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Indianapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

You can defend against kidnapping claims

You headed out of town with someone you just met recently. She seemed like an interesting person, and you had a good time while you were gone. What you didn't realize is that she'd told no one she was leaving, and she used you to make it seem like she'd been kidnapped.

Now, she's claiming that you kidnapped her to make her family and friends feel guilty and to make them spend more time with her, but you know it's all a ruse. On top of that, you're now facing charges placed by her parents. She simply won't tell the truth, because she's in over her head.

Why it is important to reserve judgment in domestic abuse cases

Readers of our criminal defense blog at Patel Defense likely run across stories routinely that spotlight domestic violence incidents in which an assailant is identified, the case is heard, a jury acts and a criminal conviction is obtained.

There is a flip side to such tales, which is perhaps most notable for its underreporting, to wit: It is uncontested fact that not every abuse claim has merit. We duly note on our website -- and from long-tenured experience -- that, "In many cases, domestic violence charges are exaggerated." In some contested divorce matters, for example, "one spouse can exaggerate a domestic abuse situation to win a future custody battle."

Does anyone really believe forensics lab results are error-free?

Another day, another story.

Forensic laboratory results derived from technical analysis of genetically sampled material (think centrally DNA) are sometimes remarkable for what they can reveal. A drop of blood can solve a crime. Sampled saliva can lead to a killer. A single fingerprint can prove that a criminal suspect was here when he said he was there.

Cops using automatic license readers: Does that make you queasy?

For many years now (and, indeed, with increased momentum and stridency of opinion) in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001), a debate has raged across the country focused upon the surveillance of the general public by law enforcement agencies.

That debate has raised this most fundamental question: Where should the line be drawn across Indiana and nationally regarding the limits of surveillance? Is there a point at which mass surveillance -- online, via agencies' abilities to monitor cellphone data and through a number of essenially secretive high-tech assists that enable spying in myriad ways -- impermissibly (that is, both ethically and legally) intrudes upon citizens' privacy rights and expectations?

Police official expresses strong views on reasonableness

Even though the notion of "reasonableness" regarding citizens' treatment by law enforcement officials is a long-tenured and well-entrenched principle in the criminal law realm, most people don't have to know that to appreciate the need for reasoned behavior to be clearly on display in every police-citizen encounter.

An ex-police chief notes in a national media piece that reasonableness firmly lacked in one recent encounter where he was a principal participant.

5 reasons kids shouldn't face adult charges

Charging children as adults is a way to make sure they don't get lenient sentences for dramatic crimes. However, it ignores one crucial - and very simple - point: Kids aren't adults. Trying them as adults could open them up to more problems than it solves. Below are a few reasons that some experts believe courts shouldn't charge them as adults:

Could this happen in Indiana? One state drops BAC threshold

It's not as though most men and women in Indiana or anywhere else can imbibe more than an alcoholic beverage or two and safely assume that they are firmly under the drunk-driving threshold posited by the 0.08 blood-alcohol content standard operative across the United States.

Put another way: For most people, there's not a lot of wiggle room after even a couple of drinks have been consumed.

An often tense moment for all involved: a police traffic stop

Do we need a sort of standardized play book with recommended suggestions on how a motorist detained in a traffic stop -- and, correspondingly, a police officer who has initiated that stop -- should behave when interacting under that scenario?

There certainly seems to be a growing consensus that a how-to primer -- especially for the nation's youngest drivers -- might be a useful tool for helping to dampen stop-related tensions that can arise owing to stress that often ratchets up for all participants during the moments that a driver is detained on the side of a road.

To some, case nearly beyond belief: 10 years, still no trial?

Although a criminal defendant in Indiana or elsewhere in the United States is deprived of many rights and liberties, those restrictions are balanced under our criminal justice system by countervailing protections based upon fundamental fairness and so-called due process.

And one of the most important of all those safeguards is this: the right to a speedy trial, as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

Evidence points to skewed public views re violent crime

Crime is up, right?

That is, unimpeachable evidence will clearly show that major categories of crime, from violent offenses (e.g., murder, robbery and sex crimes) to theft-related activities such as larceny, burglary and embezzlement are consistently on the rise, correct?

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