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Man’s additional charges should have been dismissed

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The Whitley Superior Court should have granted a defendant’s motion to dismiss two operating while intoxicated charges because the charges came after he pleaded guilty to two other charges relating to the same initial traffic stop.

When Cody Honeycutt was stopped by police, Indiana State Police Sgt. Todd Reed smelled burnt marijuana on Honeycutt. Honeycutt also admitted to smoking the drug earlier in the day and handed a bag of it to the officer. Reed took Honeycutt for a blood draw, but while results of the test were pending, he pleaded guilty without counsel to Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana and a traffic infraction. He was sentenced to one year with all but eight days suspended.

When the results of the test came back a few days later, the state added two more charges under the same cause number: Class A misdemeanor operating while intoxicated and Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance in Honeycutt’s body. Now represented by an attorney, Honeycutt filed a motion dismiss on grounds they were barred by the Successive Prosecution Statute. The trial court denied it, and he was found guilty at a bench trial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed. The state conceded that all four charges are connected, but it argued that it didn’t have probable cause to bring the operating charges at the same time as it brought the charge of possession of marijuana and traffic infraction.

The judges found there was probable cause to charge Honeycutt with the operating offenses at the same time, as Honeycutt had confessed to smoking the drug, there was marijuana on him, and based on the police sergeant’s observations of Honeycutt, Judge Nancy Vaidik wrote in Cody B. Honeycutt v. State of Indiana, 92A04-1203-CR-149.

“If the State believed that the lab results were the key piece of evidence it needed to file the operating charges, then it should have completed its investigation, dismissed the initially-filed Class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana and traffic infraction, and filed all four charges at the same time,” she wrote.

The Court of Appeals also held that Honeycutt did not waive his argument, as the state claimed, because both the trial court and the prosecutor warned him before he pleaded guilty that he could face more charges depending on the pending lab results.

 

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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