Sam Shapiro Law Office
Criminal Defense In Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington Criminal Defense Law Blog

Law enforcement increasing the speed of processing with e-warrants

The routine for pulling over a driver has been similar for decades. That is now changing. While Marion County was the first in Indiana to use e-warrants back in 2016, 45 states now utilize e-warrants, which are sent digitally during the initial stop to a waiting judge to approve or deny.

For better or worse, e-warrants considerably speed up the process of getting a search warrant. Gone is the time-honored tradition of law enforcement agencies drafting up a warrant detailing the reason for the search, and then the officers would go down to the courthouse looking for a judge to sign or deny it. The officer then would go back to the crime scene to gather additional evidence.

The consequences of cocaine possession in Indiana

At Indiana University, the manufacture, distribution and use of illegal drugs is prohibited. Many Indiana college students, unfortunately, face educational and legal consequences after being found in possession of drugs. It is important that students prioritize their education and comply with the law at all times.

If you are a student who has been found in the possession of cocaine in Indiana, it is important to take this seriously. Many students delay taking action because they do not want to tell their parents about the charges.

The age of consent and the law in Indiana

The age of consent is defined here in Indiana and in many places as the age at which an individual can legally and competently consent to sexual activity. The listed age here is 16 years old, but there are variables involved. Indiana, for example, has a “Romeo and Juliet law” that also allows individuals ages 14 and 15 years old to willingly engage in sexual activity as long as the other partner is no more than four years older.

Violating the age of consent

What Michigan’s marijuana laws mean for Indiana residents

Michigan voters approved the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes in the 2018 election. While the state is still sorting out some of the infrastructure involved, such as the regulation of the businesses, Indiana residents have already started going north to legally buy pot.

Important facts to remember

OWI and background checks

Those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs face many challenges. One of the biggest is looking for a job when the applicant has an OWI or other criminal charges on their record. While the Indiana House Bill 1033 protects those who are not convicted or otherwise have their records sealed or expunged, it is a fact that driver not convicted is still enough for those with commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) to be negatively affected.

Employers will often do background checks on current employees or applicants, which can reveal a charge or conviction. Those typically checked here in Indiana include the following:

New study in favor of expungement

College students are generally not minors when they head of to IU or another school. This, of course, does not mean that they will always act like a grown human being who makes judicious decisions. This is particularly the case for those living away from home for the first time.

This means that they may run afoul of the campus police or local law enforce for doing something they normally would not do, take a drug they normally would not take or drive under the influence.

Your car could determine if you have too much to drink

Self-driving cars are now a reality, if only for a select few. However, Volvo has put a twist on the concept since it announced that it will use an in-vehicle cameras to monitor the behavior of the driver starting in 2020 models. If the driver appears to be distracted by their device or driving while intoxicated, the car will literally pull over and park itself.

Volvo already has a reputation for building some of the safest cars available. Plus, the car maker’s home country of Sweden is famous for DUI laws and enforcement. However, this could cause concern among privacy advocate and others who do not like the idea of machine or device telling them what to do.

What to do if you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI

Police officers are always on the lookout for drivers showing signs of intoxication. If you are pulled over for suspicion of DUI, it's natural to be nervous. It's also likely that you'll make a mistake, especially if you've never been in this position before.

There are several important steps to take if you're pulled over for suspicion of DUI in Indiana:

  • Quickly move to the shoulder of the road: You don't want to give the officer reason to believe you're trying to get away. Put on your hazard lights, slow down and move to safety. If the shoulder of the road is not an option, continue driving until you reach a safe place, such as a parking lot.
  • Remain courteous: You don't have to be overly friendly with the officer, but you want to treat them with respect. Talking back or explaining your legal rights will not go over well.
  • You don't have to incriminate yourself: Even though you want to respect the officer, it doesn't mean you have to incriminate yourself. The 5th Amendment gives you the right to remain silent.
  • Being honest probably won't help: For example, telling the officer that you "only had one drink" isn't going to do much to help you. In fact, it's likely to work against you, as the officer now knows you have alcohol in your system.
  • Keep your cool: This is hard to do, especially if you are put under arrest, but it's important. This allows you to pay attention to everything that's happening. It also helps avoid additional charges, such as resisting arrest. Once again, remember that you have the right to remain silent.

Is marijuana legalization coming to Indiana?

Advocates for the legalization medical and recreational marijuana have made inroads across the United States. There are currently 33 states and Washington, DC that allow medical marijuana and 11 (including DC) that legalized cannabis for recreational use. As many know, Indiana does not make either of these lists, but there was some optimism at the beginning of the 2019 legislative session that there could be some changes to laws regarding marijuana.

With the exception of Kentucky, Indiana is surrounded by states that eased up their laws regarding marijuana use:

Should drug dealers be charged with homicide?

The opioid epidemic is all around us with 47,000 deaths in 2017 tied to opioid-related deaths. Whether it is hardscrabble areas that are economically depressed, affluent suburbs with ritzy country clubs or college campuses like IU, drug addiction has wrecked the lives of many.

Preying on the addicted

For experienced help in criminal defense, including DUI defense, call Sam Shapiro Law Office at 812-336-8192.

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