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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Ind. Decisions - "Reversed on appeal, DUI cases sent back to Judge Frese"

Dave Stephens of the South Bend Tribune has the story - some quotes:

SOUTH BEND — Next week a man named Donald Wilson is expected to walk into a courtroom and appear before a judge who, according to the Indiana Court of Appeals, made a mistake. That mistake means Wilson could now be found guilty of a felony, instead of a misdemeanor as the judge had previously ruled. The same fate awaits two others.

In November, the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed three separate decisions made by St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jerome Frese, in which the court ruled that Frese’s understanding of a 20-year-old state DUI law was contrary to what the law actually said.

In Indiana, drivers who are found guilty of driving under the influence are typically charged with a Class C misdemeanor, a charge with a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail.

But Indiana is tougher on repeat offenders. The state code amplifies the charge to a Class D felony — with a maximum penalty of up to three years in prison — for DUI offenses that occur within five years of a previous conviction. Except, it seems, in Frese’s courtroom. * * *

In all three cases, the Court of Appeals remanded the case back to Frese’s court, meaning the defendants will have the opportunity to have their cases tried again.

Which means next week, Wilson is scheduled to appear before Frese again, and Traver and Eichorst are scheduled to appear in March.

See this Nov. 23, 2011 ILB entry (3rd case), which quotes a COA footnote listing all three Frese decisions.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 8, 2012 10:31 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions