Presently in deliberation before the Indiana state legislature is major proposed legislation that can potentially alter the course of how dui cases are defended. The existing Indiana criminal code statutes are the mechanism by which all dui laws and penalties are applied within the state. Any change in the codes can therefore impact not only the laws involved, but more significantly the possible penalties enforceable for certain crimes and offenses.
The present Indiana criminal code had not contemplated such major restructuring since 1977. It is believed that the present action of the legislature to consider going beyond mere tinkering with individual statutes is a way to decrease the ever exploding prison population within the state.
Lawmakers with the foremost goal of budgetary constraints and the demands of constituents are looking to hold down the costs of government in whatever way they can. Decreasing the potential prison/jail population and the taxpayer funding that is required to house such individuals is thought to be a major impetus for this present movement in altering the structure of criminal penalties in Indiana.
How this new effort and proposed recodification of Indiana criminal law will impact dui/owi cases in Indiana is at present not at all clear. The center of the proposed legislative activity seems to be on felony punishments and violent criminal offenses. Additionally, being considered is expanded felony classifications that can more surgically tailor a criminal punishment to the specific facts of a crime and punishment one is being sentenced for.
As the immediate action is concentrating on a reduction within Indiana’s prison population in regard to felony convictions, dui lawyers in Indiana will be focused on what effect such new legislation may have upon the rehabilitative options that may be broadened/and or restricted as a result of any change in laws as applied to felony dui defendants.
Otherwise upstanding members of our communities with gainful employment, child rearing responsibilities or a potentially productive future must not be impacted adversely by any proposed changes such legislative action may bring in the future.
As a dui attorney, my colleagues and I will vigilantly scrutinize the course of all future action so as to ensure that productive members of society with alcohol/drug dependency issues are not further limited in resuming a productive life by the limiting of sentencing options. At this stage and with history as a guide, I am not always confident that the legislature will not take it upon itself to draft recodified laws that needlessly revert back on the side of punitive sanctions in other areas in return for lessened opportunity for imprisonment.
Within the context of possible dui legislation I will analyze with specific interest whether or not a punitive trade off involving alcohol testing apparatus monitoring affixed to vehicles will become more of a referred option. Such alternative punitive measures to jail or imprisonment may become more standard as a means to pacify lawmakers uncomfortable with the notion of limiting incarceration opportunities within dui prosecutions.
The above referenced legislative activity will allow those such as myself to once again seize the opportunity to utilize any new codifications of law to allow those who seek my help to best help themselves, their families and in turn society at large through a most logical and reasonable working of the future legislative criminal code within the state of Indiana.
Feel free to call me, Attorney Gregg J. Stark, with questions. I will do my best to keep all impacted well informed as to any continued developments in this area as well as alerting my colleagues to proposed draconian measures to combat drunk driving that must be challenged before enacted. Should lawyers need any input from me by way of a more comprehensive discussion please feel free to contact me at any time.