of whether an incarcerated defendant has the right to be tried within 70 days under Indiana Criminal Rule 4(B) when the defendant is being held for an unrelated offense and not on the charges for which the speedy trial is demanded.

In Mickey Cundiff v. State of Indiana, No. 31S05-1108-CR-512, the state charged Cundiff on Dec. 21, 2009, with drunk driving offenses and he was released from incarceration after posting bond on Jan. 11, 2010. Shortly thereafter he was incarcerated on a probation-revocation case. On March 15, he filed a motion for speedy trial relating to the drunk driving case, relying on Criminal Rule 4(B). In July, the trial court held a hearing on the motion and denied it in August. He was found guilty of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated at the bench trial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed, although there has been a split in the panel on this issue. The justices used the Cundiff appeal to revisit its decision in Poore v. State, 685 N.E.2d 36 (Ind. 1997), in which the court held that Criminal Rule 4(B) applied to retrials of habitual-offender counts and so the defendant was entitled to discharge. Justice Steven David wrote that the opinion supports a holding that the rule applies only if a defendant is being held on the charge for which he requests a speedy trial. The ruling also supports a holding that as long as the defendant is in jail on the pending charge, Criminal Rule 4(B) applies to that charge, even if the defendant is also being held for another reason.

Poore did not extend the applicability of that rule to defendants who are not being held on the pending charge for which the speedy trial is requested but for a different reason altogether, he wrote. The confusion in what Poore held may have stemmed from the cases it relied on, David pointed out.

Criminal Rule 4(B) was not available to Cundiff on the pending charges for which he sought a speedy trial because he wasn’t incarcerated on those charges.

 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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