We are criminal defense lawyers. Normally we practice at the trial level, in court in front of juries. However, when our clients lose trials, lose cases or lose legal issues, that is not always the end of the matter. Every person in this state, upon being convicted of a crime at trial, has an absolute right to appeal their conviction to the Indiana Court of Appeals. Under certain circumstances, sentences (even if you plead guilty) are appealable. Sometimes issues come up in cases that should be appealed before the case goes to trial. Not only can we help advise and guide you through these decisions, we are experienced and capable, through team effort, to give you the best chance on your appeal. Lawyers from our firm have argued before the Indiana Court of Appeals and the Indiana Supreme Court.
In a recent case, a total team effort resulted in our client winning his case and making new law in Indiana with a successful appeal and argument to the Indiana Supreme Court. That decision was challenged on a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. Teaming with a law firm in Washington, D.C., we were able to convince the U.S. Supreme Court not to hear the case. The result was the Indiana Supreme Court decision stands and a serious felony charge against our client had to be dismissed. Team effort made this fantastic result possible. Let us help you in your appeal.
In our experience, arson is one of the least likely charges to be filed. However, on those rare cases, we have successfully defend clients accused of this crime. Sometimes whether the fire was an act of arson is the question. The defense, for example, may involve whether an accelerant was involved in the fire or if it was faulty electrical work.
Other times, arson is very clear. However, the person who committed the crime is not. In this case, if a person is accused, our firm would look for every possible culprit who may have had a motive to set a fire or to set someone up to look like they set the fire. No matter what, experienced trial lawyers are needed to successfully navigate the proper defense to get the best outcome.
Many battery (including domestic battery) allegations involve two or more people who tell different versions to the police. In our firm, we call this a “he said, she said” case. Often, both parties may be at fault, but the better fighter is the one that gets charged with a crime. Sometimes a person was only defending themselves. In Indiana, self-defense is a recognized legal concept. Sometimes, accusers just flat out lie about what happened but can be very convincing to prosecutors and police.
The best way to combat a battery allegation is to hire lawyers who have a reputation for going to trial. It doesn’t hurt if they also win those trials. Our firm has handled hundreds, if not thousands, of cases involving a client accused of battery and won jury trials even with witnesses who claim that they saw the battery take place. If the prosecutor doesn’t believe that your attorney will take the case to trial, then you probably won’t get the outcome you deserve, whether that is a dismissal or a great plea.
When defending someone accused of battery, we will take depositions of the accuser and other witnesses, we will scour Facebook and other social media posts and even just knock on doors looking for witnesses to help the case. There are a multitude of ways to win a battery case and we would cater the defense to your specific set of facts. However, none of that matters if your lawyer is not willing to go to trial. We are and prosecutors know it.
Burglary / Residential Entry
Burglary is a misunderstood crime, often confused with robbery, residential entry and even trespass. If you have been accused of burglary, you may not be guilty of anything, or you may be guilty of a lesser charge, like residential entry. For example, over the years (believe it or not) our firm has represented a number of clients accused of the same type of crime: a drunk person forgets the house where he is staying and enters the wrong home. Oftentimes, they will then raid the refrigerator before passing out on a couch. This is not burglary, although the actual homeowner may feel it is when she wakes up and sees an unknown person sleeping on her sofa. A classic burglary, on the other hand, often involves someone breaking into a home through a door or window with the intent to steal items in the home. Fingerprints, eyewitness identification or even home video surveillance may be part of the evidence.
We have successfully defended clients accused of burglarizing someone’s home. How do we do it? Every case is different. In one case, for example, we explained that the finger-prints were present for another reason not related to burglary. This required much work in the investigative phase of our representation before we came up with the defense. In another successful burglary defense, we convinced the jury that the clients had no intention of committing a felony, but merely was trying to scare the homeowner. This required depositions of the homeowner and his children before determining the strategic course of action.
