Attorneys at Law

Lawyers with over 60 years of combined experience in Tippecanoe and all surrounding counties.

Phone : (765) 423-2557
Fax : (765) 423-4544

300 Main Street Suite #500
Lafayette, IN 47901


What is "comparative fault"?
Posted on : 07/19/2018

The Indiana comparative fault statute for personal injury cases provides that in each automobile accident the degrees of fault for every person who caused or contributed to the accident will be compared to one another.  This usually includes all drivers in the accident though sometimes other...

What is "Operating" while Intoxicated?
Posted on : 07/05/2018

To be convicted of Operating while Intoxicated, the State must prove that you were operating a  vehicle.  Under Indiana law, “Operate” means to navigate or otherwise be in actual physical control of a vehicle.  

Factors that may be examined to determine whe...

Dismissal of Drug Possession Charges
Posted on : 06/26/2018

Steven Knecht recently obtained the dismissal of felony drug possession charges for his client.

During a traffic stop, police found drugs in the car’s backseat.  The police arrested the back seat passenger for drug possession and allowed the driver and front seat passenger to l...

Resisting Arrest
Posted on : 06/14/2018

The offense of resisting law enforcement has five essential elements:

  1.  knowingly or  intentionally
  2. forcibly
  3. resisted, obstructed, or interfered with
  4. a law enforcement officer and
  5. while the officer was lawfully engaged in the executi...

Can you be charged with OWI if you are under 0.08 in Indiana?
Posted on : 05/23/2018
If your breath or blood alcohol level is .08 or above, you will be arrested and charged with Operating while Intoxicated in Indiana. However, if you test under .08, you can still be arrested and charged with OWI. You can be convicted if it can be proven that you were intoxicated while operating a ...

Talk to your Lawyer, Not the Police
Posted on : 05/09/2018

Pressure and fear can cause people to do irrational things, like confessing to crimes they did not commit.  The pressure of being threatened with massive prison time, often for hours on end, often by an authority figure who is legally authorized to lie to you, can be substantial.  Peopl...

Unlawful Invasive Roadside Search
Posted on : 04/23/2018

A roadside search inside a woman’s underwear violated her constitutional rights.

In Porter v. State, during a stop for a headlight violation, police detected the odor of marijuana coming from Porter’s person.  After a pat down search found nothing, the police reached insi...

Is possession of a syringe a crime?
Posted on : 04/06/2018

Possession of a syringe is not a crime unless the prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the syringe was possessed with the specific intent to commit a controlled substance offense.

In Berkhardt v. State, the defendant during an investigatory stop gave the police an identific...

Not Guilty in Drug Dealing Case
Posted on : 03/22/2018

Steven Knecht successfully obtained a not guilty verdict in a jury trial of dealing in morphine and methamphetamine charges. 

           In this case involving a traffic stop, the client was the driver an...

Exclusion for Annual Gifts
Posted on : 03/16/2018

When estate planning is reduced to its simplest terms, there are only a few ways for someone to avoid paying estate tax on a large estate.  These are spend it, give it away during your life, or leave it to charity. 

There are many strategies used to transfer property during life...

Knecht earns 3rd dismissal of charges in 2018!
Posted on : 03/05/2018

For the third time in 2018, Steven Knecht obtained the dismissal of felony drug dealing charges for his client.

Police went to an apartment looking for an individual.  The written police report claimed that five individuals were eventually removed from the apartment. A subsequent sea...

Steven Knecht Wins Dismissal of Handgun Charges
Posted on : 02/19/2018

Steven Knecht won the dismissal of felony carrying a handgun without a license charges for his client. 

Police officers went to a residence to serve a search warrant.  A female exited the apartment wearing a male leather jacket.  The female was searched and a handgun was fo...

Steven Knecht won a second Felony Drug dismissal!
Posted on : 02/02/2018

Steven Knecht won another dismissal of felony drug dealing charges for his client with a successful motion to suppress the evidence obtained from an illegal search and seizure.   This is the second dismissal of felony drug dealing charges in less than a month for Knecht.

The pol...

Steven Knecht won Felony Drug dismissal!
Posted on : 01/17/2018

Steven Knecht won the dismissal of felony drug dealing charges for his client with a successful motion to suppress the evidence obtained from an illegal search and seizure.

Police officers searched the client’s closed backpack located in an apartment the client was visiting.  T...

Breath test refusal and 2nd test
Posted on : 12/28/2017

A person does not refuse a chemical test if the police officer fails to comply with the rules for conducting it.  Unless a person clearly manifests an unwillingness to submit a chemical test, Indiana law requires a police officer to administer a second test if the first test returns an "insu...

Steven Knecht shares knowledge for local Continuing Legal Eduction
Posted on : 11/30/2017

Steven Knecht was a speaker at the first annual Tippecanoe County Legal Aid Continuing Legal Education program for local judges and attorneys on November 28.  Knecht spoke on how to successfully get into evidence social media posts on Twitter and Facebook; text messages; e-mail communication...

