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Gregg Stark’s Answers

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  • Maximum time for 2nd theft charge in a year and a half, Im in Indiana

    I was recently arrested for theft and charged with a class D felony. I was just arrested a year a ago last May and charged with conversion.I am currently on probation for last years arrest and the Pros has set a motion for Violation of Probation. ...

    Gregg’s Answer

    It is unfortuntately never possible with certainty to express what will happen to you in a fact pattern such as that you have presented. What can be disclosed is the available penalties that can be utilized by a sentencing judge in Indiana.

    This will actually be your third theft related conviciton if found guilty from what you have stated. This is significant from the perspective of a prosecutor who will consider a potential pre trial resolution with your Indiana theft attorney. Please note that the following response does not include the aggravating factor of this most recent offense allegedly taking place while on probation for the same calssification of crime in Indiana.

    In the state of Indiana if convicted of a class D Felony you are subject to a minimum of six months in jail to a potential three years within the Department of Corrections in Indiana. (sentence will be cut in half with what is called "good time credit") However, if there is any glimmer of hope for you if the case can be proven, it is that you apparently do not face what is known as a "non suspendible" sentence. In other words on the present class D Felony had your prior felony convicition occured within seven years of this present theft, six months in jail with an actual time of 90 days is the minimum you would be facing on this conviction alone as a matter of law. If more than seven years have elapsed, anywhere from zero days to three years imprisonment is potentially possible not including the potential probation violation.

    As in all cases I would strongly suggest contacting an experienced attorney who handles cases involving theft or shoplifting in Indiana as your best immediate strategy when seeking the concrete answers you need. First and foremost it is essential to examine whether the allegations against you can even be proven in a court of law. If your attorney can leverage potentially weak evidence to your advantage it is entirely possible that your present charge may be reduced. If so, you may be able to be placed back into the misdemeanor category for sentencing consideration.

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  • When plea drops drastically is this a sign of a weak case?

    Case has been ongoing for 15 months.Plea has always been 10 yrs do 5.Now the day the motion to suppress and motion to dismiss is to be filed, prosecutor offers plea of 4 do 2.There are 8 charges in this case. All felonies but 2 misdemeanors and a...

    Gregg’s Answer

    Typically I would have to believe that this is an encouraging sign that can possibly signal a prosecutor's willingness to acknowledge potential weaknesses in the state's case. However, with that being said, it is important to not potentially "overplay your hand" in holding out for even more concessions that may never be forthcoming at the risk of losing the deal being offered.

    Plea proposals always have to keep in mind the potential risks and benefits of a possible contested trial or adverse judicial pre trial ruling. That analysis on the day a motion to dismiss has been filed could be a recognition of a potential adverse ruling.

    I would surmise that this offer may very well be contingent on acceptance prior to the judicial ruling. If the ruling goes against you, it is likely that all or most leverage now available to you could be lost.

    At this crucial time open communication with your defense attorney is critical as it is he or she who should be most familiar with all aspects of your legal defense and can best assist you on whether to risk a ruling on the motion as opposed to strongly considering the pre trial options that have been drastically reduced. This can be an excruciatingly difficult decision with no "correct" answer as at the end of the day it is only the risk of trial and an ultimate jury or judicial determination that will provide a final answer in the wake of contested litigation.

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  • I am on probation for an owi and im being charged with theft of weight loss pills in indiana what should i expect to happen?

    before the owi i had never been in trouble before. also the owi and theft were in different countys, will this affect the outcome or any probation voilations?

    Gregg’s Answer

    My answer is assuming that you were on probation for the owi conviction within the state of Indiana. If this is the case, then you face two potential outcomes based upon the potential penalties available to both respective courts.

    For an Indiana owi conviction your sentencing order should spell out how much suspended jail time is available to the sentencing court for any violation of probation. However, before considering an admission for such a violation thoughtful discussion must be taken with an Indiana criminal defense attorney as to the strength of any theft accusation presently charged against you.

    If the theft can be proven, it will be necessary to determine whether the theft charge will be filed as a felony or as a misdemeanor conversion charge. Whether initially charged as a felony or not, if such a case can likely be proven, considerable thought should be given to determining whether the charge can later be reduced to a misdemeanor while the probation violation penalties are properly addressed by your attorney.

    As formerly posted, the court does have the abiity to arrest you while these cases are pending with the 15 day hold previously mentioned. It is hoped that pro active intervention on the part of an Indiana defense attorney can either eliminate this hold or reduce it so as to allow you the freedom necessary to best work with experienced defense counsel.

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  • He caught third dui while still on probation for second dui....hit a man on bicycle...can a lawyer help him? just waste my money

    Goes to court on monday for initial hearing been in jail since accident for fifteen day violation then bond set too high so he is staying there til court...what will happen at initial hearing with just a public defender?