Burglary cases require a thorough knowledge of the law combined with experience to know which facts to focus on to secure the best outcome. We have even convinced prosecutors to not file burglary charges because we were hired so quickly following the arrest. Our reputation for going to trial, plus a quick investigation saved our client even facing charges. When trying to get the best outcome your lawyer better have a reputation for going to trial or the prosecutor may push you around rather than offer a good deal or a dismissal. We have successfully taken a wide range of cases to jury trial, including burglary, and that can make all the difference in the world.
Carrying an Unlicensed Gun
Gun laws in Indiana (like in most states and at the federal level) are numerous and complex. One of those laws criminalizes citizens carrying handguns outside their homes without first receiving a state license to do so. Some laws make carrying a handgun by people with certain prior criminal convictions major felony offenses (even misdemeanor domestic battery). To top that off, in this day and age, most prosecutors are not apt to make favorable plea offers in gun cases. You’re going to have to fight to gain negotiating leverage.
Having lawyers who know state and federal gun laws and who know how to successfully challenge illegal police searches of your car, home or person is critical if you find yourself charged with a gun crime. Together with you, our team can give you your best chance for obtaining the best result available given the law and the facts of your particular case.
It is hard to think of a crime that can more dramatically impact a person’s life than to be charged with possession of child pornography. These are serious felony crimes prosecuted at both state and federal level. The consequences of even facing charges like this are dramatic—loss of freedom, of reputation, irreparable damage to professional and personal relationships. If you find yourself in this situation, you need experienced help immediately. You simply cannot wait; these cases do not get better with age.
Knowledge of how to investigate these cases, how to evaluate evidence against you, how to enlist the help of computer forensic experts in your defense are all skills and experience your lawyer must have if you are to have a chance. Were you actually in legal possession? Was the possession unintentional? Was the police search that led to finding the material legal? Do you have a legal defense of entrapment? Do you suffer from a psychological condition or addiction that can be explored and used to help in your defense? Can you win a case like this in front of a jury? How could that possibly be done?
We have the experience and skill to help answer all those questions and to help you at this difficult time. Let us help.
A person accused of dealing illegal drugs, as opposed to merely possessing drugs, is typically facing far more severe consequences in Indiana, therefore, your attorney had better know how to effectively defend a person accused of dealing illegal drugs.
Our firm has successfully defended those accused of the most serious drug dealing charges, including winning jury trials for clients facing decades in prison who were on videotape allegedly dealing, as well as those accused of lower-level dealing cases. Over the years, our attorneys have learned what to look for in “buy” videos as well as how to pick apart the activities and testimony of confidential informants. It takes years of experience to know what to look for in order to provide the most effective and strategic defense for someone accused of dealing.
This is the “disorderly” of “drunk and disorderly.” It is typically charged when police become involved and see a fight, somebody making “unreasonable noise” or someone disrupting a lawful assembly of people. The crime is typically a class B misdemeanor. But be accused of this crime at an airport (even in an airport parking area) or within 500 feet of a funeral or memorial service – you’re facing a Level 6 felony.
The facts of a case like this are critical; so is a thorough investigation of those facts. Talking to witnesses (quickly); finding video, if available; applying the law to these facts; challenging police officers on the stand. These are the tasks that need to be accomplished well to give you your best shot at a great result in this situation. We are the right team for that assignment.
Because of the emotional nature of these charges, even small disputes can get blown out of proportion. A no-contact order or an order of protection may be lodged against you and you could be barred from entering your home or seeing your children. This is why we work to negotiate with prosecutors to get orders lifted or request a court date as soon as possible.
Our firm has developed certain strategies and methods to defend clients accused of both felony and misdemeanor domestic battery. Which puts our clients in the best position to receive the best outcome. Our firm has successfully defended both men and women accused of felony and misdemeanor domestic battery.
