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Bloomington Criminal Defense Law Blog

Does Indiana law incentivize drunk drivers to flee the scene?

Drunk driving is always a risky business. You might leave the bar after a few too many drinks and manage to make it home without getting caught. However, you might get pulled over and arrested, ending up with a suspended license, a few hundred dollars in fines and even serving up to a year in jail. Worse still, you run the risk of getting into an accident—and injuring or even killing someone else. If you kill another person while intoxicated behind the wheel, you’re now facing far more serious felony charges.

The worst-case outcome of drunk driving destroys lives and is extremely serious. In many states, if a driver severely injures or kills another person and then flees the scene, the penalties get even stiffer. However, an unusual loophole in Indiana’s law can actually lead to weaker penalties for a drunk driver who flees the scene after a hit and run.

Prior DUI Convictions May Have Cost Messer A Senate Seat

There are many life-changing consequences to getting convicted of a DUI. U.S. Senate candidate Luke Messer opted not to publicly disclose the fact that he had twice been convicted for driving under the influence before running for public office. Ironically, initially Messer filled a seat that was vacated in 2003 by former State Representative Roland Stine, who had died a month earlier because he was a victim in a drunk driving accident.

DUI Convictions Once Again Hobbles Candidacy

Drug and alcohol use can lead to disorderly conduct charges

College can be a wild experience. It’s a time when young adults live on their own and test the limits of their new-found freedom. This is perfectly fine, as long as it does not involve using drugs or abusing alcohol.

But sometimes college students do choose to use drugs or alcohol, and the combination of youthful behavior with these substances leads to bad choices. In some cases, it can even lead to criminal charges of disorderly conduct.

What drugs do college students use the most?

You went to college, even if it now feels like another life as your own child heads off for that first semester. You know what it's like. Maybe you and your spouse even met in college, your relationship blossoming around exams and thesis papers.

You remember how often students, both on campus and off, used drugs. You worry that your own child may run into legal trouble. You start wondering what drugs students use today and how likely your son or daughter is to encounter them.

A DUI could haunt your career for decades

Knocking back a few drinks with friends can be a lot of fun—until someone decides to drink and drive. Many college students don’t stop to consider the long-term consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Getting behind the wheel of a car can be a spur-of-the-moment decision, but the consequences of that decision can last much, much longer.

Some drivers realize too late that a DUI can have a long-lasting impact on their careers. For example, one Indiana congressman is currently experiencing the consequences of a DUI nearly 15 years after his conviction.

FDA recommends first cannabis-based medicine

As the stigma surrounding marijuana decreases, many people are looking to the drug as a potential solution for many medical conditions. Patients have smoked, ingested and topically applied cannabis and cannabis-derived products in an attempt to treat medical conditions ranging from chronic pain to glaucoma. One cannabis derivative called cannabidiol, or CBD, has garnered major support—and controversy.

CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical that is found in cannabis and is typically ingested as an oil. Its supporters say that it is a promising treatment for a variety of ailments. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agrees: The administration has made its first-ever recommendation for a drug that is derived from cannabis.

Indiana counties to test nearly all rape kits in backlog

When a sexual assault victim goes to the hospital, they have the option of undergoing an exam in which medical staff collect any evidence of the assault. Then, this evidence is placed in a rape kit. These kits help law enforcement apprehend, arrest and prosecute the perpetrator. One of the most common uses of rape kits is to test a suspect’s DNA against the DNA evidence from the kit.

But many states, including Indiana, have a problem when it comes to testing rape kits. Testing the evidence can be time-consuming and expensive; sometimes, the kits do not contain evidence that is useful in solving the crime. As a result, the state of Indiana has a backlog of 2,560 rape kits that have not yet been tested.

Studies suggest that legal marijuana could curb opioid crisis

There are two drugs that have dominated the news cycle lately: Marijuana, and opioids. With support for marijuana expanding across the country, the drug has become a hot-button issue. Several states have legalized or decriminalized it; others have relaxed their standards for medicinal use, or passed laws to allow medical cannabis. As for opioids, it is seemingly impossible to ignore the constant reports about the nation’s ongoing opioid crisis.

Marijuana and opioids have recently made the news again, but for a very different reason. Two major studies suggest that medical marijuana could be used to combat the widespread opioid crisis. The data suggest that opioid prescriptions are lower in states that allow medical marijuana.

Texting about drugs could have legal consequences

Texting seems like a fairly private activity. Unless you are sending a group text, anything that you write will be read only by the recipient. Right?

In fact, electronic devices like cell phones are being used as evidence in criminal cases more and more often. This means that law enforcement officers may very well be able to read any text messages that you have been sending. And text messages that include incriminating evidence about drugs are fair game.

What are the legal consequences of underage drinking in Indiana?

Some people take a very liberal view of underage drinking, chalking it up to a rite of passage most high school or college students experience. Experimenting with alcohol may be relatively common, but that doesn't mean it is a minor concern. Even if the teens involved avoid major mistakes like driving under the influence or getting into fights, there is always the potential for criminal consequences.

The legal drinking age is 21, which means that anyone under that age who has a drink (other than a sip of wine for religious ceremonies) breaks state laws. Having a few drinks with friends when they don't intend to drive may not seem like a potentially life-changing decision, but it can be.

For experienced help in criminal defense, including DUI defense, call Shapiro & Lozano at 812-336-8192.

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