Category: Criminal Defense

Man behind bars.

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 McNeely Stephenson will make sure[…..]

New Albany car accident lawyer

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 will[…..]

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 confinement.[…..]

New Albany Mediation Attorney

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 McNeely Stephenson, 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 settling a case. The biggest is[…..]

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 high potential for abuse, but they[…..]

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[…..]

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[…..]

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[…..]

Curious About Your Ancestors? Using That DNA Website to Learn More Could Land You in Jail

DNA evidence has long been used by Kentucky law enforcement to try to find criminal suspects. Police in California used a commercial DNA business advertised as one to help customers track down family members to help it provide enough evidence to justify arresting a suspect believed to have committed a dozen killings, 45 rapes and more than 120 burglaries, the last one committed, as far as police know, 22 years ago. The man known as the Golden State Killer and the East Area Rapist was the subject of a cold case, one where investigators couldn’t come up with enough evidence for an arrest. They got creative and used DNA evidence to arrest James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer living[…..]

A Higher Minimum Wage Could Mean Fewer People in Jail

The easier it is for those released from jail in Indiana to support themselves legitimately, the less likely it is that they will return to committing crime and end up back in jail. Part of that could be a higher minimum wage and increased earned income tax credits (EITCs), according to a recent study by Clemson University economics professor Michael Makowsky and Amanda Agan, an economics professor at Rutgers University. They estimate that for every dollar the minimum wage increases, there is a one percent decrease in those going back to crime after being released from incarceration. There’s a bigger impact in states where earned income tax credits wage subsidies are available, though only for women. Most of the discussion[…..]