If we are hired quickly, it is not uncommon for our lawyers to convince prosecutors to not file charges. Once charges are filed, it is not uncommon to have charges dismissed. When prosecutors are not willing to give us the type of outcome that our clients deserve (whether it be dismissal or a reasonable plea agreement) then we will need to go to trial. Our lawyers have defeated prosecutors all over the state of Indiana, winning both felony and misdemeanor domestic battery charges.
It takes years of experience and a team of dedicated criminal defense lawyers to know what defense strategies to utilize to receive the best outcome for people accused of domestic battery. We have that experience, and we have the team.
“Breaking Bad” was a fun series to watch. Being Walter White in real life is no fun – especially if you get caught. There is drug possession. Serious. There is drug dealing. More serious. Then there is drug manufacturing. As serious; punished like drug dealing. Manufacturing is a big deal, and it doesn’t just apply to “cooking up” methamphetamine. The potential punishment for manufacturing any controlled substance in Indiana depends on what you’re manufacturing, but the possibility for prison sentences absolutely comes into play if you are charged and convicted of this crime.
Lawyers with experience in investigating these cases is critical to your defense. If evidence against you is illegally seized, those lawyers might be able to exclude that evidence from being introduced against you in court. With lawyers who will fight the State’s case, up to and including trying these cases to juries, you have your best line of defense.
Are you actually in possession of an illegal drug? Sounds like an easy question to answer once you are accused, but it isn’t. Our firm has defended thousands of clients accused of illegally possessing drugs. Knowing how to convince prosecutors that you can win possession cases is crucial to a great outcome.
There are a variety of strategies that we have employed to successfully defend our clients when they are accused of possessing illegal drugs. For example, proving that the accused had knowledge that the drug was present can be a defense. Perhaps others were in the area where the drugs were found and it’s another person’s drugs. Again, as in all cases, there are a variety of ways to defend someone accused of possession of drugs. Our years of experience, know-how and reputation for going to trial come together to create the best outcome for people accused of any crime, including illegal possession of drugs.
DUI—Felony and Misdemeanor Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVWI)
Being accused of driving while intoxicated on alcohol or drugs is one of the most common charges that our clients face. While on the surface, it usually appears that the prosecutor has enough evidence to win every case, it is only by digging into the case that our firm can determine its strength and the possibility of winning.
Even when cases look unwinnable, we believe that each case should be thoroughly vetted because you never know what idea may turn up that could start to dismantle the prosecutor’s case. For example, our firm has successfully defended clients accused of drunk driving at jury trials, including a client who admitted on video that he was too drunk to drive. We have even successfully defended someone found behind the wheel of a vehicle who was over 5 times the legal limit. How does that happen? A lot of brainstorming with over 140 collective years of experience is a good start. Also, knowing what legal and factual arguments to make that could sway a prosecutor or jury can have a major impact. Having a reputation that your firm is willing to go to trial is also vital.
In most cases, the goal is to obtain the best plea possible. However, we never want to abandon the thought that the case can be won. It is difficult to win these cases, but having a team of lawyers with a track record of successfully defending those accused of drunk driving can make all the difference. We have lawyers dedicated to staying on top of the ever-changing laws concerning driver’s license suspensions following a DUI arrest. We will do what we can to use those laws to keep you driving, if that is possible, once you have been accused of DUI.
Having the wrong lawyer on a DUI case can result in unnecessary and long-lasting consequences. Although we can’t promise your outcome, we can tell you that by hiring the wrong lawyer, you probably won’t get the outcome you deserve.
Do you have an old conviction or arrest on your record that is stopping you from getting a job or otherwise interfering with your livelihood? You may be eligible to have that conviction or arrest expunged. An individual’s criminal history file may be expunged or sealed under Indiana law. Individuals may apply for expungement after a waiting period that varies depending upon the seriousness of the offense. Misdemeanors may be expunged, if eligible, five years after you are last on paper and many felony convictions may be eligible for expungement after eight years. Dismissals or cases that were not filed may be eligible after one year.