Do the police have to read you your rights when you are arrested?
Posted on : 11/14/2017

Do the police have to read you your rights when you are arrested?

We frequently get calls from prospective clients convinced that their cases must be dismissed because they were not read their rights by the police.  However, a police officer must read you your rights only if you are ...

Suggestive Lineups
Posted on : 10/31/2017

A pretrial identification that is impermissibly suggestive can prevent the admission into evidence of the victim’s identification at trial.

In Albee v. State, the police arrested the defendant for going into the bathroom of a sorority house where he watched M.S. shower.  Moment...

Can you be convicted of possession if a passenger has drugs??
Posted on : 10/09/2017

        Can you be convicted of possessing marijuana found in your companion’s pants?  In Indiana, the answer is that you can if you make incriminating statements to the police.



What happens if I die without a will?
Posted on : 09/25/2017


What happens to my property if I die without a Will? 

  If yo...

Steven Knecht Wins Appeal on Double Jeopardy Grounds
Posted on : 09/06/2017

Steven Knecht won a reversal of a leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death conviction on appeal based on a double jeopardy violation. 

The client’s truck hit a car, killing a mother and her child in the car.  The client left the scene before police arrived. ...

Why does it take so long to get my inheritance from an Estate?
Posted on : 08/17/2017

          We are frequently asked by heirs why does it take so long for us to receive our inheritance. 

          Beneficiaries need to be notified.  Assets need to be collected, appraised and sold.  Fina...

Not Guilty Verdict in Strangulation Case
Posted on : 08/01/2017

Steven Knecht successfully obtained a not guilty verdict in a jury trial of a strangulation charge. 

The crime of strangulation is defined as a person who, in a rude, angry, or insolent manner, knowingly or intentionally applies pressure to the throat or...

Trusting Your Lawyer
Posted on : 07/13/2017

Building a relationship of trust with your attorney is crucial, especially in a criminal case where your freedom is at stake.  Attorneys do most of the talking, but do not be afraid to ask questions.  Once a connection is established, it will be easier to talk about sensitive, personal ...

Steven Knecht Wins Reversal On Appeal
Posted on : 07/06/2017

Steven Knecht won a reversal of possession of marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance convictions on appeal because the evidence obtained as a result of the illegal warrantless entry by the police into his client’s apartment should have been suppressed. 

The police had gone...

No Firearm Exception to the 4th Amendment
Posted on : 06/27/2017

No firearm exception exists to the Fourth Amendment.  Possession of a handgun is not automatically illegal in Indiana.  A report that a person is carrying a handgun is, without more, insufficient to establish the person was or was about to be engaged in criminal activity to justify an i...

The Right to Reasonably Resist
Posted on : 06/13/2017

Indiana permits a person to use reasonable force to prevent or terminate an unlawful entry by a public servant into his home (the Castle Doctrine).  

In Jean-Baptiste v. State, a law enforcement officer who attempted to effect a civil arrest warrant was not lawfully engaged in t...

Why it's important to hire the right lawyer
Posted on : 05/24/2017

The importance of hiring the right criminal defense attorney for your case has once again made clear by a recent Indiana case setting aside a 15 year old murder conviction. 

In Humphrey v. State, the Indiana Supreme Court determined that the defendant’s trial attorney’s p...

Drug Free Zones
Posted on : 05/08/2017

The potential sentences for certain drug offenses in Indiana can be increased if committed in a drug free zone.  Drug free zones include on a school bus as well as in, on, or within 500 feet of school property or a public park while a person under 18 years of age was reasonably expected to b...

The Corpus Delicti Rule
Posted on : 04/25/2017

The State must produce independent evidence to establish the corpus delicti of the crime before a confession is admissible in court.  Corpus delicti is Latin for the body of the crime.   In court, it means the foundation or material substance of a crime.  For...

Authority to Consent to Home Search
Posted on : 04/06/2017

A person answering the door must have actual or apparent authority to consent to the entry of a home for the police to conduct a valid search.

In Bradley v. State, the police, acting on an anonymous tip, were watching people come and go from a suspected drug house.  The officers saw ...

Military style assault to enter home unreasonable
Posted on : 03/21/2017

Even though the police had a warrant to search the Defendant’s home, their military style assault to enter the home was not reasonable under the circumstances.

In Watkins v. State, a confidential informant told the police that he observed cocaine, marijuana, and a firearm in the def...

What are your rights after an OWI test?
Posted on : 03/06/2017

Defendants have the burden of overcoming the presumption of intoxication created by a failed breath or blood test performed within 3 hours of driving.

In Pattison v. State, the jury was instructed that it shall presume a person with at least a 0.08 alcohol concentration equivalent (ACE) a...

Another win for Steven Knecht from the Indiana Court of Appeals
Posted on : 02/17/2017

Steven Knecht won the dismissal of burglary charges for his client from the Indiana  Court of Appeals for a speedy trial violation.

In Arion v. Indiana, the defendant while representing himself moved for a speedy trial after an arrest warrant for a burglary charge was served on him i...

5 Ways To Save Money In Your Divorce
Posted on : 02/07/2017

Consider these 5 tips to save money on your attorney fees during your divorce.

  1. Give your attorney all requested documents and information in a timely manner.  Every time your attorney has to remind you costs you money and delays the process.
  2. Avoid arguing with your s...

Do I need an estate plan?
Posted on : 01/24/2017

An estate plan is essential for every adult, regardless of age or health status.  Having an estate plan ensures that the needs of you and your family are met now and in the future.  Examples of estate planning documents include:


What are your rights during a canine search???
Posted on : 01/11/2017

A narcotic canine alert of a vehicle does not provide grounds to search the pockets of the vehicle’s passengers according to a recent appellate decision.

In Thomas  v. State, the police stopped a van in which Thomas was a passenger for a minor traffic offense.  The police ...

Reduction of OWI Charge
Posted on : 12/28/2016

Steven Knecht successfully obtained a plea agreement reducing operating while intoxicated and habitual vehicular substance offender charges to a public intoxication offense.

The most obvious element that the State must prove in a...

Jury Trial versus Bench Trial?
Posted on : 12/08/2016

When a client chooses to take a case to trial, the next crucial decision is whether to have a jury trial or a bench trial.  Many reasons exist why people choose to have their Operating while Intoxicated, Possession of Marijuana or other criminal charges go to trial rather than pleading guilt...

Who needs a power of attorney?
Posted on : 11/30/2016

Who will manage your financial affairs if you become incapacitated without a pre- existing power of attorney?  The answer is a court appointed guardian.

 In Indiana, a court is to consider individuals for appointment as a guardian in the order listed:

Misdemeanor Treatment for a Felony
Posted on : 11/14/2016

If you are wanting to expunge a Class D or Level 6 felony, Indiana law requires you to wait 8 years after the date of the conviction before you can petition a court for expungement.  When first contacted about expunging such a felony, we also investigate if the client is eligible for misdeme...

Why Parents Need a Will
Posted on : 10/27/2016

A majority of parents with minor children do not have a will.  Even though they may not  have many assets, these parents need a will more than a person with a seven figure estate.  The reason is to name who gets custody of the children in the event they die.  If the parents di...

Does your Child Support Order need a modification?
Posted on : 10/18/2016

When was the last time you reviewed your child support order?   If any of these events have happened, you may be entitled to a modification of child support:

  1. One year has passed since the last support order;
  2. You have lost a job and are now making less money;

Illegal search after DUI Arrest?
Posted on : 10/05/2016

One must always be concerned about an inventory search should your vehicle be impounded after a DUI or other traffic stop.  This impoundment is permissible in the event no one is available to drive the vehicle from the scene after the driver has been arrested.   The justification f...

4 Steps for retirement planning
Posted on : 09/12/2016

4 steps for smart retirement planning.

Whether you are thinking about or already enjoying retirement, certain legal documents can protect all older Hoosiers regardless of their income and/or net worth.  Many of these documents can be found online but can cause seriou...

5 Steps To Take When Falsely Accused
Posted on : 08/25/2016

We all assume that we will never be accused of doing thing things we did not do and that if falsely accused, the legal system will protect us from being wrongfully convicted. However, the hundreds released from death row for murders they did not commit based on new DNA testing show how easily you...

Local Attorney Steven Knecht obtains dismissal of charges
Posted on : 08/11/2016

Steven Knecht successfully obtained the dismissal of dealing in cocaine charges last week due to the State destroying the alleged cocaine prior to trial.


A defendant has the right to e...

Lafayette Indiana Attorney Steven Knecht obtains another not guilty verdict
Posted on : 08/03/2016

Steven Knecht successfully obtained a not guilty verdict in a jury trial of a felony battery case last week by presenting the parental discipline defense (also referred to as the “spare the rod, spoil the child” defense and the corporal punishment defense...

Suppression of Illegally Obtained Evidence
Posted on : 07/28/2016

Steven Knecht successfully obtained the dismissal of a felony drug possession case last week due to the filing of a motion to suppress the evidence obtained from an illegal, warrantless search.

Excerpts from the trial court's order suppressing the evidence form the improper search, with n...

What is the role of the Insurance Adjuster?
Posted on : 07/18/2016

People seriously injured in auto or motorcycle accidents frequently think that the insurance adjuster’s goal is to help them.  This is simply not true.   Insurance companies are in the business of making money.  They make more money by paying the least amount of money po...

How does Indiana handle out of state OWI (Operating While Intoxicated)
Posted on : 07/11/2016

In Indiana, an out of state Operating while Intoxicated (OWI) conviction can only be used to enhance an Indiana OWI to a felony if the out of state OWI statute is substantially similar to Indiana’s OWI statute.

In State v Bazan, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined that the trial...

How Important is it to remain silent?
Posted on : 06/29/2016

The importance of correctly exercising your constitutional right to remain silent has once again been shown by a recent Indiana case. 

In Nichols v. State, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting evidence at trial that the def...

