OWI

COA rejects woman’s claim that accident occurred outside chemical test period

January 18, 2017
A woman who drove drunk into a mobile home causing significant damage lost her appeal Wednesday after arguing the state’s blood draw occurred outside the three-hour window under statute and thus did not prove her blood alcohol level at the time of the accident.
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Electronic copies of warrants are equal to paper copies

January 17, 2017
Olivia Covington
An electronic version of a signed search warrant is legally considered the equivalent of a paper warrant, the Indiana Court of Appeals has held, so a man’s constitutional rights were not violated when an officer drew his blood after showing him only a photo of a warrant in an email.
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Senior judge faces discipline for OWI

January 4, 2017
IL Staff
A senior judge and former Lake County magistrate is facing judicial discipline proceedings after pleading guilty in November to a charge of driving while intoxicated.
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Justices consider transfer in chemical breath test case

December 1, 2016
Olivia Covington
Indiana’s rules regarding chemical breath tests can be read as a recipe, with each rule laid out for the process of testing someone’s blood alcohol content meant to be followed sequentially, said the attorney for a woman challenging her misdemeanor drunken-driving charges.
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Meth conviction reversed over toxicology authentication

November 10, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a man’s conviction of operating a vehicle with meth in his blood and subsequently causing death after finding that the state failed to authenticate the toxicology report that found traces of drug in his blood sample.
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COA will not allow specialized driving privileges for man with 27 traffic violations

October 26, 2016
Olivia Covington
An Indiana man now living in Mississippi whose Indiana driver’s license was suspended for life after more than two dozen traffic violations cannot receive special Indiana driving privileges that would enable him to obtain a license in Mississippi.
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Supreme Court prohibits legal practice for 4 attorneys

October 10, 2016
IL Staff
Four Indiana attorneys can no longer practice law in the state after the Indiana Supreme Court decided on four disciplinary cases late last week.
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Justices consider rights of privacy vs. public safety in 4th Amendment case

October 6, 2016
Olivia Covington
At the center of an Indiana Supreme Court oral argument Thursday was the question of when exigent circumstances and an officer’s community caretaker role trump a citizen’s right to protection from unlawful searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment.
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COA finds no evidence of severe mental illness to prohibit pro se proceedings

September 28, 2016
Olivia Covington
A woman’s convictions for possession of controlled substances and operating a vehicle while intoxicated will stand after the Indiana Court of Appeals found Wednesday that she did not suffer from a severe mental illness that should have precluded her from proceeding pro se.
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Man who parked car on I-94 must face OWI causing death charge

August 31, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
Criminal charges against a man who prosecutors say was drunk and parked his car in an interstate lane in the early morning hours, leading to the death of truck driver, will move forward after the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the denial of the driver’s motions to dismiss and suppress evidence.
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Justices: Refusal to submit to chemical test depends on circumstances of each case

August 23, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court declined to go as far as one Court of Appeals judge did in declaring that “anything short of an unqualified, unequivocal assent to a properly offered chemical test constitutes a refusal.” In affirming the administrative suspension of a woman’s driver’s license, the justices concluded that whether someone refuses to submit to a chemical test depends on the circumstances of each case.
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COA senior judge reprimanded for OWI conviction

August 3, 2016
IL Staff
The Indiana Supreme Court reprimanded Indiana Court of Appeals Senior Judge William Garrard Wednesday, agreeing with the parties that this is the appropriate sanction for his recent operating while intoxicated conviction.
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Senior judge faces discipline case for OWI, alleged cover-up bid

July 15, 2016
Dave Stafford
Indiana Court of Appeals Senior Judge William Garrard will face judicial discipline proceedings after driving drunk in Mooresville last November, colliding with a car and later asking a policeman at the hospital to forget about it.
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Are old convictions still relevant?

June 29, 2016
Dave Stafford
A man who admitted fault and negligence for a Lake County drunken-driving crash is appealing damages of $2 million awarded in the case, claiming the jury was wrongly provided evidence of his prior alcohol-related driving convictions that were 17 and 30 years old.
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High court limits drunken-driving test laws

June 23, 2016
 Associated Press
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday placed new limits on state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests.
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Justices rule jury instruction not fundamental error

June 22, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court found a jury instruction that jurors “shall presume” that a man’s alcohol concentration equivalent was above the legal limit if his chemical test, taken hours later, was at 0.08 or higher was not fundamental error. As such, it affirmed his conviction.
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Indiana State Police to investigate missing court records

June 2, 2016
 Associated Press
Indiana State Police plans to investigate why Lake Station City Court failed to report license restrictions to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, according to an official with the agency.
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Scientific basis for laws on marijuana, driving questioned

May 10, 2016
 Associated Press
Six states that allow marijuana use have legal tests to determine driving while impaired by the drug that have no scientific basis, according to a study by the nation's largest automobile club that calls for scrapping those laws.
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Justices toss driving convictions due to delays

April 28, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled a man who was convicted of four driving offenses should have his case dismissed because the prosecution did not bring him to trial in time while he was in prison for a separate conviction.
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COA changes sentence for drunk woman who hit a man with her car

March 23, 2016
Scott Roberts
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled the sentence given to a woman who hit a man with her car and killed him while driving drunk was too harsh and took two years off it. However, the COA upheld all other parts of her conviction.
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COA rejects BMV’s request for relief from judgment

February 4, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
The state of Indiana did not establish prima facie error in the trial court’s denial of its motions for relief from judgment in two cases in which the lower court ordered the reinstatement of drivers’ licenses without proof of future financial responsibility, the Court of Appeals held Thursday.
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COA: CDL holder cannot enter diversion program for alcohol offenses

February 2, 2016
Jennifer Nelson
A man who held a commercial driver’s license and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor drunken-driving offenses cannot participate in a diversion program, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. One judge on the panel had concerns that the law treats CDL holders and those without a CDL differently.
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Adoption records, gun licensing reform bills to be heard this week

January 11, 2016
Dave Stafford
Hoosier adoptees will make a new push for access to their birth records, beginning with a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday.
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Officials: 'Affluenza' teen, mother detained in Mexico

December 29, 2015
 Associated Press
A sheriff in Dallas said Tuesday an arrest warrant will be issued for a Texas woman who was found with her son in Mexico, a teenager on probation after killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck and invoking an "affluenza" defense
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COA: Breath test properly admitted

December 21, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A man convicted of drunken-driving failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that the state did not prove that the chemicals used in his breath test equipment were certified under Indiana administrative rules.
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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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