Category: Criminal Defense

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[…..]

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[…..]

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[…..]

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[…..]