DUI / OWI – Driving Under the Influence / Operating While Intoxicated
A DUI arrest is always an unexpected and potentially embarrassing situation. When faced with a DUI, it is normal for someone to wonder what is going to happen next. How will a DUI effect my job, my license, and my life, are all natural concerns. After all, drunk driving is a politically and emotionally charged crime, and even first time offenders can face significant criminal penalties.
The attorneys at GDS Law Group have years of experience handling thousands of DUI cases. As former prosecutors, their partners have educated law enforcement officers on DUI law and trained other prosecutors on the nuances of DUI prosecution. They have personally handled DUI cases stemming from sobriety checkpoints to Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death. GDS’ experience gives them the knowledge to evaluate the detailed circumstances surrounding your case. And, where needed, they know how to challenge evidence (including the breath test machine or blood testing), contest administrative license suspensions, and obtain the right expert witnesses.
Whether this is your first OWI arrest and are seeking a title 12 deferral or you have been convicted of OWI in the past the attorney that you choose has a significant impact on what happens to you, your license, and even your job. GDS Law Group understands that a single mistake should not define who you are. And having been prosecutors that have convicted individuals of drunk driving, GDS understands what the Government will do to obtain your conviction. Shouldn’t you have that knowledge on your side? Contact GDS Law Group today for a free initial consultation.
America’s war on drugs has led to some extreme results: a teenager found with a marijuana joint faces the loss of his license, the inability to use student loans to attend college, and the potential loss of his freedom for a year. Even a small amount of illegal drugs can carry life changing penalties. There are two types of drug crimes: Possession and dealing ,or possession with intent to deal. The State at times has motivation to charge a defendant with dealing instead of possession: 1) the penalties for dealing are much greater and 2) a dealing conviction allows the State to ask a court to forfeit the area, seize and resell the property, in which the drugs were found. When charged with a drug crime you need an attorney that has the knowledge to challenge the legality of the officer’s search. The attorneys at Gilley, Dandurand & Summerfield Law Group believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that constitutional rights should be protected. GDS will investigate every aspect of your case including the officer’s investigation that led to the search of your property and how the evidence was located and will fight to protect you against illegal search and seizure.
Violent Crimes & Domestic Violence
Violent crimes or victim crimes are often the most aggressively prosecuted crimes. Whether the dispute be a physical altercation at a bar or a domestic disturbance the prosecution of these cases are often suspect based on the relationship between the parties involved and the possibility of prejudice. Some police agencies have a policy that when they are called out to a domestic disturbance that one of the individuals there will be arrested for domestic battery to ensure that the officers are not required to go back to that residence in the same evening. This often leads to the man going to jail on domestic violence charges even if he has not committed a crime. The prosecution of a case does not end if the victim recants their story the next day as once the State has decided to charge an individual with a domestic violence crime they do not dismiss the case even if the person they believed to be the victim recants their story. This arrest then can prevent the party arrested from having success in a child custody battle. Domestic violence as well as other “victim” crimes are based on the story of someone who is angry with the accused, may want revenge or an advantage in a divorce proceeding.
After the police write their report on a victim case that report is sent to the prosecutor who to show they are tough on crime need to pursue a conviction. This aggressive prosecution can lead to the prosecutor not looking at any fact that is not included in the police report. The consequences of a domestic battery can last a lifetime and include heavy fines, taking classes that last a year, jail time, the inability to possess a firearm and losing time with one’s children. It is important that your attorney do their own investigation. This investigation needs to include speaking to the witnesses that were at the scene, getting a full understanding of the relationship between the parties involved and not relying solely on the evidence that the officers looked at.
Theft & Shoplifting
An arrest for a theft crime can be seriously damaging to a person’s reputation and relationships. The State has a wide array of options for charging a theft related offense from a misdemeanor (conversion) to a Felony (Theft) or a major felony (Robbery or Burglary) based on considerations including the defendant’s criminal history, the amount of money taken, the use of force, or of a trusted position, in order to take the property. To prove you guilty of a Theft charge, the prosecutor must show that you possessed the intent to steal the item, the mens rea. As former prosecutors, the attorneys at GDS Law Group know how to thoroughly review a police investigation and they understand how important it is to highlight the real facts of the case that may not be in the police report. They know what can lead to the State of Indiana charging their clients with a misdemeanor charge as opposed to a felony or even getting the case dismissed.
Often individuals who are charged with theft from a convenience store will want to walk into court and plead guilty. It is extremely important that you consult with an experienced attorney before you do that, even if this is your first offense. Having an experienced attorney with you can make the difference between a conviction going on your criminal record and a resolution of a case that allows for your criminal record to stay clean.
Many individuals have either been on probation or known someone who has been on probation. Most individuals who are convicted of a criminal offense will be placed on probation for a period of months or years. The conditions that a court places on someone while on probation may be very intrusive. An individual on probation can be ordered to attend treatment for drugs, alcohol, anger management, forced to give random urine screens, and required to report to probation on a weekly or monthly basis. There are many different ways to violate probation and the punishment for the violation can be incredibly harsh and can lead to the probationer serving his entire suspended sentence in jail or prison. The standard of proof that the State is held to at a probation violation is a preponderance of the evidence compared to beyond a reasonable doubt. The Preponderance of the evidence standard is met if the State is able to prove that it is more likely than not that the violation occurred. Given the danger of the lower standard of proof and the possibility of jail or prison time, it is worth your time and money to hire an attorney that understands the rules of evidence and the complexities of a probation violation. The attorneys at GDS Law Group have argued over a thousand probation violations and know how to protect your rights at the probation revocation hearing.
Is a prior arrest, charge or conviction preventing you from finding a job or preventing you from enjoying other benefits? In today’s economy, especially in Indiana, a majority of employers run a criminal background check on all of their job applicants. A prior conviction may also prevent an individual from owning or possessing a firearm, gaining a professional license, and in some instances prevent you from receiving a loan or attending college.
The Indiana Legislature has enacted a second chance law that allows individuals that meet certain criteria to have their arrest, charges or convictions expunged, or hidden. Once an arrest, charge, or conviction has been expunged, that individual can no longer be discriminated against based on prior charges. Once your charge has been expunged, you are legally able to deny that you have a criminal record. The criminal conviction, or arrest, also no longer appears on employment background checks.
GDS Law Group can help explain the expungement process and how it applies to your unique situation.