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Man has second chance to get OWI charges dropped

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A Jefferson County man who was brought to court for operating a vehicle while intoxicated more than two years after he was pulled over by police will get another chance to argue that his right to a speedy trial was violated.

The Indiana Court of Appeals has remanded to the trial court for a new hearing on a motion to dismiss in Michael E. McClellan v. State of Indiana, 39A04-1305-CR-248.
 
McClellan filed an interlocutory appeal after the trial court dismissed his motion to dismiss the charges against him. He had been arrested for drunken driving in February 2009. Seven months later in August, McClellan was pulled over for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Because his health prevented him from taking a breath test, McClellan consented to a blood draw.

On Dec. 23, 2009, McClellan pleaded guilty to the February operating while intoxicated charge and was sentenced to one year of home detention. On May 25, 2010, two days after it had received the toxicology report from the August arrest, the state charged McClellan with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class A misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor.

The court issued a summons to McClellan to his Milton, Ky., address even though he was serving his home detention in Hanover, Ind. When the summons was returned as undeliverable and McClellan did not appear for the initial hearing, the court issued an arrest warrant. McClellan was eventually served with the warrant in November 2012. A month later he filed a motion to dismiss, alleging his due process rights had been violated.

The Indiana Court of Appeals turned to the four-part test established by Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 530 to determine whether there was a speedy trial violation. On the fourth factor – prejudice to the defendant – the Court of Appeals found the state had not had the opportunity to rebut the presumption of prejudice in this case.

Judge Margret Robb wrote for the court that if the state is able to rebut the presumption of prejudice, this factor may then weigh against McClellan in the analysis. Consequently, the Court of Appeals remanded for a new hearing.


 
 

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

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