Criminal case

Court rules on first impression 'alibi' witness issue

July 13, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court erred in excluding testimony of a defendant’s witnesses on the ground they were alibi witnesses, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today in an issue of first impression.
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Court addresses fine line between traffic stop, arrest

July 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has reversed a man’s drunk driving and marijuana possession convictions based on police officer conduct, finding that the officer shouldn’t have held a gun and handcuffed him during what could have been a legitimate traffic stop.
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Retired judge overturned based on bias shown on bench

July 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a convicted child molester because of the conduct from the longtime trial judge, who resigned from the bench in September amid a judicial misconduct investigation.
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Use of wrong statute requires reversal of dealing conviction

July 7, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a Class A felony conviction of dealing in cocaine because the trial court instructed the jury on an incorrect version of the statute that allows for enhancing dealing convictions.
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Court affirms felony nonsupport of a dependent conviction

July 6, 2010
Elizabeth Brockett
A man claiming he proved he was unable to pay child support because of his numerous incarcerations did not convince the Indiana Court of Appeals. In its ruling today, the court relied on Becker v. Becker to affirm the man’s conviction of Class C felony nonsupport of a dependent child.
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Police entry violated man's constitutional rights

July 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The entry by police into a man’s apartment based on uncorroborated information from an anonymous source violated the man’s federal and state constitutional rights, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. Because of this, the drugs found in the man’s apartment must be suppressed.
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Court rules on appellate counsel issue in child molesting case

June 25, 2010
Michael Hoskins
A decade-old old case from the Indiana Court of Appeals doesn’t apply to child molesting cases, the state’s second highest appellate court has ruled.
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Justices adopt appellate court findings

June 25, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court issued a pair of short per curiam opinions on Thursday afternoon that adopt what the Indiana Court of Appeals decided on two criminal appeals.
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Judges affirm elevated drug convictions

June 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The state presented sufficient evidence to prove a defendant delivered and possessed methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex, so the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed elevating his convictions to a higher felony level.
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Translated transcripts necessary for jury

June 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A trial court didn’t abuse its discretion when it admitted transcripts translated into English of drug transactions recorded in Spanish because the jury wouldn’t be able to understand the recording, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
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7th Circuit rules on attorney withdraw brief practicalities

June 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Ruling on an issue of first impression, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today extended the logic of an eight-year-old case to how criminal defendants challenge their supervised release and revocation penalties and what must be discussed in attorney withdraw briefs on those issues.
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Court: refusal to identify law applies to passengers

June 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Although state law allows police to request identification from passengers inside a car that they’ve stopped, two Indianapolis officers shouldn’t have done arrested a man for refusing to identify himself when there was no reasonable suspicion he’d done anything wrong.
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Accused attorney attacker suspended

June 22, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The attorney accused of attacking another lawyer last year has been suspended from practice.
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Gaming agents have full police power

June 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A gaming agent of the Indiana Gaming Commission constitutes a “law enforcement officer” for purposes of the offense of resisting law enforcement, the Indiana Court of Appeals decided today.
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Prosecutor candidate indicted for child porn, false informing

June 16, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Attorney and Democratic candidate for Gibson County Prosecutor William R. Wallace III was indicted Tuesday on charges of obstruction of justice, possession of child pornography, patronizing a prostitute, and false informing.
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COA: Officer's observation didn't violate man's rights

June 15, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed a defendant’s various drug convictions and sentence, finding the police officer didn’t violate the man’s Fourth Amendment rights by looking in the defendant’s car when trying to serve a warrant.
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SCOTUS won't take Indiana lab tech case

June 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court won’t take a case from the Indiana Supreme Court, which decided last year that it did not violate a man’s Sixth Amendment rights for a lab technician who’d processed DNA evidence to not testify at trial.
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Justices say sentencing scores can be used

June 10, 2010
Michael Hoskins
State trial judges can consider sentencing scores to help tailor penalties to individual defendants, as long as those results aren’t used as final aggravating or mitigating factors in deciding a penalty length, the Indiana Supreme Court says
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Judges uphold sentence increase on appeal

June 10, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the defendant’s sentence that they had increased on appeal in March in an opinion on rehearing today and addressed the characteristics of an Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B) review.
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Court rules on literacy program, educational credit time

June 9, 2010
Michael Hoskins
While applauding a prison inmate for pursuing higher education while behind bars, the Indiana Court of Appeals has determined that man shouldn’t receive additional educational credit time for a program the state system doesn’t consider to fit into its definition of “literacy and life skills” programs.
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Justices differ on defining 'youth program center'

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Two Indiana Supreme Court justices objected to affirming a man’s drug sentence for possession within 1,000 feet of a “youth program center” because the church that ran the programs wasn’t easily identifiable as regularly running programs for kids.
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Officer's questions went beyond seat belt act

June 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The inquiry by a police officer to a driver stopped for a seat belt violation about the "large, unusual bulge" in his pants went beyond the state's Seatbelt Enforcement Act, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
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SCOTUS reverses 7th Circuit on sex offender registration

June 1, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The nation’s highest court reversed the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals today on an Indiana case, holding that that a federal sex offender registry law does not apply to those convicts whose interstate travel happened before the 2006 statute took effect.
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COA: Breathalyzer certificate is not testimonial

May 28, 2010
Rebecca Berfanger
For the first time since the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2009 ruling that found a defendant had a Sixth Amendment right to confront the analysts who prepared lab certificates certifying the defendant had cocaine, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a trial court did not violate the defendant’s right to confrontation by allowing the inspection certificate for a breathalyzer into evidence, even though the certifier of the equipment did not testify at trial.
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Court rejects stale trash evidence argument

May 26, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Court of Appeals has rejected an argument that evidence found in a trash search was stale because no other garbage had been collected in the past two weeks and that seized material could have been too old.
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  1. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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