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Man convicted before felony classes implemented can’t convert conviction to misdemeanor

October 16, 2013

A man who pleaded guilty in 1977 to felony possession of a controlled substance was unable to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that he is entitled to have his conviction reduced to a misdemeanor.
 
Steven Ott sought to have his conviction stemming from LSD possession reduced by filing a motion with the trial court. At the time he was convicted, Indiana law didn’t denote classes to felonies; those designations took effect six weeks after he was sentenced.  Under the new designations, his conviction would be a Class D felony, which he sought reduced to a Class A misdemeanor.
 
“Based upon the language in the relevant statutes, we cannot say that the legislature provided for a modification of a felony conviction to a misdemeanor conviction for a felony committed prior to the division of felony classes. Under the circumstances, we cannot say that the trial court had authority to grant Ott’s motion to convert his conviction to a class A misdemeanor,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote in Steven R. Ott v. State of Indiana, 20A05-1306-CR-270.

The appellate court affirmed the denial of Ott’s motion to correct error following the trial court’s order denying his “Verified Motion to Convert Class D Felony Conviction to a Class A Misdemeanor Pursuant to I.C. 35-50-2-7(c).”
 

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