Traffic Stop

Justices take intoxicated motorist case that divided COA

December 24, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court will decide whether any answer short of an “unqualified, unequivocal assent” to a chemical test constitutes a refusal resulting in a driver’s license suspension, as the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded in September.
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COA upholds vehicle search despite noncompliance with protocol

December 7, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
Even though two Indianapolis police officers did not follow the department’s general order on towing and impounding vehicles after a traffic stop, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a man’s drug convictions.
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Temporary tag in rear window gets conviction tossed

November 13, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
A Hendricks County Sheriff’s deputy’s ignorance of where a temporary license plate can be displayed on a car led the Indiana Court of Appeals to overturn a drunken-driving conviction.
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Boilerplate language can’t support warrant for blood draw

October 14, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a woman’s motion to suppress a blood sample taken after a police officer suspected her of drunken driving. The judges found the affidavit did not contain specific information alleging the woman drove a vehicle.
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Rehearing upholds drug conviction resulting from traffic stop

August 20, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
An Indianapolis man who got a second bite at the apple could not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals his traffic stop lasted too long.
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COA orders corrected notification sent to BMV, suggests form update

June 19, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a trial court to send a corrected notice to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that shows judgment was only entered on two of the four charges a man was convicted of related to his speeding in Brown County. The judges also suggested that the BMV update its form to avoid future confusion as shown in this case.
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COA affirms admission of gun and photographs into evidence

May 27, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it admitted as evidence a handgun and photographs of the gun found in a car being impounded after police discovered the driver did not own the car and believed it was unsafe to operate, the Court of Appeals held.
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Mistaken interpretation of law by officer created reasonable suspicion

March 24, 2015
Marilyn Odendahl
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed its earlier reversal of a trial court ruling after the Supreme Court of the United States found that reasonable mistakes of law do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
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Justices reverse grant of motion to suppress based on pat-down search

March 2, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
In a 4-1 decision Monday, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled it is not inherently coercive for police to give conditional permission to step out of a vehicle during a traffic stop, subject to the motorist’s consent to a pat-down search.
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Judges rule counsel was not deficient, drug conviction stands

February 25, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s conviction of Class D felony possession of marijuana in excess of 30 grams after finding that the claims he wanted his attorney to raise at trial would not have prevailed.
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COA reverses conviction based on unreasonable police search

February 3, 2015
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer had no reasonable suspicion to believe that a container found in a man’s pocket during an arrest held any illegal substances, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. As such, it reversed his Class D felony possession of schedule III controlled substance conviction, ruling it violated the Indiana Constitution.
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Pulling a switcheroo leads to felony conviction

December 30, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
A man who switched seats to help a friend failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he unknowingly put himself in the hot seat.
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Judges reverse 2 convictions based on double jeopardy violations

December 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Finding that the state relied on the same evidence to convict a man of three charges after he fired a gun at police while fleeing, the Indiana Court of Appeals ordered one of those convictions vacated and the other reduced.
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SCOTUS affirms search based on misunderstanding of law

December 15, 2014
 Associated Press
Police can use evidence seized during a traffic stop even if it turns out the officers initially pulled a car over based on a misunderstanding of the law, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled Monday.
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COA reverses marijuana conviction based on illegal traffic stop

December 9, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A police officer was mistaken when he pulled over a vehicle that, due to a broken tail light, emitted more white light than red light, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. The statute only requires that some red light be visible, which occurred in this case.
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Judges: Cop shouldn’t have asked driver for license

November 20, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress evidence collected during an investigatory traffic stop. The judges held that once the police officer knew the owner of the vehicle – who had a suspended license – was not driving, the investigation should have ended.
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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.
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COA finds officer had no reason to make woman sit in squad car after stop

August 14, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
 A police officer was not justified in requesting that the woman he pulled over for an expired driver’s license sit in his squad car while he decided how to proceed in the matter, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.
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Argumentative passenger’s public intoxication conviction reversed

August 11, 2014
Dave Stafford
A passenger in a car that a police officer stopped after seeing an arm and object hanging out of the car window, followed by the sound of shattering glass, was improperly convicted of public intoxication, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
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Warrantless search based on smell does not violated 4th Amendment

July 28, 2014
Marilyn Odendahl
Despite the absence of danger to the public, the strong odor of raw marijuana provided the probable cause a police officer needed to conduct a warrantless search.
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COA splits over whether pat down after traffic stop was justified

July 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A majority on the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a trial court abused its discretion when it denied a man’s motion to suppress drug evidence found on him after police pulled him over for failing to signal a turn. But the dissenting judge believed the arresting officer had sufficient reason to think the defendant might be armed and dangerous during their encounter.
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Admittance of hearsay evidence harmless error, rules 7th Circuit

July 17, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The out-of-court testimony of a woman who said she purchased crack cocaine from a man who was on supervised release should not have been admitted during the man’s hearing regarding revoking his release, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held Wednesday. But this was a harmless error because the circumstantial evidence supports that the man dealt crack cocaine to the woman.
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Justifiable reason to stop driver enough to confirm subsequent conviction

May 30, 2014
Dave Stafford
Although a police officer began following a pick-up truck after he mistakenly ran the wrong license plate number, the driver’s conviction will stand because the officer did not initiate the stop until he observed the driver make a traffic violation.
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Truck’s ‘excessive’ smoke justified traffic stop

April 29, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that a police officer had reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver after seeing his truck emit an “excessive” amount of smoke.
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COA: Search of passenger not unconstitutional

April 23, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a woman’s claim that drugs found in her possession should not have been admitted at trial because a police search of her after a traffic stop violated the federal and state constitutions.
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  1. The voices of the prophets are more on blogs than subway walls these days, Dawn. Here is the voice of one calling out in the wilderness ... against a corrupted judiciary ... that remains corrupt a decade and a half later ... due to, so sadly, the acquiescence of good judges unwilling to shake the forest ... for fear that is not faith .. http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/2013/09/prof-alan-dershowitz-on-indiana.html

  2. So I purchased a vehicle cash from the lot on West Washington in Feb 2017. Since then I found it the vehicle had been declared a total loss and had sat in a salvage yard due to fire. My title does not show any of that. I also have had to put thousands of dollars into repairs because it was not a solid vehicle like they stated. I need to find out how to contact the lawyers on this lawsuit.

  3. It really doesn't matter what the law IS, if law enforcement refuses to take reports (or take them seriously), if courts refuse to allow unrepresented parties to speak (especially in Small Claims, which is supposedly "informal"). It doesn't matter what the law IS, if constituents are unable to make effective contact or receive any meaningful response from their representatives. Two of our pets were unnecessarily killed; court records reflect that I "abandoned" them. Not so; when I was denied one of them (and my possessions, which by court order I was supposed to be able to remove), I went directly to the court. And earlier, when I tried to have the DV PO extended (it expired while the subject was on probation for violating it), the court denied any extension. The result? Same problems, less than eight hours after expiration. Ironic that the county sheriff was charged (and later pleaded to) with intimidation, but none of his officers seemed interested or capable of taking such a report from a private citizen. When I learned from one officer what I needed to do, I forwarded audio and transcript of one occurrence and my call to law enforcement (before the statute of limitations expired) to the prosecutor's office. I didn't even receive an acknowledgement. Earlier, I'd gone in to the prosecutor's office and been told that the officer's (written) report didn't match what I said occurred. Since I had the audio, I can only say that I have very little faith in Indiana government or law enforcement.

  4. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  5. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

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