Case Law Update

Criminal Law — “Attempt”

Delagrange v. State, No. 49S04-1304-CR-249 (Indiana Supreme Court March 18, 2014)

Delagrange walked around a mall in Indianapolis filming up skirt shots of females within the mall.  Charged with attempted child exploitation (as some of the victims were under 18), Defendant attempted to convince the Court that, because none of the photographs contained uncovered genitals (an essential element to the crime of Child Exploitation), the State couldn’t prove an essential element of his charge.  The Court explained, however, that because he was charged with attempted child exploitation, one need only take a substantial step towards the commission of a crime.  The Court reasoned that hiding a video camera under your pant leg, developing a pulley system to raise said pant leg and positioning your leg between the legs of standing women constituted an attempt.  Your writer would have to agree that that is a substantial step towards the commission of this crime.

Evidence — Stipulating to credibility does not waive Hearsay

Corbally v. State No. 41A04-1304-CR-175 (Ind.Ct.App. March 19, 2014)

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled this week that a stipulation to the credibility of a witness does not allow for the admission of prior consistent statements which would otherwise be hearsay.

Criminal Law — Felony Enhancements

Moss v. State No. 49A02-1307-CR-618 (Ind.Ct.App. March 20, 2014)

The Indiana Court of Appeals handed down an opinion yesterday that shows a cunning exercise of trial maneuvering by defense counsel.  In Moss v. State, Defendant was arrested for felony handgun possession, which was aggravated due to a prior felony possession.  Defendant then filed for PCR Alternative Misdemeanor Sentencing on his previous conviction to reduce the prior conviction to a misdemeanor.  After this was granted, Defendant argued that the Prosecution lacked a previous felony conviction to enhance the current charge and thus, the current charge must be dismissed.  The Court of Appeals agreed with this argument and overturned the trial court ruling, dismissing the felony handgun charge for want of predicate felony offense.

Quick Hits:

In re: G.P. 3/13/14

A trial court does not have discretion to appoint an attorney to a parent under Ind. Code § 31-34-4-6; Ind. Code § 31-32-4-3 does give the court discretion to appoint an attorney for a parent who fails to meet the statutory requirements for being indigent but for whom appointed counsel might still be appropriate.

Justice v. American Family Insurance 3/13/14

In an insurance policy, the phrase “limits of liability of this coverage” refers to the policy limit and not to the insured’s total damages.

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