Court of Appeals win by Steven Knecht
Posted on : 06/22/2016

Steven Knecht was notified that he won his appeals case in the Court of Appeals.  Please see the ruling here:  Appeal


Attorney Required for Plea?
Posted on : 06/09/2016

Do you need to pay for an attorney before accepting a plea bargain?
Being charged with a crime can be a terrifying, stressful, and confusing experience. Things can move fast and get complicated quickly. Under this kind of stress, it can be tempting to get the process over with by accepting t...

Evidence obtained in a traffic stop.... How can it be used in court?
Posted on : 05/26/2016

In Indiana, the evidence obtained in a traffic stop based on an unreasonable mistake of law by the police officer cannot be used to obtain a conviction.

In Darringer v. State, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined that the trial court abused its discretion in an operating while intoxica...

Steven Knecht to present oral argument
Posted on : 05/10/2016

Steven Knecht will be presenting an oral argument to the Indiana Court of Appeals on May 23, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. in the case of Ricky Arion v. State of Indiana. The argument is scheduled for a web-cast at Most appeals are completed in ...

Steven Knecht won a new trial for his client before the Indiana Supreme Court
Posted on : 04/25/2016

Steven Knecht won a new trial for his client on appeal before the Indiana Supreme Court.  On April 21, 2016, the Indiana Supreme Court made its decision in the case of Adam Horton v. State of Indiana.  Here, the defendant remained silent while his public defender requested a bench trial...

Have you or someone you know been accused of a sex offense. Here are 6 steps to take immediately.
Posted on : 04/12/2016

Rape, child molestation and other sex offenses are particularly heinous charges to face.  Rape or any other sex offense accusation can lead to serious consequences not to mention the public humiliation aspect of them.  If you are a Purdue or other college student, you face expulsion as ...

Public Intoxication
Posted on : 03/30/2016

Public Intoxication and Minor Consumption crimes in Indiana can carry serious penalties.  Excise police conduct alcohol enforcement campaigns, including on college campuses and surrounding areas on home football game weekends and spring events such as Purdue Grand Prix weekend.  The exc...

Failure to Appear
Posted on : 03/15/2016

We are frequently asked if you can be convicted if the victim fails to show up for the trial.  In Indiana, the answer is that a conviction is still possible if the victim made statements prior to the trial that a court determines to be non-testimonial.  

In Ward v. State, W...

Guarian Ad Litem (GAL) Responsibilities
Posted on : 03/02/2016

A guardian-ad-litem (GAL) is a person appointed by the court to represent the interests of children in family law proceedings.  A GAL makes a non-binding recommendation to the court on custody and visitation issues.  They do an independent investigation and make a written confidential r...

Posted on : 02/22/2016

Can you be convicted of Resisting Law Enforcement by fleeing if you fail to stop when ordered by the police.  In Indiana, the answer depends on the amount of evidence the police officer has that you may have been involved in criminal activity. 

In Gaddie v. State, the Indiana Su...

Biggest Mistakes after being arrested for OWI
Posted on : 02/07/2016

If you, or someone you know, is charged with operating while intoxicated, you need to know the three biggest mistakes people make.   Every one of these mistakes can result in a conviction that could have been avoided.

 Mistake # 1: I tested over the limit, I might a...

Looking for an attorney for a DUI! Vonderheide and Knecht can help!
Posted on : 01/26/2016

Steven Knecht has been selected for membership by the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys.  This is a significant achievement as each attorney must have attained the highest degree of professional achievement in the defense of DUI cases. 

This is just of many different...

Expunging an old Misdemeanor Conviction
Posted on : 01/18/2016

Is there any benefit to expunging an old minor criminal conviction such as possession of marijuana, public intoxication, or a misdemeanor operating while intoxicated?

It is always in your best interests to expunge your old criminal conviction.  When you are charged with a crime, a pu...

Hiring the Best Attorney - Part II
Posted on : 01/08/2016

If you have been arrested, or if a loved one is facing criminal charges, you cannot afford to wait another minute. As skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys who have represented thousands of men and women accused of crimes and taken over a hundred cases to trial, we know that taking s...

Top 4 Mistakes to Avoid if Arrested!
Posted on : 12/09/2015

Most people don’t know what to expect when they are questioned by the police or arrested.  They frequently make mistakes that hurt their case, even if they have done nothing wrong.  You need to be prepared to avoid making these common mistakes:

Mistake # 1: Making ...

What is a Public Defender?
Posted on : 12/02/2015

A public defender is a state appointed attorney that represents you if you are charged with a crime and cannot afford to hire a private attorney.  Public defenders have a bad reputation.  However, there are good public defenders and bad public defenders.  Because of the respect jud...

Criminal Harrassment?? We can help!
Posted on : 11/11/2015

Congratulations to Steven Knecht for successfully assisting a Purdue student in obtaining a finding of non-violation of Purdue’s Anti-Harassment Policy from the Dean of Students for a  sexual assault allegation made by another student.

If arrested or ticketed for a criminal off...

What constitutes a Habitual Traffic Violater in Indiana?
Posted on : 11/02/2015

If you are determined to be an Habitual Traffic Violator by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, your driving privileges can be suspended for 5 years, 10 years or even for life.  If you drive as an Habitual Traffic Violator after a BMV determination, you can be charged with a Level 6 felony and fac...

Possession of Drugs from a passenger?
Posted on : 10/15/2015

          Can you be convicted of possessing marijuana found in your companion’s pants?  In Indiana, the answer is that you can if you make incriminating statements to the police.



Warrantless Home Searches and Consent
Posted on : 09/30/2015

A search of a residence generally may only be conducted pursuant to a lawful warrant. Searches conducted without a warrant are illegal subject only to a few specific exceptions. The remedy for an illegal warrantless search is the suppression of the evidence obtained from the search.

One e...

Protecting your assets from your kids
Posted on : 09/09/2015

It can be frightening thinking about leaving your estate to children who have been irresponsible with their lives and money.  Fortunately, you can prepare a trust or will that protects your assets from their reckless behavior and provide for your children at the same time. 

If y...

How to prevent the police from searching my car!
Posted on : 08/17/2015

          Understanding your rights will help prepare you to handle the pressure and confusion of a traffic stop.  Police officers frequently try to exploit a major loophole in the search warrant requirement by obtaining your consent to a vehicle search.&nb...

Do I need a Will?
Posted on : 08/04/2015

Having a Will is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family.  In addition to protecting your spouse, children and assets, a Will can also spell out exactly how you want your affairs handled upon your death.  In your Will, you can indicate what should happen...

Can Police search your home without a warrant?
Posted on : 07/20/2015

          A search of a residence generally may only be conducted pursuant to a lawful warrant.  Searches conducted without a warrant are illegal subject only to a few specific exceptions.  The remedy for an illegal warrantless search is the suppressio...

Living Trust - What to know
Posted on : 07/07/2015

Who needs a living trust?  A Will should be the basis of any estate plan.  However, a properly prepared estate plan also provides for substitute management of your financial affairs  in the event of a temporary or permanent disability as well as for a smooth and low expense transfe...

Pat Down Search
Posted on : 06/25/2015

A police officer may, without a warrant or probable cause, briefly detain an individual for

investigatory purposes if, based on specific and articulable facts, the officer has reasonable

suspicion that criminal activity may be occurring.   After making a stop, if an offi...

Controlled Buy
Posted on : 06/11/2015

Most drug dealing charges result from a controlled buy.  Police officers frequently send in confidential informants to purchase small amount of drugs for a $100 or less from addicts and subsequently charge the addicts as dealers.

A drug dealing charge based on a controlled buy where ...

Entrapment as a Defense
Posted on : 05/20/2015

Entrapment exists where an otherwise law-abiding citizen is induced through police involvement to commit the charged crime.  Entrapment is defined by statute as:


(a) It is a defense that:


 (1) the prohibited conduct of the person was the pro...

Selecting the best attorney
Posted on : 04/21/2015

Your child has been arrested at a Purdue fraternity party for dealing marijuana and public intoxication.  Perhaps you just received divorce papers by the sheriff or your mother has passed away and you have to open an estate to sell her house. 

Not everyone has a friend who is an...

Fair Division of Marital Assets
Posted on : 04/14/2015

In a divorce proceeding, all marital property goes into the marital pot for division, whether it was owned by either spouse before the marriage, acquired by either spouse after the marriage and before final separation of the parties, or acquired by their joint efforts.   An equal divisi...

10 Best Attorneys for the State of Indiana
Posted on : 03/30/2015

Steven Knecht has been nominated as one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the State of Indiana by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys.  This is a significant achievement as each attorney must have attained the highest degree of professional achievement in criminal law a...

Do I Need a Power of Attorney?
Posted on : 03/19/2015

A power of attorney (POA) should be a part of every estate plan.  A POA is a legal document that allows you to appoint a person to manage your financial affairs if you become unable to do so.  With a POA, you can avoid the necessity of a court appointing a guardian for you if you become...

2015 Changes to Indiana's Driving Privileges
Posted on : 03/05/2015

As of January 1, 2015, Indiana eliminated hardship and probationary licenses and replaced them with special driving privileges permits.  Under this new law, individuals with habitual traffic violator suspensions of five years, ten years or lifetime suspensions are potentially eligible for im...

Do I need to hire a lawyer to prepare my will and other estate planning documents?
Posted on : 02/24/2015

Do I need to hire a lawyer to prepare my will and other estate planning documents?  The internet is flooded with do-it-yourself sources for those wanting to prepare these documents themselves.  However, there are risks to do-it-yourself estate planning, including the risk that your wish...

OWI for a Prescription Drug?
Posted on : 02/10/2015

Can I be convicted of operating while intoxicated if I only used a drug as prescribed by my physician?  In Indiana, you can be convicted if the prescription drug impaired your ability to drive. 

