On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended Attorney Craig A. Dechert for professional misconduct arising from a DUI case.

The case is titled ‘In the Matter of Craig A. Dechert’ with case no. 23S-DI-276.

The case stemmed from an incident in May 2022 when Attorney Craig A. Dechert was involved in a motor vehicle collision that seriously injured someone in another vehicle. He unsuccessfully tried to conceal his intoxication from the responding officer. A blood draw later revealed Dechert had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15, well over the legal limit of 0.08.

In June 2023, Attorney Dechert pled guilty to operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious bodily injury, a level 5 felony. As part of his three-year criminal probation, which began in June 2023, he was required to undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment. He was also ordered to use remote alcohol monitoring through Soberlink and abstain from alcohol possession or consumption.

Around this same time in June 2023, Attorney Dechert voluntarily engaged the assistance of the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (JLAP) and entered into a monitoring agreement with them. In November 2023, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission and Dechert submitted a “Statement of Circumstances and Conditional Agreement for Discipline” to the Court stipulating the above facts regarding the May 2022 collision and the June 2023 guilty plea.

The Commission and Attorney Dechert agreed that Dechert’s criminal conduct violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b), which prohibits criminal acts reflecting adversely on a lawyer’s trustworthiness or fitness. As a discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended Dechert from practicing law for 365 days beginning December 20, 2023. 60 days of the suspension were to be actively served, with the remainder pending two years of probation with JLAP monitoring.

The disposition reads:

“The Court, having considered the submissions of the parties, now approves the following agreed discipline. For Respondent’s professional misconduct, the Court suspends Respondent from the practice of law for a period of 365 days, beginning December 20, 2023, with 60 days actively served and the remainder stayed subject to completion of at least two years of probation with JLAP monitoring.”

According to Avvo, Attorney Craig A. Dechert is from Kokomo, Indiana. He attended the John Marshall Law School and acquired his law license in Indiana in 2006.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.