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Court upholds probation revocation

July 20, 2012

All of the arguments made by a man as to why his probation shouldn’t have been revoked failed before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Devon Dokes Jr. was on probation – which included a prohibition against possessing a firearm – when he was charged in 2011 with possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon. The state petitioned to revoke his probation based on this offense and for not paying probation fees.

The probation revocation hearing was held simultaneously with the bench trial on the criminal charge. Two witnesses said they saw Dokes handle the gun in question, but he was found not guilty of the criminal charge. The court did find, however, that he violated his probation, citing the possession charge.

Dokes argued on appeal that the state didn’t meet its evidentiary burden to prove he was on probation; and that because he was found not guilty on the criminal charge, the testimony that he possessed the gun was incredibly dubious and insufficient to support the probation revocation.

There’s no question that Dokes was on probation at the time he was charged with possession, the judges held, and the rule of incredibly dubious testimony doesn’t apply to his case.

They also rejected his argument that he can’t have his probation revoked because the trial judge found him not guilty of the crime.

“Because of the difference between the burden of proof required to convict someone of a crime and the burden of proof required to revoke probation, the court could revoke probation after finding Dokes not guilty based on the same evidence,” wrote Judge Melissa May.

 

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