Expungement is a complicated process, and not all convictions can be expunged. The request for an expungement can only be made once, and if not done properly, will not be granted and you may lose your ability to petition for an expungement later. We are proud to have helped many Hoosiers get their convictions expunged and get on with their lives. A conviction should not hold anyone back from where they want to go in life and our Team is here to help you with your expungement.
Identity Theft / Check Deception
Most people, at some point in time, find themselves in financial trouble. In times when it seems like you will never get out of that hole, financial necessity and desperation sometimes causes good people to make hasty, impulsive and often bad decisions. But then you get caught. Okay, add to your financial stress now the stress of being arrested and charged with a crime – maybe even a felony.
We won’t be able to help you with getting your finances back on track, but we can help take the load of worry and panic of criminal charges off your shoulders. Let us look into your case; let us investigate; let us test the State’s evidence against you. If that evidence seems overwhelming, let us help you manage the risks, consequences and penalties of that case. Are you falsely accused? Allow us to prepare your case for trial.
Convictions for these type of property crimes often come with unforeseen consequences (huge restitution bills; inability to get meaningful work with a felony property crime conviction; etc.). Let us advise you and help you manage these risks as well. We know these cases; we have tried these cases to juries. Let us help you with your situation.
Internet Sex Crimes
The Criminal Defense Team has seen a big uptick in clients accused of sex crimes related to the internet. These cases are defendable in a variety of ways. For example, what proof does the prosecutor have that your computer, smartphone or device was used by you or that you were aware of the potentially illegal item? This can get very tricky for the prosecutor. Perhaps we need to hire an expert witness to debunk the state’s case.
There are many ways to defend this type of accusation. If you are charged with a sex crime that somehow involves the internet, we have the experience to determine the best course of action and the best strategy to defend you while fighting for you and your reputation.
Intimidation / Harassment
Things happen in life. People get angry. People act on that anger. Things can be said; actions taken out of that anger. Threatening someone or doing something to harass, annoy or alarm another is against the law. Depending on where the threat occurs (at a business; over the internet; by phone; at a school; etc.) and to whom the threat is made, these charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies.
If charged with one of these crimes, you need lawyers experienced in evaluating evidence against you and who are willing to take a deeper dive to find problems in the State’s theory and case. Trying cases of intimidation and harassment to juries is a science and an art. Those qualities will not be brought to bear in a courtroom without experience trying these cases (and the willingness to try them again). We have both.
Weed. Pot. Grass. Ganga. Herb. Joint. Blunt. Cannabis; Rope; Reefer; Mary Jane. Do you smoke? While many states are relaxing marijuana laws, possession marijuana is still a misdemeanor crime in this state. Do you sell? Depending on the weight of the drugs, you can now be facing felony charges.
As with most drug cases, having a shot at getting an excellent result if charged with possessing or dealing weed is totally dependent on the skills and knowledge of your criminal defense lawyer. In addition to costs and inconveniences of probation (in more minor possession cases) and even prison (in more serious dealing cases), collateral consequences come from marijuana convictions. Try getting a federal student loan with a marijuana conviction.
So as long as smoking a plant grown naturally remains illegal in this state (as unnatural as that may seem to many), if you find yourself in trouble because of it, let us help you through this obstacle course of a marijuana charge.
Our attorneys have successfully defended those accused of murder throughout Indiana. We’ve represented nearly 100 defendants accused of murder, including representation in several high-profile cases around the state. In our opinion, only real-life trial experience can give you the know-how and ability to properly defend a person charged with murder in Indiana. Our team has over 140 years of combined criminal experience, and we’ve put that experience to work for people from all walks of life on a wide range of murder accusations.
