Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from a criminal law attorney?

You can expect to be informed about any and all of your charges, as well as the possible defenses. No attorney can guarantee the outcome of your case, but we will make sure the you understand the process, the potential outcomes, and help make informed decisions about options. Our experienced lawyers will represent you to get the best outcome possible.

Are the police required to read my rights when I'm arrested?

No, the police are not legally required to read you your Miranda rights at the time of your arrest. If they intend to use your statements against you in a court of law, they are required to. Consult with a John Goodridge criminal law attorney before speaking with law enforcement to ensure you are safe.

Do I really need a lawyer if I'm going to plead guilty?

Yes. A skilled lawyer can talk you through all your options, helping you to determine if a plea bargain is your best course of action. We can also help to determine if the prosecutor has enough evidence to offer you the plea bargain. A skilled lawyer can help negotiate the terms of plea bargains, to ensure that it is a fair deal.

What is a felony?

A felony is a crime which carries with it a potential sentence of at least one year and one day in prison. For a felony, it is important to get proper representation by a skilled lawyer in order to avoid excessive jail time.

How long will the divorce take from the beginning to end?

Indiana's dissolution of marriage law requires a waiting period of 60 days from the date of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed with the Clerk's office until there can be a final Decree of Dissolution of Marriage. Based upon Indiana law, the shortest length of time a divorce can take is 60 days. Most divorces will take longer than 60 days, as it takes time to gather information concerning the assets and debts of the marriage. If child custody is in dispute, the process can be even longer, lasting a year or more. It will depend greatly on circumstances, which is why hiring a skilled lawyer is important to make sure the process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.

If my children do not live with me, what type of visitation will I be entitled to?

The parenting time (what Indiana calls visitation) of a non custodial parent will mostly be governed by the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines, as set by the Indiana Supreme Court. Parents can work outside of these guidelines and can arrange any type of parenting time that works for them. However, if an agreement cannot be reached by the parents, the court will generally follow the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines.

Do I need to have my own attorney to represent me in the divorce or can I use my spouse's attorney?

In the state of Indiana, one attorney cannot represent both parties in a divorce. It is not required to have an attorney represent you in a divorce action, and you can use one attorney to draft a final settlement for both parties to sign. However, it is strongly recommended to hire an experienced attorney in order to represent your interests in the divorce.

Do I need a will?

Yes, wills are beneficial to every individual. Wills help determine where your money & estate should be distributed. This is especially important if you have children. Hire an attorney in order to set up your will according to your wishes.

What happens if I die without a will?

Your property will be distributed according to Indiana law if you die without a valid will.

What are the requirements for adoptions? Who's eligible to adopt a child?

According to Indiana law, the following are the requirements to become an adoptive parent:

  • Having the financial means necessary to care for a child
  • Having enough room in the home for a new child
  • Passing a thorough background check, including an FBI fingerprint check, a sex offender check, a criminal record check, etc.
  • Undergoing a home visit
  • Fulfilling all necessary training requirements.