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Category: Criminal Defense

What Happens After Your First DUI?

All DUIs are serious, but courts often treat your first DUI differently than they do repeat DUI offenses.  Any DUI should be a wake-up call to a driver.  It’s time to ask yourself if you have a problem with alcohol, or if you simply made a poor decision to get behind the wheel after a dinner party or professional gathering where you had one too many beers or glasses of wine. If you’re wondering what happens after your first DUI, read on to find valuable information.  Knowing your responsibilities and rights after you’ve been charged with a DUI will help you make proactive decisions that are in your own best interest. Most importantly, you should be represented by a ...

Is a DWI a Felony or Misdemeanor in Indiana?

COURTS COME DOWN PRETTY HARD ON DWI CASES, BUT EXACTLY HOW HARD DEPENDS ON WHETHER IT IS A MISDEMEANOR OR A FELONY. Judges and juries are less and less forgiving of drunk and impaired drivers these days, and so is the public at large.  But whether the DWI was caused by one evening of bad choices versus a long-term pattern of drunk driving can make a big difference in sentencing.  Generally, if you’ve received one DWI arrest, this will fall under the misdemeanor category unless someone was severely injured or killed or a minor child was in the vehicle.  On the other hand, if you’re someone who has been convicted of more than one DWI offense in the past five years, you wi ...

What Happens at a Misdemeanor Initial Hearing?

If you’ve been charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, or a DUI without bodily harm, you are likely facing a type of charge called a misdemeanor. This category of crime is considered more serious than an infraction, but not as grave as a felony. Especially if this is your first run-in with the criminal legal system, you are likely scared, embarrassed, and uncertain as to what to expect — when you head to court and beyond. What happens at a misdemeanor initial hearing? What sort of punishment will I receive? How do I ensure the best possible outcome of my case? Your first priority should be to secure legal representation. The New Albany misdemeanor lawyers at Church, Langdo ...

How Much Can I Get in a Car Accident Settlement?

With millions of car crashes every year in the U.S. — including tens of thousands of deaths and untold numbers of injuries — you’d think there would be an easy-to-use formula to determine how much you can get in a car accident settlement. The reality is far from simple. Liability, or who is at fault for the wreck, must be determined. The total cost of your injuries and lost wages related to the accident must be tallied. And when the insurance company does offer a settlement, negotiation is essential to ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve. If you’ve been hurt in a motor vehicle accident due to someone else’s careless driving, a New Albany car accident lawyer wi ...

Understanding the New Criminal Justice Bill

During the fall of 2018, Congress voted to approve a new bipartisan criminal justice bill known as the First Step Act. The goal of this bill is to improve the conditions in federal prisons across the country and address the mass incarceration problem for drug-related crimes and similar offenses. While many would argue that there are still a lot of changes that need to be made to the criminal justice system in the United States, there is still much to like about this bill. The First Step Act: What Does It Do? Specifically, the First Step Act introduces several programs that allow prisoners to earn "credits" that can be used to reduce their sentences or enter into pre-release custody/home conf ...

Mediation Can Help Bring Legal Actions to an Early Conclusion

The legal system has become so complex, time consuming and costly that parties normally work very hard to avoid using it. After a civil lawsuit is filed, negotiations may ebb and flow, but the vast majority of Indiana lawsuits are resolved through settlements, not verdicts after trials. Those are the endings you see in movies and TV -- reality is normally far less dramatic. Mediation is the use of a neutral third party to help the parties negotiate a resolution. At Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law, Larry Church, Jason Lopp and Dana Eberle-Peay not only negotiate settlements for their clients involved in litigation, but they also work as mediators in other cases. There are many benefits to ...

Introduction to Indiana Drug Laws

How Indiana controlled dangerous substances (CDS) crimes are classified varies depending on possession or sale, the type of drug and amount. No matter the possible crime, if you learn you’re under investigation for such a crime or have been arrested for one, you need to talk to a defense attorney to best defend your legal rights and freedom. Indiana has five CDS schedules based on their potential for abuse and whether they’re approved for medical use. Schedule I drugs (including opiates and heroin) have a high potential for abuse, no accepted medical use or are unsafe for use in treatment, even under medical supervision. Schedule II drugs (including morphine and opium) also have a ...

Secret Sources of Information Can Taint a Criminal Prosecution

Indiana criminal defense attorneys can’t take at face value prosecution claims and evidence supposedly found during an investigation. They have to be verified for their accuracy, that they’re genuine and the source of the evidence or claim is legitimate. We need to know whether evidence has been fabricated or obtained illegally and whether evidence pointing to another suspect has been ignored. If so, it may result in charges being dropped by the prosecution or a jury finding of not guilty. Much of this depends on relying on prosecutors to act in good faith and honesty, but unfortunately that’s not always true. Human Rights Watch accuses the federal government of secretly supplying evi ...

Will Kentucky Reconsider How Non-Violent Offenders Are Sentenced?

How should Kentucky sentence low-level drug dealers, thieves and others found guilty of non-violent crimes? Should they be locked up, securely separated from the public (at least until they’re paroled or released) or should there be another, better, less expensive and effective way to hold these people accountable while making it less likely they’ll commit another crime after their sentences are over? A report released in December by Kentucky's Justice Reinvestment Workgroup makes 22 recommendations that might be the basis of new legislation which could help reduce the rising prison population. There are so many “hot button” issues involved that the report's creators admit they have ...

The Fight Against the National Opioid Epidemic and “Doctor Shopping”

More than one in 20 people in Indiana admit having engaged in non-medical use of opioid pain relievers. And with similar percentages of Kentucky’s citizens in the same sad predicament, federal, state and local law enforcement is aggressively attacking this social and legal tragedy nationwide. Eighteen states have adopted comprehensive mandates in the past four years requiring doctors who prescribe opioids – oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax and others – and other controlled substances to check databases to learn whether their patients are addicts who get these drugs elsewhere. Prescribers – mainly physicians – can see which drugs their patients are obtaining and whether they are going ...

Do All Assets Have to Pass through Probate?

Some assets pass through probate when an asset holder dies. However, not all assets must be forced into probate. Sometimes a will is not the ideal mechanism for ensuring that your assets are efficiently passed to your loved ones. We outline everything you need to know about the p ...