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Indianapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Indiana man arrested after DNA match made via a new state law

Prosecutors in Indiana often rely in part on DNA evidence when making their case against those charged with a crime. A law enacted earlier this year makes it easier for prosecutors to obtain DNA evidence. This has led to over 70 DNA matches, including one recent one involving the theft of a trailer.

An Indiana law enacted in January that requires officers to collect the DNA of individuals accused of committing felony crimes has recently led to the apprehension of a man accused of committing theft back in January. The man had DNA collected from him in April after being arrested for stealing a trailer. Then, Indiana officers found that this DNA sample matched that from an incident back in January involving the theft of a different trailer. Prior to this law, DNA was only taken after a person had received a conviction on a felony crime.

What are some possible defenses to sex assault?

Allegations of sexual assault in Indiana can be very serious. Even being charged with a sex crime can carry a stigma that may lead the public to presume guilt, even before a trial is completed. This could be very damaging to a person's personal and professional reputation. It is important to understand some defense arguments that could be presented against allegations of sexual assault.

One possible defense is innocence. If the accused was not at the scene of the alleged crime or if the crime was committed by a different individual, this may be a defense. To successfully argue innocence, there must be credible evidence supporting the fact that the accused was not with the alleged victim when the assault occurred. That is, the accused must have an "alibi."

Can motorists in Indiana refuse to submit to a breath test?

Being pulled over by the police while you are driving can be intimidating for anyone. Most people do not want to get ticketed -- or worse, arrested -- if they believe they have done nothing wrong. This is especially true when it comes to allegations of drunk driving offenses, particularly since the consequences of such charges are so severe.

When police in Indiana believe a motorist is operating while intoxicated and they ask the motorist to submit to a breath test, the motorist might not want to do so. However, motorists should be aware of what actions may be taken against them should they refuse to submit to chemical testing.

Embezzlement is a serious white-collar crime

Many people in Indiana may have heard of "Ponzi schemes" and other types of embezzlement, but they may not have a clear idea of what exactly constitutes embezzlement. When a person has legal responsibility over business assets, bank assets, trust assets or other assets belonging to someone else, but then uses those assets illicitly for their own personal gain, this constitutes embezzlement.

In general, the person committing embezzlement has legal access to another's assets, so that the person can manage them in accordance to the owner's best interests, but then secretly uses the assets for their own personal benefit instead. Some instances of embezzlement include the theft of one large sum of money, while other instances of embezzlement include the taking of smaller amounts of money over an extended period of time.

Drug addiction could lead to criminal charges

When people think of drug addiction, they may think of individuals who have a serious problem. This line of thinking is not incorrect as addiction can take a major toll on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Unfortunately, even if you want to stop using the substance, the addiction can make it immensely difficult for you to do so.

In fact, wanting to stop using but not having the ability to do so can act as one of the signs of a drug addiction. Many other signs and symptoms could also point to this problem, and while some people are able to obtain help before they land in serious predicaments, you may not be so lucky.

When might a sex offender be charged with an Internet sex crime?

Whether it is through a social networking platform, a chat room or an instant messaging program, there are numerous ways for a person in Indiana to communicate with someone else through the Internet. For most people, this is generally not a legal issue. However, if a person is prohibited from using the Internet to communicate with certain persons, and has previously been convicted of a sex crime, should they use the Internet to communicate with other people they could be criminally charged.

Under Indiana Code 35-42-4-12, if a convicted sex offender knowingly or intentionally commits a violation of a condition of probation or parole or a rule of a community transition program in which the offender is prohibited from utilizing social networking web sites, instant messaging programs or chat rooms to communicate with a youth under age 16, that offender can be charged with a sex offender Internet offense. Generally, the commission of this type of crime is a Class A misdemeanor. But, the offense is raised to a Level 6 felony if the offender has been previously convicted of this same crime.

An overview of Indiana's "Lifeline Law"

There are some instances when a person in Indiana becomes intoxicated, but then finds themselves in a situation in which either another person is facing a medical emergency, in which they have witnessed a possible crime or in which they are the victim of a sex crime. In these situations, the intoxicated person may want to call the police, but they may be afraid that, because they are intoxicated, they may be charged with a certain alcohol offense if they call for help.

However, Indiana has a "Lifeline Law" to protect people in such situations. Through the state's lifeline law, a person who has committed the crime of being publicly intoxicated, is a minor in possession of alcohol or is a minor who has consumed alcohol, can still contact the authorities when seeking help for another person who is in the throes of an alcohol-related health emergency.

What are the penalties for drug possession charges in Indiana?

People may think of a drug such as methamphetamine and understand that this substance is dangerous and addictive. Thus, this drug is made illegal to possess in Indiana. However, even less dangerous or addictive drugs such as marijuana are also illegal to possess in Indiana. Some people may feel like some of these drugs are essentially harmless, in that they do not cause the user or anyone else harm. However, Indiana law disagrees and makes possession of illicit drugs illegal.

If a person possesses under five grams of meth, it is a Level 6 felony. If a person possesses under five grams of meth, but there are enhanced circumstances, it is a Level 5 felony. It is also a Level 5 felony if a person possesses at least five but under 10 grams of meth. However, if a person possesses at least five but under 10 grams of meth and there are enhanced circumstances, it is a Level 4 felony. It is also a Level 4 felony if a person possesses at least 10 but under 28 grams of meth. If a person possesses at least 10 but under 28 grams of meth and there are enhanced circumstances it is a Level 3 felony. It is also a Level 3 felony if a person possesses 28 grams of meth or more.

Two men arrested in ongoing government corruption probe

In a city that is about an hour from the Indianapolis area, two more people have been arrested in ongoing federal probe of what are allegedly shady business deals involving many in the local government.

In the most recent arrests, the many overseeing the city's sewer system was detained and then charged in federal court for tampering with witnesses and also creating false documents. The man has since been placed on administrative leave from his position. His office was searched by federal agents earlier on in this investigation.

We will aggressively confront sex crime charges

An allegation of a sex crime is one of the most serious criminal charges a resident of the greater Indianapolis area can face. In the strict sense of the term, any sex crime in Indiana carries with it the possibility of felony conviction.

Even without the threat of hefty fines and years or even decades in prison, the damage that a person might suffer because of a felony conviction on a sex crime can be life-altering and career-killing.

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