Nov. 21—A local attorney is being temporarily suspended from practicing law after pleading guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
The Indiana Supreme Court issued a suspension of the practice of law for attorney Craig Dechert of 365 days, though 60 days will be served and the rest stayed subject to serving at least two years on probation with Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program monitoring. The suspension begins Dec. 20.
Dechert, according to the order, violated a Indiana Professional Conduct Rule that prohibits "committing a criminal act that reflects adversely" on a lawyer's trustworthiness.
The ruling comes after an investigation by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, which is tasked with investigating and prosecuting claims of misconduct against lawyers in Indiana.
Dechert, according to court documents, crashed into a motorcycle near the intersection of 266th Street and U.S. 31 North in Hamilton County on May 23, 2022, while intoxicated. His alcohol concentration equivalent was .151, according to a probable cause affidavit.
According to the suspension order, Dechert "unsuccessfully attempted to conceal his intoxication" from the police officer who responded to the accident.
The impact of the collision between Dechert's vehicle and the motorcycle caused a female passenger on the motorcycle to suffer an "orbital fracture, hip fracture, brain bleed, sacral fracture and maxillary fracture," investigators noted in the affidavit.
Dechert pleaded guilty to a felony charge of causing serious bodily injury while operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He was sentenced to three years, all of supervised probation.
Terms of Dechert's probation include participation in a drug and alcohol program, requirement of him to abstain from possessing or consuming alcohol and remote alcohol monitoring through Soberlink. Hamilton Superior Court 3 will consider modifications to those terms upon successful completion of at least two years of his sentence.
Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich.