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COA affirms original sentence revision

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The Indiana Court of Appeals granted the state’s request for rehearing to address the argument that its earlier decision on a man’s sentence conflicts with an Indiana Supreme Court decision. The appellate court reaffirmed its earlier decision in all respects.

In Joey Jennings v. State of Indiana, No. 53A01-1010-CR-541, the COA originally ruled that Joey Jennings’ term of probation couldn’t exceed 185 days. He was originally sentenced to 180 days with 30 days executed, 150 days suspended and 360 days of probation. The judges held that the statutory phrase “term of imprisonment” included both the executed and suspended portions of a misdemeanor sentence and because he was sentence to 180 days of imprisonment, his term of probation couldn’t go above 185 days.

The state claimed that this outcome conflicts with Smith v. State, 621 N.E.2d 325 (Ind. 1993), but in that case, the Supreme Court interpreted a prior version of the statute at issue that is materially different than the current version, noted Judge Paul Mathias.

“In 2001, Indiana Code section 30-50-3-1(b) was amended to provide that a trial court may place a misdemeanant on probation for one year, notwithstanding the maximum term of imprisonment for the offense, so long as the combined term of imprisonment and probation does not exceed one year,” he wrote. “Thus, the current statute supersedes the holding of Smith because it specifically allows for the imposition of a term of probation extending beyond the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor, provided that the combined term of imprisonment and probation does not exceed one year.”

 

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