    Gregg’s Answer

    If funds can be utilized for a top dui attorney in Indiana this is the type of case where the expenditure must be strongly considered. Not only is this person facing a potential felony causing serious bodily injury charge but also a violation of probation punishment for the second Indiana dui conviction.

    As if this is not concerning enough, as an Indiana dui lawyer what would be of foremost concern is the filing of what is labeled a "Habitual Substance Offender Enhancement" (HSO). An HSO is not a new charge but an ehancement to the dui charges filed and allows for an additional 3-8 years of mandatory imprisonment for one with a third dui conviction in addition to the underlying dui conviction. This reality gives prosecutors an incredible amount of leverage in the state of Indiana for to take the risk of trial is to face the prosepect of the imposition of these mandatory sentencing requirements presently existing in Indiana.

    Depending upon the county and even the specific court within an Indiana county, the typical custom as to HSO filings and negotiating options may be far different. Where one county may rarely file an HSO enhancement, others may proceed with such a decision as a matter of course. However, there may be issues as to whether an hso filing can proceed where an enhancement to a felony has already been taken into account for having a prior dui within five years. The problem with this case is that the state prosecutor could have the option of filing the offense a felony based upon an alleged injury to the man on the bicycle and not only due to the third dui within five years of the second.

    As one can see this is an incredibly complicated area of law where a skilled navigation of the best alternatives can often only be best explained by an experienced dui attorney in Indiana based upon the unique fact pattern presented. If funds are available for qualified counsel my own take on the situation is that this is a case for an experienced dui counsel as soon as possible.

    At the initial hearing the charges will be presented, future court dates will be set and a request for a public defender may be initiated so as to determine whether one qualifies for such appointment of counsel if desired.

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  • Could a lawyer look over a criminal case to see if modifications could be made in sentences when a man is already incarcerated?

    My Godson pled guilty of a murder in 2009. He is incarcerated in Indiana. I have the records from the lawyer who had his case. I feel it is worth reviewing but don't know the laws about changing his sentence, or helping him at all. I just wonder...

    Gregg’s Answer

    Your question can be answered in one of two ways. The first being if you wish to appeal the conviciton itself, the second if you wish to attempt to change or "modify" the sentence.

    Unfortunately, at this juncture in Indiana legal deadlines may be working against you in either of these two pursuits. For example, in Indiana in order to maintain a valid appeal what is called a "praecipe" for transcript must be filed within 30 days of the sentencing. As the conviction was for murder, it is my strong asumption that the appeals process has probably run its course in light of your inquiry. If for some reason the proper timelines for appeal were not followed, you may have an appellate lawyer in Indiana investigate whether the delay should not count against the Defendant to allow a subsequent appellate review to proceed despite any deadlines.

    In the case of a modification of sentence in the state of Indiana, unless specifically adressed and permitted within the specific terms of a plea agreement, a modification of sentence cannot be heard by the judge without the authorized consent of the state prosecutor if more than one year has elapsed from the sentencing date. This does not mean that a capable defense attorney cannot look into convincing the assigned prosecutor to agree or allow the modification request to be heard. However, a legal entitlement to proceed on this basis does not exist in Indiana past these deadlines without former negotiated provisions or agreements by the parties to allow for such a modification request to be considered.

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  • I am in probation for a traffic violation (hit and run) and has served 7 month of my probation period so have 5 months?

    Last week I was arrested for theft charge. I was wondering what would happen because I got a letter saying Tippecanoe wants to revoke my probation and the charge is in Hendricks county? Is it possible to not do any jail time or anything except lon...

    Gregg’s Answer

    If put on probation in the state of Indiana, it is almost always universally the case that any time not served in jail for the hit and run will be what is called, "suspended." As a condition of probation, a suspended sentence is utilized as a means with which the sentencing judge can enforce his or her order related to terms and conditions of your probation. By reviewing your sentencing order, you will be able to determine how much incarceration the judge has available to incarcerate you should the violation of probation be proven by a "preponderance of evidence" standard within Indiana.

    Some probation violations that are not new violations of law are more prone to enable an exeperienced defense attorney to provide alternatives to incarceration. Assuming a violation can be proven through the validity of the theft charge in Hendricks county, it may be the case that the key question will not be whether jail time will be imposed but how much time will likely be served and whether alternatives to extended incarceration within the window of your suspended sentence can potentially be served through possible home detention and/or work release.

    Of course each case has issues all of their own. It goes without saying that I would advise a prompt and thorough discussion with a criminal defense attorney of your choosing as soon as possible to determine with more specificity the best options that may be available to you.

