CRIMINAL LAW

Hire an attorney! The first line of criminal defense is having a qualified attorney on your side from the start.

Dakota VanLeeuwen has the unique background of being both a prosecutor  in Marion County and public defender in Morgan County. From discovery and plea negotiations to full jury trials, we want to help you understand your constitutional rights and be your advocate

Whether you believe you are wrongly accused, a victim of mistaken identity, or if you are seeking rehabilitation after making a bad decision, we can advise you as you navigate the criminal justice system. In addition to representing adult clients, VanLeeuwen Law also represents juveniles through the adjudication process. If you need a criminal defense attorney to represent you in Southern or South Central Indiana, contact us today to set up a consultation.

OVWI/DUI Defense

Penalties for driving under the influence have been steadily increasing in severity, and the consequences of a conviction can involve far more than jail time. A DUI can jeopardize your driving privileges and even employment. If you are in need of a DUI attorney, VanLeeuwen Law can help you understand the charges you face and the options you have to protect yourself.

 

Additionally, we can assist you in applying for Specialized Driving Privileges (formerly called "Hardship Licenses") if your license has been suspended as a result of a DUI or other crime.

Misdemeanor Offenses

Misdemeanors on the other hand subject an individual to the possibility of jail time and a criminal conviction. Many low-level drug offenses and petty crimes are charged as misdemeanors. In Indiana, misdemeanors are divided into three types: A, B, and C.

Level C misdemeanors are the lowest of these, and carry with them a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $500.00. An example of a Class C misdemeanor is a first offense of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Level B misdemeanors carry with them a penalty of 180 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000.00. An example of a class B misdemeanor is disorderly conduct.

By comparison, a Level A misdemeanor carries the possibility of a penalty of up to one (1) year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines. An example of a Class A Misdemeanor is certain types of dealing in marijuana.

Felony Offenses

Felonies include far more serious crimes in Indiana are punishable by terms in the state prison system and hefty fines. Indiana law recognizes several classes of felonies, ranging from Murder, to level 6 felonies, which include offenses like theft with a prior conviction or certain drug possession charges.

 

Whether you're facing an infraction threatening your driver's license, a misdemeanor exposing you to a possible criminal conviction or jail time, or facing a felony conviction jeopardizing your future and freedom, VanLeeuwen Law has the experience and expertise to guide you through the criminal justice system while protecting your rights and advocating for your best interests. Contact us to set up an initial consultation on your case and go over your charges.

Probation Violations

A probation violation can be anything from failing to update your contact information to a positive drug or alcohol screen. The consequences are steep and often involve looking at your original sentence time to determine length of consequences as well as the type of consequences for a guilty finding.

 

These are treated as mini trials and you have the opportunity to challenge the violation alleged against you. Do not treat these lightly. Have representation!

Juvenile Offenses

Juvenile crime includes any crime that is committed by a child (juvenile) who is under the age of 18.

The juvenile court system is civil rather than criminal. Juveniles are usually accused of committing a delinquent act, rather than being formally charged. The juvenile court can decide what the best punishment is for the child, which can range from a lecture, to confinement in a juvenile detention facility.

Children ages seven and younger are generally deemed incapable of committing a crime, since they are too young to fully understand the difference between right and wrong. However, young children may be held liable for coming the crime of homicide. Children committing a certain offense over the age of 14 or repeat felony offenders can be tried in the adult criminal justice system.

If your child is facing a juvenile offense, please act in his/her best interest and consult with an attorney immediately. These matters can have long term impacts on the child's life.

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