Should I Refuse to Take a Test If I’m Accused of Driving Drunk?

Indiana law is written to punish those refusing to take breath, blood or urine tests to determine if they were driving under the influence, or, as Indiana law puts it, operating while intoxicated (OWI). You may feel the punishment for refusing to submit to a test is the lesser of two evils compared to what may happen if you’re charged with OWI. But that may not be the case. Indiana law requires suspects arrested of OWI to take a breath, blood, or urine test if they’re asked to. This is based on the state’s “implied consent” law. It states that those lawfully arrested for driving under the influence have shown their consent to testing by being on an Indiana public[…..]

Jails Shouldn’t Be the Psychiatric Hospitals of Last Resort

Indiana state psychiatric hospitals used to be full of people who needed help. But that help varied from person to person, and many were “locked away” when effective treatments could have been used in much less restrictive surroundings. Due to lawsuits and changes in the law, people have much more control over their treatment and these state hospitals have largely closed. An unintended result is that many who are mentally ill are convicted of crimes and land in jail, where they’re eventually treated. This is a huge waste of human potential and government resources. Prioritizing treatment, not incarceration, will improve public safety and help reduce costs of local and state jails that are straining government budgets, according to an editorial[…..]

Why Doesn’t the Prosecution Stop After a Case Unravels?

Prosecutors are supposed to seek justice, which, depending on the circumstances, includes dropping charges against a defendant after it becomes clear that the wrong person has been arrested for the crime. Most prosecutors are wise enough to understand when mistakes were made and do the right thing, but other times innocent defendants are sent to prison because prosecutors don’t want to admit mistakes or they’ve staked their reputation on getting a conviction in a case, whether or not the guilty party is on trial. Elkhart, Indiana, police in 1996 were called to a home after an armed robbery took place. One of the assailants shot and nearly killed one of the occupants. They were told that two robbers had broken[…..]

Parental Alienation: Using Your Kids as Pawns in Your Battle Against the Other Parent

The use of children as weapons in an ugly war between parents is a common issue that family law attorneys deal with. Either their own clients engage in it or the other parent is playing emotional games with children to seek revenge for a divorce or ending a relationship. It’s a no win situation for the parents and the children. Parental alienation can happen to any couple, no matter where they live, how wealthy or poor they may be. A famous case of parental disputes involves Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The two are going through a divorce that Jolie filed for in 2016. The couple has six children. Jolie claimed she wanted an end to the relationship to protect[…..]

Alexa, Don’t Snitch on Me

First there were PCs, then came laptops, cell phones and smartphones, and now we have digital devices. Keyboards are outdated, because now you can talk to your device and tell it what to do. For that to work, the device needs a microphone and a way to store recordings, like on a cloud computer system — which could be accessed by others, such as Indiana or federal law enforcement officers with warrants. Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2015 was the setting where a potential murder scene had a number of electronic devices recording all kinds of information that the police could find helpful, including a digital assistant with a microphone, reports the Marshall Project. James Bates called 911 on the Sunday morning[…..]

Mistakes to Avoid When Getting a Divorce

An Indiana divorce could be a complicated and emotional process, and there are things you can do to make the situation worse. They are completely avoidable. Divorcing couples need to think things through and not respond emotionally, two things that can be difficult for some people. You may be angry, upset and feel the life you planned for yourself is being robbed from you, but it doesn’t justify making these mistakes. DO NOT . . . Use your child as a pawn: “Parental alienation” is an all-too-common problem for divorcing parents. Kids are used as pawns in the divorce battle and directly or indirectly asked to choose sides, which is a no-win situation for a child. Degrading your spouse or[…..]

Considerations for Postnuptial and Prenuptial Agreements

An Indiana divorce can drain you of energy, emotion and dollars. Two potential ways to prevent or lessen those losses are prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. They are agreements made between the parties either before (prenuptial) or after (postnuptial) they’re married. These agreements can spell out how various issues (but not child custody or support) will be resolved in case the parties end their marriage. Without one of these agreements, under Indiana law all property brought into a marriage or acquired during it is joined together and will be subject to division in a divorce. Under Kentucky law, property is deemed marital or nonmarital. The division of property starts with a presumption of an even split; then one party can argue[…..]

Drug Use Worse in Single Parent Families and Those of Low Income

The destruction caused by the use of illegal drugs isn’t felt uniformly across Indiana, Kentucky or the rest of the United States. A recent study shows differences aren’t based on geography but on social and economic factors such as the divorce rate and the availability of medical care from government sources. According to Vice, the study by Syracuse University researchers, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, found: There’s no significant difference between rural and urban drug overdose rates. High rates of divorce and a greater share of single-parent households were most connected to counties with higher rates of drug deaths. The second biggest contributing factors were economic indicators, including how many people are dependent on the mining industry[…..]

Will the Elderly Have Their Own #MeToo Movement?

Millions of elderly Americans suffer some form of abuse every year. While women suffering sexual harassment at work were able to publicize the abuse they’ve had to suffer, older Americans largely suffer in silence. In an effort to bring attention to the issue, the United Nations has named June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. There are many types of elder abuse and victims may have to deal with more than one at the same time, according to the National Council on Aging. Physical abuse: inflicting physical pain or injury. Sexual abuse: Touching, fondling, intercourse or other sexual activity with an older adult if he or she can’t understand what’s going on, doesn’t consent, is threatened or forced to[…..]

Has the Time for Federal Criminal Justice Reform Come and Gone?

It seems like it was only yesterday that the federal criminal justice system started inching toward a better path, away from filling countless prisons with people convicted of non-violent crimes. But the momentum seems to have slowed, and many reformers are wondering if there’s still hope on the horizon for meaningful changes. It looks as if we are failing to heed Albert Einstein’s warning that “[i]nsanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result.” However, we aren’t necessarily doomed to repeat the past. It’s worth taking the time to consider why the conversation over criminal justice is just as relevant as it’s ever been. Many Advocates are Fighting the Good Fight… Criminal justice reform[…..]