Of course, no two cases are ever the same. However, there are common techniques that will be used in every case. First and foremost, developing a strategy early on is essential. Are we going to go for a complete “not guilty” across the board? Are we attempting to obtain an outcome where the client pleads or is found guilty of a lesser offense, like manslaughter or reckless homicide? Is self-defense a viable option? What about dealing with the publicity? How do you deal with an overly emotional prosecutor or victim’s advocate in the prosecutor’s office? All these questions, and many more, will be debated and then ultimately answered by our firm’s lawyers because we’ve been through it nearly 100 times.
We even have a lawyer who has successfully prosecuted those accused of murder who is able to give us the perspective from the prosecutor. That can be very valuable insight.
When you or your loved one's freedom is on the line, only the finest, most reputable attorneys should be trusted with representing you. There are six Board-Certified criminal attorneys in the state of Indiana. And five of them are on our team. Which explains the results we have achieved over the years.
While no outcome is ever guaranteed, trusting your freedom to an experienced criminal defense attorney is always in your best interest. However, trusting your case to a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers is an advantage that very few law firms in the nation can provide. Our team approach is unique among our peers, giving us the advantage of seeing every case from multiple perspectives.
Neglect of Dependent
When the Department of Child Services gets involved in your life, it is very common to soon be charged with “neglect of a dependent.” We have successfully defended clients accused of this crime. The defense can take place in a variety of ways. Sometimes we don’t deny the allegation (such as leaving the child in a car while getting groceries) but do deny that it amounted to child neglect. Other times we absolutely dispute what occurred. It is common for a child to have bruises or broken bones, but how did those bruises and broken bones occur? Perhaps you know, or perhaps you don’t. Is there another viable suspect that can have a finger pointed at them?
The definition of “neglect” in Indiana is very specific and is really the starting point for any good defense. Of course, if the prosecutor does not believe that your attorney will fight for your client all the way to trial, then you will not get the outcome you deserve.
One of our lawyers fought all the way to trial for clients who believed, for religious reasons, they did not have to take their children to the doctor or hospital. When one of their children died, the media in this high-profile case made the clients out to be a monster. They needed a champion, in spite of public sentiment. They got that champion. Even though the trial in that case did not result in victory, the clients received very lenient sentences due to the work of their attorney. At that time the attorney did not work for us, however, she carried that experience with her, along with more than 20 years of experience when we hired her a few years later.
Experience matters when defending clients accused of neglecting their dependents or any other crime.
Possession of Alcohol by a Minor
You can go to war at age 17, however you must be 21 to legally possess or consume alcohol in Indiana. Although this is the lowest level crime in Indiana (a Class C misdemeanor) and your chance of spending time in jail if convicted is close to 0%, avoiding a criminal conviction (especially at an early age) is a big deal. We know how to help you achieve that goal.
Whether it be suppressing evidence because of a bad search, making the State prove the drink you possessed or consumed actually fits a narrow statutory definition for “alcohol” or negotiating a resolution that involves no conviction (which typically comes about because of our ability and willingness to take cases to trial), you will be in good hands with us. Don’t think you have to plead guilty to a minor crime. Even misdemeanor convictions carry consequence.
Probation and Community Corrections Violation
These are big deals. We routinely practice in front of a judge who tells people she places on probation or community corrections sentences (home detention or work release): “I view probation and community corrections as a second chance. You are an adult. I’m not big on giving adults third chances.”
If you are sentenced for a crime and are being supervised by a probation department or community corrections facility, violation of any rules of those less-restrictive punishments can result in you being incarcerated for the suspended part of your sentence. But violations (positive tests for drugs or alcohol; being charged with another crime; not completing ordered programs or classes; etc.) also have to be proven.
The state has to produce evidence to prove your guilt by a preponderance of evidence (51%). This is a lower standard than “beyond reasonable doubt” at trial. Also, probation and community corrections violation hearings are held by the judge; you have no right to a jury trial in these matters. But you need not surrender and make admissions that will land you in jail or prison. Check with us. Explore your options. Fight back.
