Criminal Defense

Katharine Liell is an acclaimed criminal defense attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Indiana, the Indiana Court of Appeals, the Indiana Supreme Court, and the federal courts of the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana. Since 1988, Ms. Liell has been defending the accused in criminal courts throughout the state. Ms. Liell has never been a prosecutor nor practiced in any other field of law besides criminal. Voted by her peers as an Indiana “SuperLawyer” ™, Ms. Liell enjoys a reputation as an experienced, aggressive advocate who is willing to stand by the accused in all stages of the proceedings.

Ms. Liell has appeared on CBS 48 Hours Mystery on several occasions, NBC Dateline, and ABC 20/20.

Perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a person in our society is to be charged with a criminal offense. Based on mere accusations, the government will focus its formidable powers against an individual. The accused will be forced to attend proceedings that often he or she does not understand, and often the stakes are very high. But the accused does not stand alone; into this arena steps defense counsel. Armed with little more than wits and knowledge of criminal law, defense counsel will become the voice through which the accused will, in effect, do battle with the awesome powers of government.

Katharine Liell will be your voice. Ms. Liell is prepared to stand and fight for you throughout the proceedings and throughout trial. You do not stand alone.


Sexual Assault allegations like Rape, Child Molesting, Sexual Battery, all can lead to lengthy prison sentences and a lifetime of registering as a sexual offender. Additionally, Indiana University may take action to expel a student who is accused of this type of crime. Ms. Liell is skilled in defending those accused of these crimes, and is sensitive to the anguish such allegations can bring.

When an accused is charged with an alcohol or drug offense, there are several options for resolution. Often a resolution can be reached without having to go to trial, depending on the nature of the drug or alcohol offense. Ms. Liell is familiar with the different treatment options for those who are facing these offenses, and treatment providers, having worked as a criminal defense attorney since 1988. Often agreements can be reached with prosecutors to divert those facing addiction issues away from the criminal justice system into a more therapeutic environment. For those instances in which a traditional defense needs to be employed, Ms. Liell stands ready to be your advocate.

In Indiana, a new law provides for people who have had their drivers licenses suspended, even suspended for life, to receive Specialized Driving Privileges under numerous circumstances. Often when first charged with an Operating While Intoxicated offense an individual will be at the mercy of a prosecutor who wants to immediately suspend his or her license. Ms. Liell knows the law and knows how to protect your driving privileges.

In Indiana, Crimes against People is a classification of offenses in which a person is an alleged victim. Examples include Rape, Sexual Assault, Battery, and Armed Robbery. Ms. Liell has a proven track record of advocating for her clients with sensitivity and compassion to those who find themselves accused of these crimes.

Property crimes are offenses deemed to have been committed against property, as opposed to a person. Examples include Burglary, Residential Entry, Criminal Trespass, and Criminal Mischief. Unique defenses may be available for these types of crimes, and Ms. Liell has the experience and skill to recognize what may be available to defend individuals charged with crimes against property.

Indiana law has undergone a shift in providing people opportunities for new beginnings with a statutory scheme that permits expungements of arrests and convictions of both misdemeanors and felonies in a wide variety of circumstances. For instance, individuals who participate in pretrial diversion programs still have an arrest on their record, even though their case gets dismissed. Under Indiana law, those arrests can be expunged, or "sealed", restoring the ability of a person to respond "no" if asked whether they have ever been arrested. Likewise, many misdemeanor and felony convictions can be expunged, restoring the person's ability to say "no" when asked if he or she has ever been convicted of a crime.

Furthermore, under some circumstances, Protective Orders can be expunged, as can juvenile deliquency allegations that do not result in a deliquency determination. Parents who were parties to Child in Needs of Services cases may also expunge those cases as well.

Indiana also provides a method for destruction of DNA evidence and removal of a person's DNA profile from the CODIS database, an important tool to restore a person's full privacy rights after being charged with a felony.

Katharine Liell has experience in all these matters, and can be your advocate in restoring your status as a citizen with no criminal record.

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