“Intoxicated” under Indiana law means under the influence of:


Purdue Disciplinary Conduct Conferences
Posted on : 01/12/2015

Purdue students arrested for a criminal offense will face either a disciplinary conduct conference or a Community Standards Board Panel hearing depending on the seriousness of the criminal offense.  If the Purdue Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities schedules you a conduct conferenc...

Our advice: Take the Breath Test
Posted on : 12/31/2014

If during a traffic stop in Indiana, a police officer asks you to take a breath test to determine if you are intoxicated, should you agree to take the breath test?   We believe that you should take the breath test.  In Indiana, a person who operates a vehicle impliedly consents to ...

Defense of Student Gets National Attention
Posted on : 12/02/2014

The defense, by Steve Knecht, of a student accused of bullying, gets national attention.  Steve is quoted in the Wall Street Journal.  He can also be seen being interviewed on the Today Show clip.  Click on the links for more information.  

Wall Street Journal Article:...

Best Attorneys of America
Posted on : 11/26/2014

Steven Knecht has received an invitation from Rue Ratings to become a lifetime charter member of “Best Attorneys of America” representing Indiana as one of its top 100 lawyers.

According to Rue Ratings’s website, lifetime charter members are lawyers that have an extraord...

Inclement Weather and Scheduled Visitation
Posted on : 11/13/2014

Winter StormYou are the mother of a minor child.  The child’s father has visitation every other weekend, and this is his weekend.  He lives ...

Crime of Domestic Violence
Posted on : 11/05/2014

A person convicted of a crime of domestic violence by a guilty plea or a trial faces additional penalties beyond those imposed by the judge at sentencing.   You will lose the right to possess a firearm, possession of a firearm or ammunition may constitute a separate crime, and parenting...

Purdue Community Standards Board Hearings
Posted on : 10/21/2014

Depending on the severity of the offense, students who are arrested while attending Purdue may face either a Community Standards Board (CSB) panel hearing or a conduct conference.  All Tippecanoe County based law enforcement agencies notify Purdue of its arrests of Purdue students.  If ...

Purdue Community Standards Board Hearings
Posted on : 10/21/2014

Depending on the severity of the offense, students who are arrested while attending Purdue may face either a Community Standards Board (CSB) panel hearing or a conduct conference.  All Tippecanoe County based law enforcement agencies notify Purdue of its arrests of Purdue students.  If ...

Sentencing Law Changes
Posted on : 10/14/2014

What are the penalties for felonies under Indiana’s new criminal code?  The Indiana legislature has dramatically changed the penalties for felonies. 

As of July 1, 2014, Murder and the 4 classes of felonies will change to Murder and 6 levels of felonies. 


Same Sex Marriage is Legal In Indiana
Posted on : 10/07/2014

On October 6, 2014 the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the petition(s) to transfer  Court of Appeals rulings generally cited as invalidating state (Indiana) prohibitions against same sex marriage.    As a result of the Supreme Court’s  decision, ...

Grandparent Visitation
Posted on : 10/01/2014

When can a child’s grandparent seek visitation with the child? 

In Indiana, only three circumstances allow for grandparent visitation:

  1. The child’s parent is deceased;
  2. The child’s parents were divorced in Indiana; or
  3. The child was b...

What is a deposition?
Posted on : 09/26/2014

A deposition is part of the discovery process in criminal and civil proceedings.   A deposition is the taking of sworn testimony from a potential witness.  A deposition is used to avoid surprise at trial and to preserve testimony while it is still fresh since a trial often occurs m...

Same Sex Marriage- Coming to Indiana?
Posted on : 09/17/2014

On September 4th, a three judge panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago unanimously declared Indiana’s same sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.  While that decision, and similar decisions in U.S. appellate courts in Denver, Colorado and Richmond, Vi...

Divorce: Are you prepared?
Posted on : 09/09/2014

What should you do to prepare for a divorce?  No one feels prepared for a divorce.  Getting divorced is frightening.  Worrying about what is going to happen is normal.  Good legal advice can remove most of the guess work.  Preparing for divorce by doing these 4 things can...

"I want a lawyer."
Posted on : 09/02/2014

Once again, the Indiana Court of Appeals showed the importance of knowing the right words to tell the police if you wish to have a lawyer before answering any questions from the officer.   Unless you ask for a lawyer using the proper words, the officer may ignore your request and keep a...

Force in Resisting Arrest
Posted on : 08/28/2014

Can you use force to resist an unlawful arrest by a police officer?  In Indiana, it depends on the amount of force the police officer uses during the arrest. 

If you are being peacefully arrested, you are not entitled to forcibly resist the arrest.  Your remedy for an unlaw...

Tony Stewart - What happens now?
Posted on : 08/12/2014

Tony Stewart 20Even though Tony Stewart may not face criminal charges from what happened at Canandaigua, he could still face a wrongful death cla...

New Habitual Vehicle Substance Offender Penalties in Indiana
Posted on : 07/28/2014

Drunk driving police helmetStarting July 1, 2014, Indiana has a new habitual vehicle substance offender sentencing enhancement. A person who qual...