Have you ever heard of somebody being arrested for being “drunk and disorderly”? Public intoxication is a crime in Indiana. For you to be convicted of public intoxication, the state must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were: a) in a public place or a place of public resort; b) in a state of intoxication caused by your use of alcohol or a controlled substance; and that you c) endangered your own life, the life of another, breached or threatened to breach the peace or harasses, annoys or alarms another person. This is a lot to have to prove. Although this is a relatively minor crime in Indiana (a class B misdemeanor), and your chance of spending time in jail if convicted is not high, you might be able to get a better result with lawyers who fight these minor charges and are willing to take cases like this to jury trial.
A teacher who hired us found himself faced with this decision. He opted for trial by jury in a case where two Indianapolis police officers testified our client was outside a restaurant downtown (a public place) while intoxicated (both officers told the 6-member jury our client was legally intoxicated). But there was no evidence to support their claim of intoxication. However, before the jury even got to deliberate, the judge threw the case out because she was unconvinced the state had met its burden of proving our client had breached the peace.
Our client was arrested for beating his sister and breaking her arm. While being arrested he allegedly resisted arrest and the police officer broke his arm in the process. At trial, even though the officer and multiple other officers and witnesses testified that our client resisted and battered the officer, our client was found not guilty of battery on the officer (a Level 5 felony) and was also found not guilty of resisting arrest. He was also found not guilty of Level 5 felony battery on his sister for good measure. It was a most unlikely outcome. How did it happen? Experience and quick thinking while on our feet at trial. Particularly a moment in the cross-examination of the police officer. A powerful closing statement plus strategic lawyering also put the client in the position to win the case.
Resisting Law Enforcement (RLE) is a common charge. Many lawyers back down at the thought of having to defend a client against the words of a police officer. However, by taking depositions, watching video and making the right legal arguments, we may be able to win even the most difficult cases. We can’t guarantee that you will win an RLE case if you are ever charged because it is difficult. However, experience matters and so does a willingness to go to trial if the right offer is not made to resolve the case. If you are accused of RLE you may be in an uphill battle, but with the right team and the right defense you may find yourself surprised at the outcome.
One of our favorite victories involves a young man accused of multiple armed robberies. It took a team effort to gain the very unlikely verdict of “not-guilty” especially when the client took the stand and admitted to participating in the armed robbery. It is a great story filled with many examples of selfless teamwork that helped achieve the victory. No less than five lawyers in the firm were involved in preparing the case for trial. Even the paralegal in charge of assisting the lawyers had a major impact on that victory. True teamwork.
Working up robbery cases for trial requires tons of strategy, a complete knowledge of the facts and the utilization of creative defenses. Our trial reputation has also helped our clients receive favorable plea agreements in order for the prosecutor to avoid the risks of trial. If your lawyer is scared to go to trial, the chances of a favorable plea agreement are greatly diminished. Our team will fight for our clients on robbery cases and any other type of criminal case and if we don’t receive a resolution that we think our client deserved, we will take the case to trial. Teamwork and tenacity can go a long way to obtaining an unexpected result.
If you have been convicted of a crime in Indiana and are currently serving a sentence (in prison or jail, on work release, home detention or probation) you may be eligible to have your sentence modified. First, we need to determine if you are eligible, which can be complicated. Next, if you are eligible, it is important to develop a strategy that will give you the best chance of success. Our Team handles modifications regularly and we start by gathering as much information about you as we can—your story and why you deserve a modification—so that we can relay that information to the prosecutor in an effort to get an agreement for a modification.
For example, a client of ours was a budding writer who was working with a publisher and his work release restrictions were making it difficult for him to do the leg work he needed to do to further his career. He had no violations and completed all programming and had done very well, so after telling his story to the prosecutor on multiple occasions, she agreed on a plan for him to stair-step down to home detention and then Probation and he was able to successfully continue on his path to publishing his novel.
