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Criminal Defense In Bloomington, Indiana

Bloomington Criminal Defense Law Blog

DUI myths and the next-morning arrest

It's time to bust some DUI myths. Every year, college students get arrested for drinking and driving when they think they did what it takes to avoid legal charges. The problem is that they bought into myths, not reality, and they made critical mistakes.

You can't take this chance. A DUI is incredibly expensive. It can harm your educational opportunities. It can derail your future. You are in college because you want to better your life, and you do not want to let one mistake based on misinformation take all of that away from you.

Driving the day after can still lead to a DUI

The holiday parties are now safely behind us, but there are still plenty of reasons to go out and have drinks with friends. Therefore, it is a good idea to remind folks of the recent announcement by the American Automobile Association (AAA). The AAA wants to remind drivers that they can still get a DUI when driving the next day.

“Driving hung-over can be just as dangerous as driving after having a few drinks,” said Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs for AAA East Central.  “After a night of drinking, many people will wake up with alcohol still in their blood, or they will wake up tired and disoriented.”

Vermont Supreme Court rules against profiling

In a case that could have national implications, the Vermont Supreme Court recently ruled on police overreach. The case of Zullo v. Vermont involved a 2014 traffic stop where a young black man was pulled over while driving home from work by a state trooper. Various news reports say the officer pulled the man over for having an obstructed license plate tab. When speaking to the driver, the officer detected a faint odor of marijuana (which was decriminalized at the time) and noticed a bottle if Visine.

The driver admitted to smoking marijuana three days earlier, but did not appear intoxicated enough for the officer to conduct a sobriety test. Nevertheless, the officer used a dog trained to sniff out drugs. The man refused the officer’s request to gain access to the vehicle, so the trooper had the car impounded, leaving the man to hitchhike home. A search of the car later revealed a pipe and grinder with marijuana residue.

Elkhart police chief resigns

Police Chief Ed Windbigler recently announced his resignation. This comes in light of video of two officers under his command beating a handcuffed man who tried to spit on them. The chief downplayed the situation during a review last June. The officers were reprimanded at that time; however, they were subsequently charged with misdemeanor battery after news outlets attained a copy of the video.

Overlooking troubling behavior

Some prosecutors changing their approach

The federal government is in the middle of passing First Step, a major bi-partisan bill that will change the structure of sentencing guidelines. However, there are also reports that District Attorneys overseeing prosecutions at the local level are already on board with many of the changes. According to a recent article in the New York Times, there is a movement across the country among DAs of varying political backgrounds that are taking a restorative approach to prosecution and sentencing similar to First Step.

How this new approach works

What if I'm riding in a car with a friend who has drugs?

Imagine you're riding in a car through Bloomington. You're a passenger in your best friend's car. Unexpectedly, your friend pulls out some marijuana and starts to smoke it while stopped at a red light. You know it's a bad idea because there's a police officer in the rearward vehicle. Even worse, you don't even smoke marijuana!

The next thing you know, the officer pulls your friend over and arrests you both for marijuana possession. This is the definition of "being in the wrong place at the wrong time." It's time to get organized and defend yourself against the criminal charges.

Federal judge okay with charging sober driver with DUI

A Utah woman made national news when she was pulled over and subsequently charged with DUI after having a single low-alcohol beer at lunch in 2016. Despite the fact that she did not slur her words nor were her eyes bloodshot, Snyderville police claimed she smelled of alcohol and administered a roadside test, which the officer said she failed. She was arrested, put in handcuffs and taken in for a blood sample, which was eventually found to be .01.

Facing charges without evidence

Teens and sexting

Opinions on the prevalence of sexting seem to be all over the map. However, one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that it is becoming increasingly frequent, particularly among teens. Defining sexting as “sharing sexually explicit images, videos or messages through electronic means,” a team of child development specialists examined the data from 122 studies and determined that 39 of them were credible. From there they drew some remarkable conclusions.

By the numbers: nine issues regarding teen texting

New OMVI equipment but the same problems persist

The Indiana State Police recently announced the purchase of 777 portable breath test devices. However, this is the just the latest of an ongoing wave of more 2,600 portable devices purchased by law enforcement across the state since 2017.

Known to be more effective than past devices, one notable difference in the new Alco-Sensor FSTs is that they include passive sniffers that can detect alcohol in the air around a person or in an open container. With the holiday season now officially in full swing, this means that law enforcement will be able to better detect alcohol on drivers, those attending large public events or people simply out with friends around town.

DeVos announces new sexual misconduct protocols for schools

We initially wrote back in September about Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s push to change how colleges and universities address sexual misconduct on college campuses. The new plan has now been released to go through a general comment period, which could bring more changes. The general thrust is that there would be additional protections to the accused students and clearer guidelines about what types of cases would be investigated by campus officials. According to reports, these changes would fix a system that failed students by allowing the assumption of guilt before due process. 

Under the new plan

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

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