Indiana Theft Penalties Reduced
Posted on : 07/21/2014

Arrested for theftThe penalties for Theft have changed under Indiana’s new criminal code, with the Indiana legislature having actually reduce...

Taking Care of Me, My Family, and My Will
Posted on : 07/14/2014

Do I need a Will?  Do I need a Living Will?  Should my mom or dad have a Power Of Attorney?

These are important questions, and their answers greatly depend on your circumstances.

At Vonderheide & Knecht, we always recommend that you have a Living Will (a form of heal...

Sentencing Changes in Indiana
Posted on : 06/30/2014

The Indiana legislature has dramatically (and arguably for the worse) changed the range of penalties for those receiving a felony sentence.

Under Indiana’s new criminal code, starting July 1, 2014, the 4 existing classes of felonies will be changed to a new scale with 6 levels of fe...

Indiana Marijuana Law Change: Part 2
Posted on : 06/23/2014

The penalties for dealing marijuana are about to change under Indiana’s new criminal code. While the Indiana legislature recently reduced the penalty for possession of marijuana, the penalties for dealing marijuana have been increased at the same time, making it more likely that you can be ...

Divorce: Lawyer?
Posted on : 06/16/2014

Divorce lawyer attorney lafayette indiana"Do I need a lawyer in my divorce?"

When you call our office and ask...

Indiana Marijuana Law Change
Posted on : 05/29/2014

Marijuana LeafWill the penalties for possession of marijuana change under Indiana’s new criminal code? In a word, yes.  The Indiana leg...

PSA: Bail in a Murder Case
Posted on : 05/14/2014

A little less than a year ago, the Indiana Supreme Court determined that murder defendants no longer need to prove why they should be entitled to bail, setting aside nearly 150 years of prior contrary decisions.  In the case of Fry vs. State, the court ordered that the burden o...

Ask A Lawyer! #12 "What qualifies as self-defense?"
Posted on : 05/08/2014

When can a person use physical force to protect himself?

In Indiana, a person is justified in using reasonable force against any other person to protect the person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. A claim of self-defense also requires that...

Ask A Lawyer! #11
Posted on : 04/28/2014

HandcuffsCan I expunge my old arrest records?  

In a word: possibly. Records can be expunged if the arre...

Ask A Lawyer! #10
Posted on : 04/17/2014

Vibration meterIf a police officer asks you to take a polygraph test, should you agree to take test?

Absolutely not. Polygra...

Ask A Lawyer! #9
Posted on : 04/10/2014


Police Car

If I am being questioned by a police officer, can I always believe what the officer is telling me? 


Ask A Lawyer! #8 "Pleading Insanity"
Posted on : 03/31/2014

If a Defendant pleads insanity, what are the consequences of a Guilty or Not Guilty verdict?

Many jurors wrongfully believe that a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity in a criminal trial results in the Defendant walking out of the courtroom without further consequ...

Ask a Lawyer! #7
Posted on : 03/03/2014

drunk driver

Operating while intoxicated (OWI) charges are normally based on breath test results. However, for these results t...

Ask A Lawyer! #6 "Why a Jury Trial?"
Posted on : 02/25/2014

One of the most important things you can do when taken to court is to plead not guilty and request a jury trial even if you intend to eventually accept a plea agreement. “Why would I do that?” you might ask.

The truth is, simply the threat of going to a jury trial gives you ne...

Ask A Lawyer! #5
Posted on : 02/10/2014

Big ol' police puppy

If, during a traffic stop, a police officer detains you until the drug dog can arrive to sniff your car, what should ...

Ask a Lawyer! #4 "Knock and Talk"
Posted on : 02/06/2014

If police officers knock on your door and ask if they can come inside and talk to you, should you agree to let them come inside?  If you want to maintain your privacy, we believe that you should not let the officers come inside.

A “knock and talk” investigation involves o...

Ask A Lawyer! #3
Posted on : 01/27/2014

College Graduates

If you’re a custodial parent, you may be wondering, “when is this year’s (2014) deadline to ask for help paying ...

Ask A Lawyer! #2 "Breathalyzer"
Posted on : 01/17/2014

Ask A Lawyer #2 "Should I Breathalyze?"

"If I get pulled over and asked to take a breathalyzer test, should I?"

If, during a traffic stop in Indiana, a police officer asks you to take a breath test to determine if you are intoxicated, should you agree to take the breath test? ...

Ask A Lawyer! #1 "I Want A Lawyer."
Posted on : 01/07/2014

You would think that telling a police officer that you wish to have a lawyer present before answering any questions would be a simple, straightforward action. However, the fact of the matter is that unless you ask for a lawyer using the proper words AND ONLY the proper words, an officer is legall...

Not Guilty Verdict Win
Posted on : 12/09/2013

Steven Knecht successfully obtained a not guilty verdict for a client on a charge of Encouraging, Aiding or Inducing Minor to Possess Alcohol.   The client was a 21 year old college student that had his 20 year old fraternity brother drive him to a liquor store.  The court found th...

