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Evansville Legal Issues Blog

Suit and investigation target police driver

Police are supposed to enforce traffic laws. But, a wrongful death lawsuit and law enforcement investigation involves a South Bend police officer who crashed his cruiser into a 22-year-old mother of two daughters on July 20. The police vehicle was traveling between 90 and 95 mph, did not have a siren activated and ran a red light.

Smartphone privacy rights in criminal trials

New technology has raised questions about a person's rights to privacy and against self-incrimination. An Indiana appeals court recently addressed this in an important criminal defense case by finding that police could not compel an individual to unlock her cellphone.

Lawsuit filed for motorist drowning

Vehicle fatalities are not restricted to highway crashes. For example, the family of a 73-year-old woman recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit for her drowning death from driving her vehicle into a retention pond.

A statewide silver alert for missing persons was activated after the victim left the Bridgewater Healthcare Center in Carmel during the early morning of Feb. 27. She was found dead in her Mitsubishi Eclipse in a retention pond on March 6.

Commercial vehicle accidents changing

Technology and changing consumer tastes have modernized transportation. However, these changes have also led to different and potentially more severe commercial vehicle accidents.

Ride-sharing services expand options beyond taxis and bring convenient transportation with the ease of using a phone app. But, there have been accidents and even allegations of assaults from drivers who were unqualified, impaired or not properly vetted.

How influential is evidence in a criminal case?

Perhaps you are familiar with many of the popular TV shows that center on law and crime. Some simplify the legal process whereas others show obstacle after obstacle or dramatic trials. None is fully accurate at depicting the criminal justice system. This fact may leave you without the correct knowledge of how influential evidence really is in a criminal case.

The focus tends to be on evidence, witness testimonies, alibis and any other type of proof. But just how much of an impact do these have?

Indiana ranks in the middle in teenage distracted driving

Distracted driving has grown as a fatal danger on the nation's roads. By impairing a driver's performance and slowing down reaction times, it is a major cause of car accidents. In fact, a survey of high school students in 35 states indicated that 38 percent of teenage drivers engaged in texting or emailing at least once when they drove, according to a recent report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

The frequency of distracted driving among teenagers ranged from 26 percent in Maryland to 64 percent in South Dakota. Indiana fell roughly in the middle of the states with a 44 percent frequency. The survey involved 101,397 students over 14 years old who drove within the last 30 days.

Drugs held responsible for fatal crash

An impaired driver, under alcohol or drugs, can be fatal when they are behind the wheel. In one case, police charged a motorist with driving under the influence of marijuana for the wrongful death of a 10-year-old girl in Kokomo earlier this month.

The 20-year-old suspect was driving his 2002 Hyundai Sonata when he allegedly struck the victim. She was walking home form a nearby bus stop around 4:00 pm. He did not stop.

Security guards can hold suspects

In Indiana, private security guards can detain people for certain crimes in stores and movie theaters. But, a criminal defense against these crimes may be stronger when these guards do not follow legal procedures and respect rights.

A store owner or agent, such as a security guard, may detain a suspected shoplifter and request that they identify themselves. However, they must have probable cause to believe that person engaged in or will shoplift in the store.

Red light running deaths rise

Speeding through a yellow light and driving through a traffic light that just turned red is unacceptable, but it is common motorist behavior. Fatalities from car accidents caused by red-light-running increased by 17 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Intersections are considered one of the most dangerous places on the nation's roads. Red light running through these intersections, however, is a common part of urban crashes. Over half of the fatalities in these accidents are pedestrians, cyclists and occupants of other vehicles hit by traffic light runners. Over 800 people were killed in these accidents in 2016 compared to 696 in 2012.

How to fight for custody without badmouthing your ex

When you have kids, your whole life revolves around keeping them safe and providing for their needs. This is true, too, if you are in the midst of a divorce. You want what is best for your child, and if that means you must battle for custody, that is what you will do. When a separation gets to this point, there is likely a reason, and the animosity between parents can easily emerge in the courtroom.

It is important, though, to put tensions aside and make a rational case for your custody petition. It might seem difficult to do so when you feel tempted to badmouth your ex—and have an audience to do so—but the following are approaches you should take instead when you are making your case. 

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