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In Indiana, just like it is illegal to drive an automobile while intoxicated, it is also illegal to operate a motorboat while intoxicated (BWI). Attorney Mario Massillamany is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who possesses both the knowledge and skill set necessary to defend against such serious charges. If you or someone you know is searching for such a lawyer, please see the bottom of this article for Mr. Massillamany’s contact information. Otherwise, continue reading for a detailed explanation on the implications of BWI charges. 

The first important issue to know is what exactly is considered a motorboat.  Under Indiana law, a motorboat includes all watercraft propelled by an engine or other mechanical means.  Additionally, any sailboat that has a motor and any other personal watercrafts are also considered motorboats.

Operating a motorboat with a BAC of .08%, while having a controlled substance in the person’s body, or while intoxicated is considered a Class C misdemeanor.  This offense could result in imprisonment for up to sixty days and a fine of up to $500.  It is a Level 6 felony if the person has a previous conviction for BWI or it results in serious bodily injury to another.  This offense could result in imprisonment for a term between six months and two and a half years as well as a fine of up to $10,000.  Finally, a BWI offense is a Level 5 felony if it results in the death of another.  This offense could result in a term of imprisonment between one year and six years with a fine of up to $10,000.  The advisory sentence is for three years.

One final important thing to note about the law on BWI in Indiana is that a narrow defense exists that might apply to some people.  In Indiana, it is a defense to BWI that the person accused consumed the controlled substance under a prescription or by order of a practitioner in the course of their professional duties.

Remember to always drink responsibly.

 

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

It’s summertime.  It’s hot outside.  People are hanging out by the pool, grilling out, and many of us are having a few drinks along the way.  However, the police are also on high alert at this time of year for drunk driving and will often set up DUI checkpoints to make sure that our roads remain safe for everyone.  In order to be more prepared should you run into a DUI checkpoint, here are some some words of advice from Attorney Mario Massillamany.

First, let’s go over some of the basics of a DUI checkpoint.  At these checkpoints, officers are checking mainly for drivers who are impaired, but can look for anything suspicious.  At the checkpoints, officers will either check every vehicle or use some sort of pattern to stop some of the cars that pass through.  Some of the things officers might ask or do are ask to search your car, ask you to step out of your car, ask you to take field sobriety tests, or ask you take a chemical test to determine your BAC.  If the officer asks to search your car or to take field sobriety test, e.g. walk in a straight line or touch your nose, then you can refuse to consent.  However, if they ask you to step out of the car, then you need to comply with the request and step out, but ensure that you close and lock your door to protect your privacy as much as possible.  Lastly on this point, you should consent to a request for a chemical test of some sort, like a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test, because refusing to do so can result in consequences as bad as being convicted of a DUI.

Now for a few words on the law regarding checkpoints.  In a recent decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Miranda warnings are not required at DUI checkpoints.  This is because DUI checkpoints are not considered to be a custodial stop which is required to trigger Miranda warnings.  However, the Court did mention that there could be a set of circumstances that would result in a triggering of Miranda warnings at a DUI checkpoint stop.

Remember to always drink responsibly.  If you or someone you know has had an issue at a DUI checkpoint, be sure to get in contact with an attorney.  

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

Can you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test when you are pulled over? And if you can, should you refuse?  In short, yes you can refuse, but you probably should not due to the penalties for doing so.  In Indiana, when you operate a vehicle you are impliedly consenting to a chemical test as a condition to being able to drive a vehicle in the state.  In order to be in compliance with the implied consent provision, one must submit to each test offered by the police officer, not just to one of them.  Under Indiana law, the officer must inform you that refusal to submit to the tests will result in suspension of your driver’s license and allow you a chance to comply and take the tests.

The penalties for failure to submit to the tests differ based on whether you have had any prior convictions for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  The initial failure to comply will result in an immediate confiscation of your license by the officer.  Eventually, the failure to comply will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.  If it is only your first offense, then refusal to submit to the tests would result in a one year suspension of your license.  However, if it is at least your second offense, then your refusal will result in losing your license for two years.

There are several other affects with regards to the refusal to submit to the tests.  One additional problem of refusal is that you will also be ineligible for specialized driving privileges, which means that there will be no way to be able to drive again until after the suspension of your driver’s license is up or has been lifted by the courts.  Another issue is that refusal to submit to the tests can be used as evidence in a case against you for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  A final issue is that the police officer can still get a warrant to get the tests done anyway regardless of your refusal to consent.

In the end, the best option when you are drinking alcohol is to simply not drive by getting a designated driver, taking a taxi or Uber, or if possible staying somewhere near where you are drinking.  However, if you do find yourself being pulled over for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, it does not benefit you to refuse to take the tests.

 

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (or OWI) is one of the most common criminal offenses, and one that can come with some serious penalties for repeat offenders. Attorney Mario Massillamany is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who possesses both the knowledge and skill set necessary to defend against such serious charges. If you or someone you know is searching for such a lawyer, please see the bottom of this article for Mr. Massillamany’s contact information. Otherwise, continue reading for a detailed explanation on the implications of OWI charges. 