Public Intoxication vs. OWI
Posted on : 11/14/2013

If you have consumed alcohol at a party or a bar, should you drive, get a ride or walk home?   In Indiana, you once faced the possibility of arrest under all three options.  Indiana cases used to hold that you could be convicted of public intoxication even if you were a passenger i...

Breath Test Refusal Blog
Posted on : 10/28/2013

If during a traffic stop in Indiana, a police officer asks you to take a breath test to determine if you are intoxicated, should you agree to take the breath test?   We believe that you should take the breath test.  In Indiana, a person who operates a vehicle impliedly consents to ...

Inheritance Tax Repeal
Posted on : 10/17/2013

Indiana’s inheritance tax has been repealed.  This repeal is retroactive to the beginning of the year.  Any Indiana resident who dies after December 31, 2012 pays no Indiana inheritance tax.  This repeal has the potential to save the heirs of some decedents thousands of dolla...

False Confession Testimony
Posted on : 09/17/2013

Experts exist in the field of false and/or coerced confessions.  However, the law places limits on what these experts may testify to at trial.  Experts may testify on the general subjects of coercive police interrogation and false or coerced confessions.  Experts may also testify r...

Traffic Stop Requirements
Posted on : 08/28/2013

Indiana law provides that in order for a police officer to make an arrest or issue a traffic ticket for a violation of a law regulating the operation of a motor vehicle, the officer must be either wearing a uniform and badge, or driving a clearly marked police vehicle.  The purpose of this l...

Trash Search
Posted on : 08/13/2013

Be careful of what you set out in the street for trash collection.  A search by police officers of trash recovered from the place where it is left for collection is permissible under some circumstances.  If the officers have an articulable basis justifying reasonable suspicion that the ...

Police Deception
Posted on : 07/31/2013

While lying is a factor that is considered, police deception does not automatically render a confession inadmissible.  In Carter v. State, police officers asked Carter “what if I [told] you she is in the hospital right now talking to some of our officers?....You thought she was dead, d...

Self Defense
Posted on : 07/15/2013

In light of the ongoing discussion of the verdict in the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin case, here is Indiana’s lengthy statute on self defense in criminal cases:


(a) In enacting this section, the general assembly finds and declares that it is the policy of t...

Grandparents Visitation
Posted on : 07/08/2013

A child's relationship with his grandparents is important.  But grandparent-visitation orders necessarily impinge on a parent's constitutionally protected rights.  The Indiana Supreme Court in the case of In Re visitation of M.L.B. recently held that an order granting grandpare...

Insanity Defense
Posted on : 07/01/2013

Many jurors wrongfully believe that a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity in a criminal trial results in the Defendant walking out of the courtroom without further consequences.  To correct this inaccurate belief, the Indiana Supreme Court last week in the case of Passwater v. St...

Child Support vs. Parenting Time
Posted on : 06/27/2013

The  Indiana Supreme Court this week banned agreements that give up parenting time in return for not paying child support.   In the case of Perkinson v. Perkinson, the court found the concept of parents negotiating away parenting time as a means to eliminate the obligation...

Right to Bail
Posted on : 06/26/2013

The Indiana Supreme Court yesterday determined that murder defendants no longer need to prove why they should be entitled to bail setting aside nearly 150 years of prior contrary decisions.  In the case of Fry v.  State, the court ordered that the burden of proof for bail in mu...

Right to Remain Silent
Posted on : 06/17/2013

If you have ever watched a television show or a movie about the police or criminal lawyers, you should already know that the United States Supreme Court held in a case called Miranda v. Arizona that a criminal suspect who is in police custody must be advised of his right to remain silent...

New Expungement Law Effective July 1, 2013
Posted on : 05/30/2013

The Indiana has a significant new expungement law starting on July 1, 2013.

Some highlights include:

Any arrest not resulting in a conviction or if the conviction is vacated shall be expunged after 1 year.

All convictions for misdemeanors and all convictions for Class D fe...

Court of Appeals Ruling
Posted on : 05/21/2013

On May 16, 2013, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a client of Steven Knecht, a partner with Vonderheide & Knecht, by overturning the client’s convictions of criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement.   The client was represented at trial by a different ...

We are MOVING?
Posted on : 05/07/2013

Did you know that after 20 years, we are MOVING!!  Vonderheide and Knecht are relocating to 300 Main St. Suite 500.  This will be effective June 1, 2013.  Stop by and see us!


Supreme Court Ruling
Posted on : 03/27/2013

On March 21, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor for a client of Steven Knecht, a partner with Vonderheide & Knecht, overturning the client’s consecutive sentence enhancement as an habitual offender.   The client was represented at the trial court by a differe...

Supreme Court Argument
Posted on : 03/08/2013

On March 7, Steven Knecht, a partner with Vonderheide & Knecht, presented an oral argument to the Indiana Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn a client’s sentence enhancement as an habitual offender.   The client was represented at trial by a different law firm.  He wa...