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Judges affirm denial of credit time for man on electronic monitoring

January 29, 2014

After evaluating the statutory provisions concerning sentencing, electronic monitoring and deferral programs, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled it was within the trial court’s discretion to deny a man credit time toward his sentence for time he spent on electronic monitoring while participating in a drug court program.

In Cory L. Meadows v. State of Indiana, 39A01-1305-CR-215, Cory Meadows argued at his hearing on the state’s petition to terminate his participation in the drug court program that he should receive credit for the time served while on electronic monitoring. Meadows entered into a plea agreement on two counts of forgery and admitted to violating probation. As part of his plea agreement, he would enter the drug court program. If he successfully completed the program, the state would dismiss the charges and the notice of probation violation.

“Here, Meadows was placed into a deferral program under Indiana Code section 33-23-16-14. Indiana Code chapter 33-23-16 does not provide for the application of credit time. Therefore, with no mandate in place with regard to the grant or denial of credit time in this instance, the trial court is free to exercise its discretion,” Senior Judge John Sharpnack wrote, pointing to Molden v. State, 750 N.E.2d 488, 449 (Ind. Ct. App. 2001). “Here, Meadows voluntarily agreed to participate in the drug court program. Failure to successfully complete the program would result in conviction and sentence, but successful completion of the program would result in complete dismissal of all charges and pending probation violations. Drug court deferral programs provide an opportunity for those qualified to avoid conviction and sentence, but only if they comply with the conditions of the program.

“The policies related to facilitating the presence at trial of a person charged (i.e., confinement awaiting trial or sentencing) or to applying appropriate punitive measures after conviction (i.e., imprisoned for a crime) do not apply to drug court deferral. To allow credit time to a person who fails to comply with deferral conditions diminishes the value of such programs in that the incentive to comply is undermined by the reward for failure,” he wrote.
 

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