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Indianapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Priest charged with solicitation of a minor

News reports about sex crimes are shocking to the public, especially when they involve minors. Furthermore, people are outraged when they hear about priests who are accused of sexually abusing minors, and of the Catholic Church's history of covering up these allegations.

With all that in mind, many people may read a story about a Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse of a minor and decide that the man is guilty of a crime and should be swiftly punished. However, the foundation of our criminal justice system is the principle that everyone deserves a defense, and that everyone should be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Marion County stops prosecuting some possession charges

Marijuana is still illegal in Indiana, both for medical and recreational states. So far, Indiana has not joined the growing number of states that are decriminalizing pot. However, some prosecutors are changing the way they approach marijuana cases.

Marion County's top prosecutor, Ryan Mears, recently announced that his department would no longer prosecute certain simple marijuana possession charges. Effectively immediately, the county will not prosecute possession charges against defendants who are found in possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. Mears said his office will continue to prosecute in cases involving larger amounts.

FBI uses electronics-sniffing dog in child pornography case

State and federal investigators have a lot of high-tech tools at their disposal when searching for evidence of child pornography and related sex crimes. In the recent arrest of an Indiana man on child pornography charges, the FBI used one very low-tech tool: a so-called electronic detection canine.

According to news reports, the Indiana man was arrested in July and charged with transportation of child pornography. Police said he had already served time for a conviction on child molestation charges and was registered as a violent sex offender. The new arrest came about after he allegedly wrote and attempted to publish a book encouraging children to play naked with adults.

Understanding your Miranda rights

Police shows on television have made most of us familiar with the phrase "You have the right to remain silent," but unless you have experience with the criminal justice system, you have probably not given much thought to what the phrase means.

The right to remain silent is the first of four rights police must read to you before they interrogate you: You have the right to remain silent; anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law; you have the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. These are known as Miranda rights, after Miranda v. Arizona, an important Supreme Court case.

How will drug charges affect the future of a college student?

As an Indiana college student, you have your whole life ahead of you. You have endless possibilities regarding your education, your future career and other life choices. However, allegations of any type of criminal activity can put a halt to these plans and impact your long-term interests in more ways than you can imagine.

The most common crimes committed by college students are drug-related offenses. From simple possession to a more serious trafficking or distribution charge, a conviction of any type of drug crime could lead to major consequences. It is helpful for you to learn about your legal options regarding your defense options, including whether any special laws apply to your case if the alleged criminal activity took place on a college campus.

Indiana man charged with fraud for fake bar-codes

The growth of the internet has been accompanied by a similar growth in the use of the internet to commit various kinds of crimes, including fraud and theft. Some internet crimes involve the theft of personal information, while others depend on the use of the internet for various kinds of fraud. For example, a local man has recently been arrested and charged with several crimes in the latter category.

According to the probable cause affidavit submitted by police, the man knew how to alter the bar codes on merchandise in big box stores, such as Target and Walmart. The scheme involved altering the bar codes to lower the price of an item as the bar code was scanned at the checkout counter. The suspect then allegedly sold the items on an eBay account for the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

State representative charged with drunk driving and other crimes

State lawmakers have an important role to play in Indiana's government, but occasionally, some legislators exaggerate their importance and forget that the law applies to them, too. The Democratic legislator who represents most of Indianapolis was recently arrested for alcohol-related crimes and for impersonating a police officer.

According to police reports, a 911 call said that a man was spotted in downtown Indianapolis trying to purchase "party favors," such as cocaine. The man was later spotted in a bar.

Indiana unintentional accidents crimes

Sometimes mistakes are made. Mistakes can be relatively minor and not harm anyone except perhaps, the person who made the mistake. However, mistakes may be made that lead to the death of another person. If a person causes the death of another person, but had no intention of doing so, can they be charged with a crime?

In certain circumstances, a person in Indiana who did not intend to kill anyone could still be charged with involuntary manslaughter. One of these situations is if a person kills someone on accident because of another person's criminal negligence.

New Castle man charged with soliciting minors on Facebook

Facebook, the popular internet site, has been coming under attack for its failure to protect users of the site. An Indiana man was recently been charged with using Facebook to further his attempts to solicit two minor girls for improper purposes.

The investigation began on July 3 when the mother of one of the girls saw a photograph of the man on her daughter's cell phone. The New Castle Police Department recently arrested the man for allegedly sending photographs of himself to the girls, whose ages are 12 and 13. The defendant is alleged to have used a Facebook group chat room that he created to facilitate contacting the girls. The police department report alleges that the photographs show the defendant either nude or partially undressed.

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