Criminal Case

COA lengthens defendant's sentence

March 30, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals revised a defendant's sentence for rape and other convictions, but it may not have been what the man had in mind when he appealed. In a rare move, the Court of Appeals increased his sentence by 25 years.
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COA: no error in admitting no contest plea

March 25, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A plea of no contest can be admitted under Indiana Evidence Rule 803(8) as a public record proving the fact of a conviction, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed today. The appellate court found no error in admitting a defendant's nolo contendere plea to a Florida murder as proof he was convicted of an offense qualifying him as a serious violent felon.
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Justices: Search didn't violate 4th Amendment

March 24, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A warrantless search of a probationer's property that is conducted reasonably and supported by a probation search term and reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, doesn't violate Fourth Amendment rights, the Indiana Supreme Court held today.
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COA: State didn't bring man to trial within 1 year

March 22, 2010
Jennifer NelsonMore

Justices vacate life sentence

March 22, 2010
Jennifer NelsonMore

Appellate court upholds murder conviction

March 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Although the trial court erred in finding a police officer was a skilled witness uniquely qualified to assess a murder victim's truthfulness, it was a harmless error because his testimony was an admissible lay observation, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today.
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7th Circuit: counsel assistance wasn't ineffective

March 17, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant didn't receive ineffective assistance of counsel when his attorneys failed to raise the issue of comments made by his victim's mother during the trial, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
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Judges disagree on chemical possession charge

March 12, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeal judges disagreed as to whether a defendant who stole anhydrous ammonia with the intent of selling it to a third party in the future to make methamphetamine, but who never actually sold the chemical, could be charged with possession with intent to manufacture methamphetamine.
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High court rules on prisoners issues

March 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court handed down two opinions Wednesday in which the high court expressly adopted the "prison mailbox rule" and determined a majority of the Indiana Parole Board constitutes the full parole board when making final decisions.
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Defendant must prove inability to pay

March 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The defendant bears the burden of proving that he or she wasn't able to provide support at a probation revocation hearing for failing to support dependants, the Indiana Court of Appeals held today.
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COA split on impact of jury instruction omission

March 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
One Indiana Court of Appeals judge dissented from his colleagues' decision to grant a new trial based on the lack of a jury instruction on robbery because he didn't think the defendant was prejudiced by the omission.
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Prior misconduct negates self-defense claim

March 8, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Evidence of a defendant's prior alleged domestic violence incidents against his ex-wife shouldn't have been admitted to explain the ex-wife's animosity toward him, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded today. However, the evidence was admissible because it was relevant to prove the ex-husband's motive to commit the domestic violence he was charged with in the instant case.
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Judges find search of car for gun not justified

March 4, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of Indiana Court of Appeals judges reversed the denial of a defendant's motion to suppress evidence of drugs found in his car during a search, but one judge believed the man's cooperation and respect toward the police officer shouldn't factor into their decision making.
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Decision resolves conflicting appellate rulings

March 3, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An offense of attempted dissemination of matter harmful to minors can be committed when a defendant attempts to transmit prohibited matter by the Internet to an adult police detective posing as a minor, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
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COA: Consent prevented constitutional violations

March 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the denial of two defendants' motion to suppress evidence even though it wasn't reasonable under the Indiana Constitution because one of the men gave his consent to search the bag which held drugs.
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Judges find stop violated Fourth Amendment

February 26, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled a defendant's stop by police and subsequent search of a wheelbarrow he was pushing - which led to convictions of burglary and theft - violated the man's Fourth Amendment rights. The Circuit Court ordered the defendant's petition for habeas corpus be granted.
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High court defines 'briefly'

February 23, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
In two cases involving a statutory defense to possession or dealing of drugs within 1,000 feet of a school, the Indiana Supreme Court defined the term "briefly" and ruled on whether the defendants were briefly near schools when they committed their crimes.
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Judges split on endangerment issue

February 19, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals found the state proved a defendant had driven drunk, but the judges disagreed as to whether the state showed the man had endangered others with his driving.
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Proof of service is state's burden

February 18, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed an invasion of privacy conviction today because the state didn't prove the defendant knew he was the subject of an active protective order. The appellate court also concluded that notice of a protective order should come from the state.
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State didn't prove man was drunk when driving

February 11, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's conviction of driving while intoxicated because the state failed to prove the man was intoxicated when he drove his moped.
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Majority affirms conviction despite no witnesses

February 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
An appellate judge dissented from the majority's decision to uphold a woman's conviction of operating a car after her driving privileges had been forfeited for life, finding that confirming her conviction would break from precedent.
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Judges reverse theft conviction

February 9, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a defendant's conviction of theft because the trial court failed to instruct the jury on conversion as a lesser-included offense of theft.
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Appeals court split on parol evidence issue

February 1, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
Judges on the Indiana Court of Appeals were split on whether a boss's oral promise to a future employee regarding a severance package would be barred from consideration by the parol evidence rule.
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COA: lawyer-client privilege protects information

January 28, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
A defendant's belief that his right to seek exculpatory evidence trumps the attorney-client privilege is incorrect, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.
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COA reverses 4 attempted robbery convictions

January 27, 2010
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed four convictions of attempted robbery after finding the evidence didn't support a reasonable inference that the defendant intended to rob each of the alleged victims.
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  1. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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