The U.S. Bill of Rights is intended to protect the rights of Americans in criminal prosecutions. However, some of its guarantees do not apply to the states. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing whether states should incorporate all of these rights. Its ruling, expected in June, could greatly impact criminal defense rights in Indiana.
Any criminal conviction can have long-term consequences. Even though a criminal defense can reduce charges, a person may still face catastrophic financial and personal penalties. In one case pending before the US Supreme Court, a person a lost his $42,000 Land Rover under Indiana's civil forfeiture laws because of his conviction for a $225 drug transaction that did not lead to imprisonment.
Cellphones records can be very persuasive in a criminal trial in Indiana. Therefore, they can present a significant challenge when one is establishing criminal defense strategy. However, constitutional protections apply to this evolving technology.
Most people in Evansville have been pulled over by police while driving, or know someone who has. Sometimes these traffic stops lead to criminal charges. In such situations, one's criminal defense strategy often depends on what happened when the police stopped the defendant in their vehicle and searched for drugs and other evidence. The U.S. Supreme Court recently expanded constitutional protections by ruling that people who borrow rental cars from a friend or family member generally have the same protections as the car's authorized driver during police searches. Prior to this ruling, police could pull over rent-a-car drivers who commit a minor traffic violation, because they could then search the car if that driver was not listed on the rental application.
A criminal record can have long-term consequences, such as blocking access to certain jobs. Although every citizen has the right to mount a strong criminal defense, 1.19 million people in Indiana or one in four adults in this state have an arrest or conviction record.
Prosecution and police must respect a defendant's constitutional rights regardless of the seriousness of the criminal charge. The Indiana Supreme Court is reviewing a case where the criminal defense attorneys claimed that police and prosecutors engaged in misconduct.
An admission of guilt may have serious consequences for a criminal defense. Indiana requires the police to record these admissions or confessions if they are made at a place of detention, such as a police station or any other building owned or operated by law enforcement.
Evansville police arrested two occupants of an apartment in the area after they allegedly found several different types of drugs in the apartment unit, including evidence of an operation involving the growing of marijuana. Several drug charges are now pending against the apartment's occupants.