In the event that we are not able to get an agreement for a modification, we can request a hearing with the court and present your story and evidence to the Judge and explain why you are deserving of a modification. We have been very successful in convincing judges across the state to grant modification requests by showing them who our client is and why he or she is deserving of a modification. Our team can build a case that will help you get the best result possible.
More innocent people, in our opinion, are falsely accused of a sex crime than probably just about any other crime, other than domestic battery. However, it is perhaps the hardest allegation to defend. Even those who have made a mistake deserve a great defense and someone fighting for the best outcome. If your attorney has little or no experience in defending those accused of a sex crime, then you will face an uphill battle – and your freedom and reputation will be in dire jeopardy. When defending someone accused of a sex offense, even the best criminal defense attorneys may falter if they don’t have enough experience in the sex crime arena.
Our lawyers have successfully defended clients who have been accused of a wide range of sex crimes, including winning jury trials for clients accused of rape, child molestation, sexual battery and sexual misconduct with a minor. We have also convinced prosecutors not to file charges or had charges dismissed before trial for clients accused of molestation, rape and a wide range of other sex offense charges as well.
What is the secret to our firm’s success? Experience. It simply can’t be replaced. Understanding the mentality and motivation of someone making a false allegation is vital. Picking apart a forensic interview and recognizing the role of family dynamics can win these cases. Knowing how to deal with the prosecutor and the “victim’s advocate” usually assigned to assist the accuser is also a detail that gets overlooked as the case unfolds.
Suffice it to say, over the years, our experience has saved accused clients from being imprisoned and helped restore their reputations. No matter how bad the case looks on paper, we will use our experience to come up with a defense and trial strategy for your case with the goal of obtaining the best practical outcome.
Special Driving Privileges
How is public transportation where you live? Kind of nonexistent? Well, if you are convicted (or sometimes even charged) with certain criminal offenses (like DUI) or infractions (like not having valid insurance), the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles steps in an suspends your license. But I have to get to work! Ignore the suspension at your peril. If stopped, you can be charged with further traffic infractions (that may come with additional suspensions) and even crimes. Why take that risk when recent changes in Indiana law allow you to drive legally (usually with certain restrictions)?
We have many clients in need of specialized driving privileges (SDPs). What we offer them is our in-depth knowledge not only of the SDP laws, but of what is required in different counties to file the necessary paperwork and present evidence to a judge in seeking these privileges. No bus stop near you? No subway? Don’t drive illegally. Contact us to validly get back behind the wheel.
The age of consent in Indiana is 16. The actual phrase “statutory rape” is not a listed crime in Indiana. However, it may be illegal for a person in the age range of 18—20 to have sexual contact with a person 15 years or under.
A variety of defenses may be available if you are accused of having sexual contact with someone under the age of 16, including what our firm calls the “Romeo and Juliet” defense, and also having a reasonable belief that the person was 16 or older. We have fought for our clients utilizing those defenses, as well as others, with a high degree of success.
Theft is a charge that can range from what some people call “shoplifting” all the way to allegations that involve stealing money and property worth millions of dollars. Depending on the value of the items allegedly stolen, the crime of theft can be charged as a misdemeanor or a higher-level felony.
How do you defend someone accused of theft? That is a very fact intensive question. One of our clients, who had been to prison for theft convictions in the past, was facing several new felonies related to stealing cell phones and cell phone cards. In that case we made a decision to see if the lead investigator was willing to detail his investigation. We went to the police station and sat down and talked to him, tape-recording the entire conversation. It was a simple way to gain valuable information. As he talked to us, it became obvious that he had made some mistakes and assumptions that could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Fortunately, it was too late to change his answers because they were all recorded. Charges were ultimately dismissed.
