The experienced attorneys at Harshman Ponist Smith & Rayl, LLC dedicate themselves to pursuing each client’s best interest through personal service and bold advocacy. We understand the litigation process and other legal concerns can be daunting and stressful, which is why we strive to ease the burden. We want you to know your case is important – not only to you but also to us -- and view our firm as a part of your larger family support system. Whether you need an Indianapolis criminal lawyer or representation in a civil matter, we will be with you through every step of the process.
Our Indiana divorce lawyers understand the sensitive matters involved in the dissolution of a marriage. You do not need to show fault such as infidelity or cruelty to obtain a divorce. However, even in cases without fault, there are still crucial details to be resolved including child custody, division of assets, settlement of debts, spousal support, and more. When stakes and emotions run high, proceedings can turn unexpectedly hostile. If an amicable agreement can’t be reached, our family law team will not hesitate to fight for your rights in court.
Establishing paternity is an impactful step in the life of a child as well as their parents. If paternity was not established at the time of birth, it can be done through a court order or paternity affidavit. We will help determine the best avenue for your family and guide you through the process. Should you need to establish paternity or make modifications to existing orders, our experienced family lawyers can help.Criminal Defense
A criminal convictions can have consequences that last for years even after a sentence is served, limiting your ability to obtain education, jobs, and housing. Prosecutors must prove crimes beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a high standard to meet. Our lawyers help defendants fight criminal charges ranging from misdemeanors such as traffic violations to felonies like murder and sex crimes. We also handle appeals and expungements of arrests and convictions.DUI / DWI / OWI
If you are caught driving while impaired, or with an alcohol concentration above the legal alcohol concentration equivalent (ACE) limit, you can be charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI, also known as DUI or DWI). You can also be charged with an OWI if a controlled substance or its metabolite such as marijuana (TCH), methamphetamine, cocaine, or heroin shows up in your system through a blood or urine sample. The sentence for an OWI conviction in Indiana depends on your ACE level, the nature and number of any prior convictions, the age of any passengers, and if there were any injuries caused by a crash. Our Indianapolis criminal attorneys will investigate the events that led to an OWI charge and fight to keep your record clean.Traffic Violations
Traffic violations often seem minor and not worth fighting. However, when you pay a traffic ticket, you have plead guilty. This can cause unforeseen and far-reaching consequences. Most traffic violations will result in points on your driver’s license, which can increase your car insurance rates, lead to the suspension of your license, and eventually cause you to become a Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV). Convictions for some traffic tickets can affect your ability to get a job, especially ones that involve driving. For some traffic violations, you may even face sizable fines and jail time. Traffic violations resulting in an accident may also be used in civil lawsuits.Civil Litigation
Civil litigation covers most disputes that do not involve criminal charges. Broadly speaking, these lawsuits often involve torts – an act that causes harm or injury resulting in a civil wrong – or contracts. Personal injury lawsuits, for example, are tort-based. They can be brought based on medical malpractice, slip and falls, and motor vehicle accidents. In contract cases, the defendant allegedly has made and failed to honor a binding promise to the plaintiff. Contract disputes often arise in the context of business litigation. In addition to serving as Indianapolis criminal lawyers, our attorneys handle civil litigation in state and local courts.Estate Planning and Probate
Estate planning is the only way to ensure your wishes are honored in the event you become incapacitated or pass away. With help from our estate planning experts, you will consider and determine who should receive your property after your death. If you have children, your estate plan will designate who you wish to raise your children if both you and your co-parent pass away. If you become incapacitated and cannot make your own decisions, your estate plan can direct as to who you want to be your caregiver and the type of care you wish to receive. There are three types of estate administration in Indiana: supervised, unsupervised, and small estates. In supervised estate administration, a personal representative must be appointed and the court needs to approve the sale or distribution of property. Unsupervised administration does not require court approval, and is therefore less expensive. Small estates of $50,000 or less do not need to be administered, and their assets can be transferred through affidavits.Business Law
Our business law team represents businesses and nonprofit organizations in transactions and litigation. During the business formation process, we help clients determine which business structure will best help them reach their objectives. Decisions made at the outset, such whether to organize as a limited liability company, partnership, or corporation and whether to make certain tax elections, can affect issues key to the long-term success of a business. We assist nonprofit organizations in formation and qualifying for tax exempt status. Read more about out business law and nonprofit practice at our business law home page.Consult an Experienced Criminal or Civil Attorney
Litigation can be daunting. We try to ease the burden for our clients, and stand with you every step of the way. Whether you need a criminal attorney or assistance with a civil matter, you can discuss your next steps with the attorneys at Harshman Ponist Smith & Rayl. We represent clients not only in Indianapolis but throughout Indiana. Call us at (317) 964-6000, or complete our online form.