50 Washington Street, Suite 3A | Columbus, Indiana 47201

 Criminal Defense

Columbus Criminal Defense Attorneys Safeguard Clients’ Rights

Indiana firm represents individuals in felony, misdemeanor and traffic cases

Getting arrested threatens your freedom, your finances and maybe even your relationships with family members. No matter what type of charge you or a loved one faces, this is not a time to be embarrassed or to hesitate about asserting your fundamental rights. From our Columbus office, Thomasson, Guthrie, Schuh-Ogle & Happel, P.C. delivers strong defense representation for Indiana clients. We have extensive experience securing dismissals, acquittals and sentence reductions for the people we serve and also assist with sealing and expungement actions when clients seek to remove negative references from their record. Whatever your legal challenge entails, we will fight for your rights in the criminal justice system as we pursue the best possible outcome in your case.

Skillful litigators outline common crimes we defend against

In Bartholomew County and other Indiana locations, we defend people on a wide range of felony and misdemeanor charges, such as those involving allegations of:

  • Drunk driving — If you have been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, our litigators dig to see if problems with the stop, arrest or sobriety test have tainted the case against you.
  • Battery and other bodily injury — Some charges arising from potential or actual physical altercations are grounded in the reporting officer’s misconceptions. When handling matters relating to criminal recklessness,  battery or other physical or bodily crimes, we present the relevant exculpatory evidence that might have been missed.  
  • Homicide — A murder or manslaughter accusation must be treated with the utmost seriousness and professionalism. Our background gives us the ability to handle these cases effectively.
  • Motor vehicle crimes — Convictions for reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident or another motor vehicle crime might lead to incarceration and the long-term loss of driving privileges. By challenging questionable evidence and witnesses, we help clients preserve their freedom.
  • Drug crimes — In prosecutions arising from the alleged possession, sale and manufacturing of illegal drugs, we press to exclude illegally obtained evidence and seek to steer clients toward recovery programs as an alternative to incarceration.
  • Sexual offenses — Defending cases where someone is accused of rape, sexual battery or a similar offense can turn on questions of consent and communication among the people involved. Our attorneys have the background and sensitivity to litigate these matters skillfully.
  • Burglary, theft and other property crimes — Whether the particular count against you involves breaking and entering, embezzlement, retail theft or white collar misconduct, we’ll push back against unsupported claims and overzealous authorities. 

Emerging with the best possible result in a criminal defense matter is crucial, but the cost of mounting a strong case cannot be overlooked. We use a flat-fee structure in these matters that is based on several factors. This way, you can concentrate on your case without having to worry if certain decisions will lead to additional costs.

What happens after you’ve been charged with a crime?

At every stage of the criminal justice process, our firm safeguards clients’ fundamental rights and prevents errors that could hinder their defense. When someone is being held, we assist with bail proceedings and argue for an amount that fits the circumstances and allows our client to go home pending trial. From there, we work diligently to see if charges have any merit or if they should be reduced or dismissed. If an acceptable offer is not made, our determined advocates will conduct thorough discovery and argue your case forcefully in court.

What are common defenses to a criminal charge?

Getting arrested is an intimidating process, and the authorities have many tools at their disposal to persuade defendants to give up their right to a formidable defense. Regardless of what you’re being charged with, our experienced attorneys can identify legally supportable defenses that could lead to a dismissal, acquittal or favorable plea agreement. Following an examination of the pertinent facts, we’ll evaluate if you might be able to defeat the allegations against you by demonstrating that you were acting in self-defense, proving consent of the victim, showing that you lacked the requisite mental state or detailing a sound alibi. Even eyewitness testimony and surveillance accounts can be mistaken or misleading. Our firm also investigates the facts in each case to see if the charges stemmed from police misconduct or the improper collection of evidence.  A conviction requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, so even a defense that raises questions about what occurred could prove successful at trial.

Currently, in the State of Indiana, the following is a list of minimum and maximum sentences and fines that a Court can impose upon a person for being found guilty of committing a crime:

Offense                                            Potential Range                            Maximum Fine 

Murder                                             45-65 Years                                    $10,000.00

Level 1 Felony                              20-40 Years*                                  $10,000.00  

Level 2 Felony                              10-30 Years                                    $10,000.00 

Level 3 Felony                               3-16 Years                                      $10,000.00

Level 4 Felony                               2-12 Years                                      $10,000.00

Level 5 Felony                               1-6 Years                                         $10,000.00

Level 6 Felony                               6 months-2 1/2 Years              $10,000.00

Class A Misdemeanor               0-1 Year                                           $10,000.00 

Class B Misdemeanor               0-180 Days                                     $5,000.00 

Class C Misdemeanor               0-60 Days                                       $500.00

* 20-50 years in cases of an offense of child molestation described in: IC 35-31.5-2-72(1); or IC 35-31.5-2-72(2).

CREDIT TIME FOR CRIMES OCCURRING AFTER JUNE 30, 2014 – A person assigned to Class A earns one (1) day of credit time for each day the person is imprisoned for a crime or confined awaiting trial or sentencing. –  A person assigned to Class B earns one (1) day of credit time for every three (3) days the person is imprisoned for a crime or confined awaiting trial or sentencing. –  A person assigned to Class C earns one (1) day of credit time for every six (6) days the person is imprisoned for a crime or confined awaiting trial or sentencing. –  A person assigned to Class D earns no credit time.

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY BOND SCHEDULE (LR03-CR00-BOND-1) “(A) Bond Schedule. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the following shall be the amount set for the bail bonds: 

Murder                                                NO BOND

Level 1 Felony                                 $150,000.00 Cash

Level 2 Felony                                 $100,000.00 Cash

Level 3 Felony                                 $75,000.00 Cash 

Level 4 Felony                                 $40,000.00 Cash 

Level 5 Felony                                 $15,000.00 Cash

Level 6 Felony                                 $7,500.00 Cash

Class A Misdemeanor                $5,000.00 Cash

Class B Misdemeanor                $3,500.00 Cash

Class C Misdemeanor                $2,500.00 Cash

In the event that the alleged crime involves possession of Methamphetamine or Pseudoephedrine or Anhydrous Ammonia, the Bond shall be increased by $50,000.00 Cash. In the event the alleged crime involves distribution of Methamphetamine or manufacture of Methamphetamine, the Bond shall be increased by $100,000.00 Cash.

All bonds may be posted in full in cash or ten (10%) percent in cash of the full amount.  In the event that an arrest is made without a warrant signed by a judge endorsing a specific bond, the charts above shall establish the bond for a “preliminary charge.” In the event that the individual is arrested on more than one “preliminary charge,” the bond shall be set in the amount of bond for the most serious offense.

In the event that the arresting officer believes that the above schedule is not appropriate for a specific arrest based upon facts known to the officer or surrounding circumstances, the officer may complete an affidavit and provide it to the Sheriff’s Department and the Sheriff is authorized to hold such arrestee until the sooner of forty-eight (48) hours (excluding weekends and holidays) or until further order of a

Contact a proven Indiana criminal defense lawyer for a consultation 

Thomasson, Guthrie, Schuh-Ogle & Happel, P.C. in Columbus advocates in state and federal courts on behalf of Indiana residents who have been accused of crimes. Please call 812-565-5041 or contact us online to discuss your situation and legal options.