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Indiana Supreme Court Rules in Public Intoxication Case - Criminal Justice News

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Criminal Justice News


Posted on: Dec 18, 2014

By Shaunestte Terrell, Marion County Prosecutor's Office

On Thursday, December 18, 2014, the Indiana Supreme Court issued an opinion in Rodregus Morgan v. State of Indiana. Mr. Morgan was arrested in 2012 and subsequently convicted in 2013 of public intoxication as a Class B Misdemeanor. Mr. Morgan was convicted under the “annoy” part of the statute. This provision of the statute only became law in 2012 after the legislature amended the public intoxication statute. Mr. Morgan appealed his conviction on two possible grounds, specifically: 1) that the “annoy” part of the statute is unconstitutionally vague; and 2) that there was insufficient evidence for his conviction.

In its ruling, the court reads a reasonable person standard into the public intoxication statute when applying the term “annoys.” The court further ruled that there was insufficient evidence to sustain Mr. Morgan’s conviction for public intoxication and vacated Mr. Morgan’s conviction as to that count. The opinion can be found here and is a must-read for all criminal law practitioners.

This post was written by Shaunestte Terrell of the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. If you would like to submit content or write an article for the Criminal Justice Section page, please email Mary Kay Price at mprice@indybar.org.

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