Criminal Law

Jon Phillips, Attorney at Law

Jon Phillips

I am a former deputy prosecutor in Tippecanoe County who is currently practicing criminal law.  As a deputy prosecutor, I have evaluated hundreds of cases and tried a variety of misdemeanor and felony jury trials.  Criminal cases are sometimes subject to dismissal because of a lack of evidence, evidence was obtained in violation of your rights or there is a legal defense.

In some cases, there are circumstances that warrant leniency in the penalty imposed.  While a deputy prosecutor, I worked hard to gain a reputation for fairness among judges, prosecutors and other participants in the criminal justice system.  I have negotiated plea agreements and appeared in hundreds of guilty plea and sentencing hearings.

Being accused of a crime can be a difficult situation that disrupts many aspects of your life. If chosen as your attorney, I will use my experience and knowledge to guide you through the process while doing my best to minimize the impact on your day-to-day life.

Our firm offers a free initial visit for criminal cases that allows you to meet with me and discuss your case.  If you wish to hire me as your lawyer, I’ll explain all the fees and costs in advance.  In some cases, I can agree to a payment plan that will fit your budget.

Please call me at 765-420-0230for an appointment. My criminal law experience includes the following:

  • Former Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • Speedy Trial Motions
  • Bond Reduction Hearings
  • Plea Negotiations
  • Major Felony and Misdemeanor Jury Trials
  • Motions to Suppress
  • Motions for Discovery
  • Sentencing Hearings
  • Modifications
  • Post-Conviction Relief
  • Probation Revocation Hearings
  • Juvenile Hearings
  • Expungement/Restricted Access to Criminal Arrests
    Appeals
  • Forfeiture
  • Traffic Infractions

What you Should Know Before Court

Initial Hearing

You should not appear in Court without an attorney.  Initial Hearings are recorded and anything you say can be used against you at trial. The Court will set strict deadlines for filing certain motions and raising certain defenses.  If you fail to comply with these deadlines, certain rights may be waived or “given up.”  You may also lose the ability to present defense evidence crucial to your case.  If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you must file a written request for a jury trial in a timely manner.  Whether you are guilty or not guilty, failing to comply with Court ordered deadlines or statutory requirements can have devastating consequences to your case.

Your Legal Rights

You have the right to the assistance of an attorney.  If you intend to hire an attorney, you must do so within: twenty (20) days of the Initial Hearing if you are charged with a felony, or ten (10) days of the Initial Hearing if you are charged with a misdemeanor; because there are deadlines for filing certain motions and raising certain defenses.  If these deadlines are missed, the legal issues and defenses that could have been raised will be waived, or “given up,” by you.

You also have the right to represent yourself.  If you represent yourself, you must follow all of the laws, rules of evidence, and proper legal procedures.  The judge and court staff are not allowed to give you advice, or to tell you what you should do or how you should do it.  Before deciding to represent yourself, you should understand that an attorney has skills and experience in preparing for trial and presenting a proper and persuasive defense.  These skills include: investigating and interrogating witnesses; gathering appropriate documentary evidence; obtaining favorable defense witnesses; preparing and filing pretrial motions; preparing and filing appropriate written jury instructions; presenting effective opening statements and closing arguments; examining and cross-examining witnesses at trial; as well as recognizing, making, and responding to objections to potentially prejudicial evidence, questions, and testimony.  An attorney could explain the charges and any lesser included offense that might benefit you.  An attorney could explain and properly raise any defenses, legal or practical, that my benefit you.  An attorney could explain and raise any mitigating circumstances surrounding the charge.  An attorney is usually more experienced in plea negotiations and better able to identify and evaluate any potential defenses and evidentiary or procedural problems in the prosecution’s case.

If you want to be represented by an attorney and are determined by the court, after a hearing, to be indigent or financially unable to hire an attorney, an attorney will be appointed to represent you at no cost.  If you want to be represented by an attorney and are determined by the court to be able to pay part of the cost of representation by the assigned counsel, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you and order you to pay a part of the cost of such representation.

You have the right to a speedy and public trial to the judge or to a jury.  If you are charged with a misdemeanor and you want a jury trial, you must file with the court a written notice of your request for a jury trial at lease ten (10) calendar days before the trial date.  If you are charged with a misdemeanor and you fail to file such a request before that date, you give up your right to a jury trial.

You have the right to be released on a reasonable bond while this case is pending.  Your release from custody while this case is pending, whether it is by posting a surety or cash bond or by being released on your own recognizance, is conditioned upon your good and lawful behavior.  If you fail to maintain good and lawful behavior, your bail may be revoked, the amount of your bond may be increased, or your release on your own recognizance may be revoked.  You must promptly inform the court of any change of your address.  You must remain in contact with your attorney, if you have one, and appear in court for the scheduled hearings, conferences and trial.  If you fail to appear in court when ordered to do so, a warrant may be issued for your arrest and any bond that you had posted may be forfeited.

You have the right to require the State to prove each element of the charge or charges filed against you beyond a reasonable doubt at trial in order to obtain a conviction, and throughout these proceedings you are presumed to be innocent.

You have the right to hear and cross-examine each witness appearing and giving testimony against you.  You have the right to present witnesses to provide evidence in your behalf and the court will assist you by issuing subpoenas at no cost to you to compel those witnesses to attend.

You have the right to remain silent.  You cannot be compelled to make any statement or to testify against yourself at any hearing or trial.  Anything you may choose to say, however, may be used against you.  If you choose to testify, you are subject to cross-examination just like every other witness who testifies.

You have the right to be tried in the county in which the offense allegedly occurred.

You have the right to appeal to a higher court, if you are convicted.

You have the right to demand the nature and cause of the accusations(s) made against you and to receive a copy of the charges that have been filed against you.

Penalties

Crime
Prison or Jail
Fine
Murder 45-65 yrs in prison $0-$10,000
Level 1 Felony 20-40 yrs in prison $0-$10,000
Level 2 Felony 10-30 yrs in prison $0-$10,000
Level 3 Felony 3-16 yrs in prison $0-$10,000
Level 4 Felony 2–12 yrs in prison $0-$10,000
Level 5 Felony 1–6 yrs in prison $0-$10,000
Level 6 Felony .5–2.5 yrs in prison or jail $0-$10,000
Class A Misdemeanor 0-365 days in jail $0-$5,000
Class B Misdemeanor 0-180 days in jail $0-$1,000
Class C Misdemeanor 0-60 days in jail $0-$500

 

Jon Phillips
765-420-0230