The first time someone commits an OWI they are committing a Class C misdemeanor and are subject to imprisonment up to sixty days and a fine of not more than $500.  However, there are a number of factors that can increase this penalty based on the circumstances surrounding the offense and the number of times the person has been convicted of an OWI.

For the second conviction of an OWI, a person commits a Level 6 felony if it occurs within five years from the previous conviction and is subject to several different potential penalties.  First, a Level 6 felony is be punished by imprisonment from six months to two and a half years with the suggestion being one year and a fine of no more than $10,000.  Additionally, for the second conviction for an OWI, the person is subject to imprisonment for at least five days or 180 hours of community service and, if necessary, completion of an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.

For the third conviction of an OWI, it is still a Level 6 felony, as long as it occurs within five years from the previous conviction.  The punishment for this is the same as it is for the second conviction.  However, the additional penalties are different for the third conviction.  A person will be subject to imprisonment of at least ten days or 360 hours of community service and, if necessary, completion of an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.

Lastly, there is a potential to be labeled as a habitual vehicular substance offender if the person has two or three prior unrelated offenses.  If properly alleged and claimed by the prosecution, the court shall sentence the habitual offender to imprisonment from one year to no more than eight years to be added to the sentence already imposed.

Please drink responsibly.  Do not drink and drive.  If you do, you risk injuring others, yourself, and potentially ending up in jail for a long time. If you are going to go out and drink, get a designated driver, take a taxi or Uber, or, if possible, stay somewhere near you until it is safe to drive yourself again.

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

(Fishers, IN) – Massillamany & Jeter LLP today filed a lawsuit against the Southern Hancock County School Corporation and former teacher K. Turner, for their roles in a sexual assault of former Doe Creek Middle School student Zachery Harrison. In October 2012, Turner sexually assaulted fourteen-year old Zachery Harrison in the boys’ locker room after Harrison was injured in gym class. Turner was charged with 2011 with two Class D felonies for Battery and Child Molestation. In August 2013, he eventually pled guilty to one count of Battery Resulting gin Bodily Injury as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. He was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, all of which was suspended in favor of probation.

Mario Massillamany commented on the civil suit which was filed today. “Schools have a sacred duty, not only to educate our children, but to protect them,” Massillamany said. He went on to add that this incident could have been prevented. “The school corporation failed to use reasonable measures to prevent, detect, and halt Turner’s behavior,” he added. According to Massillamany, the school corporation knew or should have known about Turner’s actions through the reporting of another Doe Creek teacher but that the school corporation failed to act. “Upon being notified of serious concerns in Turner’s behavior, school officials responded by claiming that they ‘didn’t need a weekly report’ on what was happening within the school and that administrators only wanted to hear about ‘big enough situations,’” he added. “Well, it doesn’t get much more serious than harm to children.”

The lawsuit requests an unspecified number of damages. “The Harrisons have suffered greatly as a result of the actions of Turner and Hancock County Schools,” Massillamany added. “They deserve compensation for their lost wages, Zachery’s ongoing mental health care, and the general emotion distress that is inevitable when a child is the subject of sexual assault.” Massillamany believes there may be other victims. “Predators like this seldom stop with one victim,” he stated. “Children in our community deserve better than this,” he added.

Massillamany & Jeter LLP is a full-service law firm based in Fishers but serving the entire State of Indiana. Mario Massillamany and Chris Jeter began their careers as public interest lawyers, serving their communities at the local, state, and national level. Mario served as a local prosecutor while Chris spent several years on active duty in the United States Navy as a Judge Advocate General (JAG). Following their years in public service, Mario and Chris worked for a large law firm with a nationwide practice. In 2015, they decided to make their extensive experience available to everyday people and small businesses. The firm focuses its practice in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, corporate law, civil litigation, family law, estate planning, and government services. The Firm has offices in Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville, Plainfield, Greenwood, and Lawrence.

The news story can be seen at: http://fox59.com/2015/07/20/lawsuit-targets-new-palestine-school-in-molestation-case/

For more information, please visit www.mjattorneys.com or visit us on social media:

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mariomassillamany

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mjattorneys

Mario Massillamany- founding partner at Massillamany & Jeter LLP

Mario Massillamany- founding partner at Massillamany & Jeter LLP

Mario Massillamany, founding partner at Massillamany & Jeter LLP, is an attorney that specializes in criminal, family law, and personal injury.  He has handled some of the most high profile cases in the State of Indiana over the last 10 years.

As July 4th was last weekend, many people are still lighting their fireworks at all hours of the night. Therefore, it would be useful to know the laws in Indiana concerning fireworks and their use. The first thing you should know about fireworks is that they cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Another piece of Indiana’s laws on fireworks is that the municipalities and counties can pass their own ordinances or rules regulating the use of fireworks within their boundaries. Therefore, before using fireworks this summer be sure to know what your local rules are concerning the use of fireworks.

