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COA: drug court participant not entitled to credit time for electronic monitoring

July 22, 2014

The trial court properly denied awarding credit time to a drug court participant on electronic monitoring who violated the conditions of his agreement four times, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Steven R. Perry appealed the denial of his motion for credit time for time he spent on electronic monitoring as a drug court program participant.

“Perry frames the issue as whether Indiana jurisprudence should be modified to adopt a single analysis for awarding credit time for periods of electronic monitoring served regardless of the pretrial or post-conviction status of the defendant. This, rather, is a case of whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying credit time to a person who failed to comply with conditions for participating in a drug court program,” Judge Margret Robb wrote.

Perry’s convictions of Class D felony residential entry and Class B misdemeanor public intoxication would be deferred under a plea agreement as long as he successfully completed a drug court program. Perry did not; he was sanctioned three times by the drug court for violating his participating agreement and had his participation terminated after he pleaded guilty to a count of Class D felony intimidation. This led to the court entering a judgment of conviction on the two deferred charges. Perry sought 127 days of credit time applied to that sentence based on the time he was on electronic monitoring.

The Court of Appeals found Meadows v. State, 2 N.E.3d 788 (Ind. Ct. App. 2014), to be instructive. That court found it was within a trial court’s discretion to award or deny credit time spent on electronic monitoring while participating in a deferral program.

“A participant in drug court is not awaiting trial or awaiting sentencing under Indiana Code section 35-50-6-3. Though Perry expresses concern this court is creating a new, third category of offenders that is not contemplated by the credit time statute, we disagree. It is well-established that there are others who fall outside the purview of the credit time statute: a person on pretrial home detention or electronic monitoring,” Robb wrote in Steven R. Perry v. State of Indiana, 39A01-1312-CR-517.

A drug court participant receives “considerable benefits” in return for giving up a “plethora of substantive claims and procedural rights,” she continued. There are many positive results for a defendant who successfully completes a drug court program, but there are also negative consequences for failing.

“Not receiving credit time for time spent on electronic monitoring while participating in a drug court program is potentially one of those negative consequences,” she wrote.

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