In other cases, we will spend pain-staking time watching video over and over, looking for something that can give our client the strategic advantage. One case, for example, involved the felony allegation of stealing tires from the back of a business. However, while watching the video and looking at photos we saw things that turned the case around. In the end watching the video over and over again paid off as the jury found our client not guilty because of things we pointed out that the prosecutor had missed.
There are many ways to defend a theft charge. Often, we are able to point the finger at other potential suspects, for example. The one thing about having 140+ years of experience is that we have a ton of experience from which we can draw in defending cases, including theft. However, that is only part of the equation because even if you have a great game plan, it won’t matter if the prosecutor does not take you serious as a trial threat.
We expect reasonable resolutions from prosecutors for our clients. That could mean that we expect a dismissal. It could mean that we expect an acceptable plea agreement. If we don’t receive an agreeable resolution, we will go to trial. We have built our reputation on the belief that if you fight for your clients all the way to trial when necessary, good things will happen whether the client is charged with theft or any other crime.
Voluntary Manslaughter / Reckless Homicide / Involuntary Manslaughter
Sometimes when someone dies at the hand of another person or because of the actions of another, murder is not the correct criminal charge. The person may be guilty of a lesser charge, such as voluntary manslaughter, reckless homicide or involuntary manslaughter. Over the years our firm has been able to successfully argue to juries that a murder charge should be reduced to a lesser charge. We have argued that a man that beat his ex-wife over 14 times in the head with a ball-peen hammer until her skull fractured (on the day their divorce was final) was not guilty of attempted murder, but rather of reckless homicide. He was out of prison in less than seven years following the trial, rather than the 50 years he was facing when he hired our team.
Another time we convinced a jury that a man accused of shooting his brother in the head with a gun and then beating his head with a baseball bat was not guilty of attempted murder but rather of the lowest-level felony, criminal recklessness. He received a two-and-a-half year sentence vs. the 50-year sentence he was facing on the Attempted Murder charge. This victory required very creative lawyering while maneuvering through an evidentiary minefield. Another client accused of murdering his three-year-old child was plead down to involuntary manslaughter and given no prison time. There are many, many more examples of our firm utilizing Indiana’s criminal code to try to reach an outcome that will be less life-altering than murder.
Each lesser included offense has its own set of elements. Choosing whether to seek a lesser included offense or to seek a dismissal or a complete not-guilty verdict takes skill and experience. In order to even be in a position to argue for a lesser included offense, the attorney needs to have the experience to determine the proper strategy, including how much information to reveal to the prosecutor and how much to wait until trial. Our constant brainstorming sessions have been the catalyst to strategies that have been completely unexpected and successful. Having a team of experienced attorneys is instrumental when trying to obtain the best outcome practically possible on any case, but especially those involving the death of another person.
White Collar Crimes (Financial Crimes / Fraud / Forgery)
Over the years, we have represented many clients accused of stealing from their employer, defrauding the government or forgery. In one case, a client was facing several felonies for the accusation that she stole money from the insurance company for whom she worked. At trial, we took aim at the flimsy office procedures which could have allowed many people to take the money, including the owners. She was found not guilty. This victory required deposing key office personnel and understanding office protocol.
In cases involving the allegation that a client has defrauded the government, we have had successful outcomes by challenging the intent of the client trying to maneuver through the myriad of confusing paperwork and computer screens that must be filled out. Sometimes we can negotiate a great outcome by making sure the “victim” is made whole. However, if you pay too quickly, you may lose negotiation power with the prosecutor. We know of less experience lawyers making this mistake and it can really harm the client.
We have also successfully prevented forgery charges from being filed against clients as well. Defending forgery allegations may involve gaining an understanding of who had permission to use a credit card or to sign a check. This can be done through depositions or subpoenaing video from banks or stores where checks are cashed, as well as other defense tactics.
As with all criminal allegations, if the prosecutor doesn’t believe your attorney will actually take the case to trial, then your outcome will not be what it should be. It takes years of experience to know how to handle these types of cases effectively, but also a reputation for going to trial.