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Appeals court affirms revoked probation after test shows marijuana

November 5, 2013

A man ordered to serve 90 days of a suspended one-year sentence for a conviction of misdemeanor marijuana possession wasn’t denied due process when his probation officer admitted evidence of a positive urinalysis, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

In Andrew Wann v. State of Indiana, 32A01-1303-CR-123, Andrew Wann argued that the toxicology report was improperly admitted hearsay that didn’t meet the “substantial trustworthiness” test established in Reyes v. State, 868 N.E.2d 438, 440 n.1 (Ind. 2007). Wann also argued that the order to serve 90 days of his suspended sentence wasn’t authorized by statute.

Judge L. Mark Bailey wrote that the panel could not conclude from Reyes that, as Wann argued, an affidavit from a testing toxicologist was required to admit the urinalysis. And in any event, Wann had agreed to waive objection to the admissibility of the test results as a term of probation.

The court also rejected Wann’s argument that time he had served on the conviction, including good-time credit, plus time served on probation, was longer than the statutory maximum sentence of one year, and therefore it was outside the court’s discretion to order him to serve 90 days in jail.

“From the date of Wann’s November 10, 2009 sentence to his September 16, 2010 violation, 308 days had elapsed. The State alleged the violation within the probationary period, and subsequently proved the violation. Accordingly, the options of Indiana Code section 35-38-2-3(h) were available to the trial court, including an order for ‘execution of all or part of the sentence that was suspended at the time of initial sentencing.’ The trial court acted within its statutory discretion to order that Wann serve 90 days in jail," Bailey wrote for the panel that also included Judges Cale Bradford and Melissa May.
 

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