However, there are limitations on what local governments can do. For example, the rules adopted by the municipalities and counties cannot be more lenient than the laws passed by a state agency. On the other hand, municipalities are prevented from making them more stringent in a few circumstances. Between June 29 and July 9, they are not allowed to limit the use of consumer fireworks after 5 p.m. up to 2 hours after sunset. Also they are not allowed to limit the use of consumer fireworks between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and midnight on July 4th. Finally, although this does not pertain to the 4th of July celebrations, the municipalities and counties are not allowed to limit the use of fireworks between 10:00 a.m. on December 31 and 1:00 a.m. on January 1.

There is also a chance that these limitations may be changing in the near future as the Indiana Senate introduced a bill in the 2015 session to change the limitations on municipalities and counties. The changes would have allowed them to prohibit fireworks within their boundaries as well as allow them to make their firework rules more lenient than the state laws. The new law would have also changed the dates during which the municipalities and counties could not limit the use of fireworks between certain hours. It would have allowed them to limit the use of consumer fireworks between June 29 and July 2 and July 6 and July 9. Municipalities and counties would still have been prohibited from limiting the use of fireworks on July 3 and 5 between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and two hours after sunset. The new law would allow the same limitations and protections to be put on the items in the list seen below concerning exceptions to the law. Basically, it would have included them in the law as fireworks. However, this law was never passed, but it is important to know about potential law changes because it can always be reintroduced into the legislature and eventually become law.

In Hamilton County, there are four separate cities, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, and Noblesville, each with their own rules regarding the use of fireworks. The rules in Carmel allow the use of fireworks only during the times that their use cannot be restricted by Indiana law. Therefore, fireworks are allowed in Carmel only between 5:00 p.m. and two hours after sunset from June 29 to July 9, between 10:00 a.m. and midnight on July 4th, and between 10:00 a.m. on December 31 and 1:00 a.m. on January 1. Fishers, Westfield, and Noblesville all follow the same rule as Carmel regarding the use of consumer fireworks.

There are some exceptions that allow the use of items that might generally be considered fireworks. These include dipped sticks or wire sparklers, cylindrical fountains, cone fountains, illuminating torches, wheels, ground spinners, flitter sparklers, snakes or glow worms, and smoke devices. Trick noisemakers are allowed also, which include: party poppers, booby traps, snappers, trick matches, cigarette loads, and auto burglar alarms. All of the above items are not considered by law to be fireworks and so the above local city ordinances do not apply to these items.

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

Mario Massillamany-partner at Massillamany & Jeter LLP

Mario Massillamany-founding partner at Massillamany & Jeter LLP

Are you having trouble getting people to pay their unpaid debts? Did you have a contract with someone, but they breached it? Are your customers refusing to pay for the goods or services you provided them? If so, then the small claims court might be for you.

Small claims courts are designed to give those with claims of $6,000 or less easy access to the court system. They allow parties to easily represent themselves because the procedural and evidentiary rules are relaxed, and thus avoid the expense of hiring an attorney. Finally, the rulings in small claims courts are done by the judge, which eliminates the complications of dealing with a jury trial. It also makes the rulings much more uniform across the board.

Before you file the claim, you must look at which court has jurisdiction to hear the case in the first place. According to Indiana law, the proper county to file the claim in is:

  1. Where the transaction or occurrence took place
  2. Where the obligation or debt was incurred or performed
  3. Where the defendant lives; or
  4. Where the defendant is employed

In addition, if the small claims courts are divided into the townships, like Marion County, then there is another level of decision in determining the township in which to file the claim, but this decision is based on the same criteria as shown above. The proper township to file the claim in is [1] where the transaction or occurrence took place, [2] where the obligation was incurred or is to be performed, or [3] where the defendant resides or is employed.

Now that you know where to file the claim, you need to know how to file the claim and what exactly to include in it. When you are filing claim, you can go to the county clerk’s office to get the forms you need or you can find them online at the website of whatever county in which you are filing the claim. Every claim should include a brief and clear statement of the amount you are seeking and the exact nature of the claim, as in why does the other party owe you money. If the claim is based on a contract or lease, then be sure to include a copy of that with the claim. If the claim is based on an unpaid account, then you need to complete an Affidavit of Debt form and include that with the claim.

There are a few more important notes on filing a claim in small claims court. First, while the plaintiff waives their right to a jury trial, the defendant can still opt for a jury trial if they so choose. Second, even if your claim is above $6,000, but you would still like to be in small claims court, then you can waive the amount over $6,000. However, once you forgo that amount and file in small claims court, you will no longer be able to sue for any of that amount. Finally, there is a filing fee you must pay when you file the claim and each court/county could have a different filing fee, which can be found online or by simply calling the clerk’s office. It can be waived in certain circumstances, but if you win the case, then the judge will order the losing party to pay the filing fee.

Overall, small claims courts are easy and useful entities to quickly and efficiently adjudicate any issues that fall within the requirements of the court. Contact attorney Mario Massillamany to discuss filing a small claims action.

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.