Monthly Archives: February 2023
Mistake Of Fact Defense In Child Molestation Cases
Indiana takes the crime of child molestation very seriously. According to Indiana law, sexual contact with a child below 14 is considered child molestation. This may be sexually touching a child, fondling a child, or sexual penetration. If a person is convicted of a level 4 felony, they could face 2 to 12 years… Read More »
Is It A Good Idea To Talk To The Police?
Criminal defendants have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer police questions. But before you are arrested and charged with a crime, it might not be clear whether you should remain silent or talk to the police. So, is it a good idea to talk to the police? It is not in… Read More »
How “Drugged Driving” Can Lead To A One Year In Jail In Indiana
Under Indiana law, a person can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor for a first-time offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). This carries a maximum sentence of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. But if the state can prove that the defendant operated their vehicle in… Read More »
How Much Discretion Does An Indiana Judge Have In Deciding A Criminal Sentence?
Indiana divides felony offenses into six categories. Level 1 felonies are the most serious offenses. Each felony level has its own sentencing range. For example, a Level 6 felony–representing the least serious felonies–carries a prison term of between 6 months and 2.5 years. Within each felony class there is also an “advisory sentence” that… Read More »
When Can Police Conduct A “Stop And Frisk” In Indiana?
The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. But there are a number of judicially created exceptions to this rule. One is for so-called Terry stops, named after a 1968 United States Supreme Court decision. A Terry stop is basically where the police briefly detain a person based on… Read More »
Is The County Prosecutor Required To Consent To Expungement Of Your Criminal Record?
Since 2013, Indiana law has made it possible for people convicted of certain crimes to expunge their records. Expungement is not automatic. In the case of felony convictions, a person must wait either 8 or 10 years before filing a petition with the court requesting an expungement. During that waiting period, the petitioner must… Read More »
Does The State Need Direct Evidence To Prove Guilt “Beyond A Reasonable Doubt”?
The standard for convicting a person of a criminal offense in Indiana is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Many people ask what this means in practice. Does the prosecution have to produce an eyewitness who saw the defendant commit a crime? Or can you convict based purely on circumstantial evidence? Indiana Supreme Court Reinstates Convictions… Read More »