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  • A person that I know stole a key to my house and has been coming in and stealing from me. If I catch them on camera will they pr

    prosecute them? I know I can just change the locks but I want the to get into trouble for it ! I just realized the key on my son bookbag is missing when he started back to school.

    Gregg’s Answer

    There is no standard way to answer your question. If you have video evidence of a break in and identification can be made, I believe it reasonable to expect that a prosecutor in your county will prosecute both on your behalf and that of society's.

    With that being said, it is always up to the reviewing prosecutor within your county to assess the evidence and the merits of furthering the prosecution. It may prove to be in your best interests to work with your local police or sherriff's department in conjunction with the prosecutor as to how to proceed in order to provide the most complete evidentiary roadmap that the prosecutor might request to enhance the chance for prosecution.

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  • My husband is on probation for poss of controlled substance under 1 gram. Was arrested for dui. Will that revoke his probation.

    He recieved 10 yrs probation And has been on it for 5. No other problems until now

    Gregg’s Answer

    At the outset please let me make clear that I am an Indiana DUI lawyer and have never practiced within the state of Texas. With that said, one must understand that conditions of probation are ordered to be complied with and not violated no matter the time lag involved.

    Customarily, new arrests while on probation as opposed to violations for failure to pay court costs fully etc. are unfortunately usually considered the most serious violations and not as easily discarded.

    Although difficult, it is always my attempt to purt forth all postives on behalf of a client in an attempt to resume the course of probation with as little interruption as possible. However, as previously suggested, although not impossible, discarding a potential violation of probation based upon the commission of a dui offense may prove to be a difficult challenge for even the most well connected of dui defense attorneys.

    In such a circumstance I believe the general goal will not necessarily be to have the violation of probation allegation dismissed (as even an arrest itself in many jurisdictions is cause for a valid probation violation) but to determine whether imprisonment can be avoided through the skillful presentment of legal alternatives by your dui attorney that can enable your husband to resume probation in as convenient a manner as possible. I wish you the best of luck.

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  • I have fed chrges and my atty has wrkd on plea but i still feel like it is excessive. can i talk to the U.S proscutor?

    Im being charged with a white collar crime and represented by an atty but not sure if my plea is the best for me. I thnk the atty did a good job but i dnt knw if but I have info on some scumbags I dont really care for about much more serious stuf...

    Gregg’s Answer

    The attorney client relationship is always a critical one in furthering your best legal interests and protection. If at any time you believe that your attorney is not working in your best interests, pro active action as soon as possible must always be considered.

    Timing in considering a change of attorney is vitally important. Depending upon the timeframe and/or proximity to trial, you may not have the option of retaining the ideal defense attorney of your choosing. This is so due to the reality thay judges must ensure that your case is brought to a just conclusion as soon as possible without what the presiding judge would consider unreasonable delay.

    I can assure you that most any experienced criminal defense attorney nationwide would counsel you that speaking to the us attorney assigned to your prosecution without the aid of an attorney is potentially a grave mistake.

    As opposed to such a desperate course of action, I would first suggest communication with your present attorney to get a full accounting of all options. Following such a frank and open discussion in most circumstances I believe that your gut will tell you whether it is potentially time to move on from your present defense attorney if still reasonably possible.

    The best defense attorneys will not tell you what you are looking to hear. Rather, they will be candid with you and make sure that you fully understand the potential consequences of each and every course of action. Try to make sure before considering a change in attorney that you are not punishing the present counsel you have with providing you the honest assessment about your legal defense that you may need to hear.

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  • My 14 year old son got caught by the police smoking marijuana. He has to attend court. What can we expect?

    He has not been in trouble before. What is the process from here on. Should we hire an attorney?

    Gregg’s Answer

    Since your son is a juvenile offender consider yourself fortunate. Depending upon the county in Indiana if your son has no prior involvement with the court system his case may be able to be handled through terminology often called an "informal adjustment." In plain english this means that the case could ultimately be dismissed and not referred to court upon the satisfaction of certain conditions.

    If the case is brought before juvenile court and your son has no prior criminal involvement it would be my hope that drug counseling would serve as the major component of any criminal penalty. Having said that, I have unfortunately witnessed too many unduly harsh juvenile sentences, especially in smaller Indiana counties that are more prone to resort to punitive measures than true rehabilitative efforts at getting your son on the right track.

    Please know that in juvenile court in Indiana, as a parent, the child's home life can often be examined in an effort to determine whether his residential environment could be a contributing factor toward any delinquent behavior. As a result, it is important to recognize that if the allegations are to be admitted, that all parents demonstrate a willingness to work with the juvenile court to further the child's best interests and not be percieved as an obstacle to the child's well being.

    As each case and county is different, I would strongly encourage you to consult with an experienced juvenile court attorney in the Newburgh area who can best advise you.

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