Judgment-Free Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Joel D. Hand

Photo of attorney Joel Hand

Current Employment

  • Owner/Attorney

Practice Areas

  • Administrative Law
  • Criminal Defense
  • Education Law
  • Lobbying


Joel Hand has over 25 years of experience as an Indiana attorney and an impressive list of accomplishments.

Criminal Law & Traffic Law

Joel Hand has broad experience not only as a criminal defense attorney but also as a deputy prosecuting attorney in three different Indiana Counties - Marion County, Hamilton County, and Carroll County.

Trials: Mr. Hand has conducted over a hundred jury trials and hundreds of bench trials, from misdemeanors to major felonies to murder. He has prosecuted or defended charges of drug dealing, drug possession, marijuana possession, illegal firearms and handgun possession, domestic violence, battery, neglect of a dependent, theft, shoplifting, conversion, operating while intoxicated (OWI), operating while intoxicated (OWI) causing death, operating while intoxicated (OWI) causing serious bodily injury, driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), robbery, burglary, and many more.

Other criminal proceedings: In addition to trial work, specialized driving petitions, petitions for rescission of lifetime suspension, probation violations, community corrections violations, and expungements.

Traffic offense experience: As a prosecutor in Marion County, Joel created the concept and obtained federal grant funding for the Fatal Alcohol Crash Team (F.A.C.T.), interviewed and selected all the F.A.C.T. law enforcement officers, and served as the team's first prosecuting attorney and as liaison to the Marion County Traffic Safety Partnership. He also served as the first Hamilton County's F.A.C.T. prosecutor and as liaison to the Hamilton County Traffic Safety Partnership. In 2004, Mr. Hand was named as the first ever Indiana Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor for the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council where he provided training to police and prosecutors throughout Indiana and across the country. Since going into private practice, Joel has defended numerous moving and non-moving traffic violations including speeding, reckless driving, driving without a license, driving on a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, operating as a habitual traffic violator (HTV) and more. He assists clients with license reinstatements and specialized driving privileges (or SDPs, previously called hardship licenses). His clients include those with commercial driving licenses (or CDLs). He understands how vital it is for CDL drivers to keep TSA points off their record and works closely with several trucking companies to assist their drivers.

Education Law

Growing up in a family of educators, Joel has long had a special interest in education issues. In fact, his college education included a minor in secondary education, and he previously held an Indiana teacher's license. He has worked for the Indiana Department of Education as Legal Counsel and as Director of Legislative and Governmental Relations. In private practice he handles 504 hearings and appeals and Special Education Case Conference Committee meetings; Development of Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Student Discipline (suspensions and expulsions) hearings and appeals; and hearings and appeals for suspension or revocation of teacher licenses.

Administrative Law

When Joel was Legal Counsel at the Indiana Department of Education, he served as an administrative law judge and, in addition to the administrative matters discussed above, he handles a variety of matters in state administrative agencies, including hearings and appeals with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles; Indiana State Police (Fire Arms Licensing - Appeals for denials of fire arms permits), Department of Workforce Development hearings and appeals; Indiana Physical Therapy Board (Licenses for Physical Therapists), Department of Education (Teacher Licensing appeals) and unemployment insurance hearings and appeals.


Mr. Hand is a registered legislative lobbyist in Indiana and works on behalf of clients in the Indiana General Assembly. He can work successfully on both sides of the political aisle, draft proposed legislation, and amendments to benefit his clients, or oppose legislation that would hurt his clients.


  • Indiana University School of Law, South Bend, Indiana
    • J.D. - 1995
    • Honors: Co-Justice for Phi Alpha Delta
    • Honors: National Qualifier for the Client Counseling Competition
    • Honors: Dean's List
  • DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1992
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Honors: Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa, Alpha
    • Honors: Delta Sigma Rho-Tau Kappa, Alpha, Superior Speaker Award 1991 and 1992
    • Honors: Kappa Delta Pi
    • Honors: Kappa Delta Pi, Student Teacher of the Year 1992
    • Major: Political Science
    • Minor: Secondary Education

Bar Admissions

  • Indiana, 1995
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1995
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana, 1995
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, 1995


  • Lead Counsel Rated in Drunk Driving Defense and Criminal Law – Lead Counsel Review Board (2015)
  • Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award (2012 through 2019)
  • Delphi Police Department – Award of Appreciation (2010)
  • Indiana Department of Education – Bellringer Award (2008)
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) – National President’s Award (2007)
  • Hamilton County Leadership Academy Graduate – Class of (2007)
  • Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council Prosecutor Mentor Group – Gold Star Achievement Award (2007)
  • Westfield Police Department – Award of Appreciation (2007)
  • Indiana Criminal Justice Institute – Prosecutor of the Year (2006)
  • Indiana MADD – Award of Appreciation (2006)
  • National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators – Outstanding Traffic Safety Prosecutor Award (2006)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – Public Service Award (2005)
  • Indiana Criminal Justice Institute – Chairman’s Award (2005)
  • Central Indiana MADD – Prosecutor of the Year Award (2002, 2003, 2004)
  • Indiana Criminal Justice Institute – Executive Director’s Award (2004)
  • Marion County Traffic Safety Partnership – Award of Appreciation (2004)
  • City of Beech Grove – Award of Appreciation (2002)

Pro-Bono Activities

  • Secret Families Christmas Charity of Hamilton County, Board Member since 2019
  • Indianapolis Children’s Choir Golf Outing Committee (2016 to 2018)
  • Neighborhood Watch (2014 to 2017)
  • Fishers Youth Assistance Program – Board President (2013 to 2016)
  • Parent Teacher Organization – Board Secretary (2013-14 school year)
  • Miles Ahead Teen Driving Intensive Advisory Board (2011 to 2016)
  • Hamilton Southeastern Schools High Ability Broadbased Planning Committee (2011 to 2014)
  • Indiana Safe Kids Advisory Board (2008 to 2013)
  • Hamilton Centers Youth Services Bureau – Board Member (2007 to 2009)
  • SNAP Into Action, Inc. – Board Member (2006 to 2009), Secretary (2008-2009)
  • Indiana MADD – Operations Council (2005 to 2008)
  • Brooke’s Place for Grieving Children – Volunteer (2002 to 2004)
  • North United Methodist Church – Finance Committee (2018-2020) Staff Parish Relations Committee (2009-2012)

Professional Associations

  • Phi Alpha Delta, Alumni Advisor, 1996 to 2000
  • Hamilton County Bar Association, Member
  • Indianapolis Bar Association, Member
  • Indiana State Bar Association, Member

Past Positions​

  • Hamilton County, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • Carroll County, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney
  • Indianapolis, Deputy Prosecutor
  • Indiana Department of Education, Staff Attorney and also Director of Legislative and Governmental Affairs
  • Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, Traffic Resource Safety Prosecutor