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COA: Man not entitled to have restricted access to OWI conviction

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Because a man committed another crime while on probation, he failed to satisfy the obligations imposed as part of his sentence, so he did not qualify to have access to his conviction records restricted under Indiana Code 35-38-8, the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed.

Austin Pittman was convicted of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol content of 0.10 or more in December 2000. He was placed on probation, with terms that he abstain from the consumption of alcohol. But he was charged with Class D felony operating while intoxicated with a BAC of 0.10 or more in March 2001. In March 2013, he petitioned to restrict access to the record of conviction for the misdemeanor. The trial court denied his petition based on his subsequent conviction of OWI after the initial conviction.

“Indiana Code sections 35-38-8-3 and 35-38-8-4 clearly and unambiguously require that, before a trial court may restrict access to records of a person’s conviction, the person must have ‘satisfied any other obligation imposed on the person as part of the sentence.’ Here, as part of Pittman’s sentence, he was placed on supervised probation. The terms of his probation included that he abstain from alcohol and not commit any new criminal offenses. Instead of satisfying these obligations, Pittman drank alcohol, drove while intoxicated and was subsequently convicted for another OWI offense, this time a Class D felony which resulted in his admission that he violated the terms of his probation. We therefore agree with the trial court that Pittman did not satisfy all obligations imposed on him as part of his sentence,” Judge Paul Mathias wrote in Austin G. Pittman v. State of Indiana,  06A05-1305-CR-243.

The court noted that I.C. 35-38-8 has since been replaced with 35-38-9, but Chapter 8 was in place at the time the trial court ruled on his petition.

The judges also rejected the state’s claim that it did not have jurisdiction over the appeal, noting that a trial court’s alleged lack of personal jurisdiction does not deprive the court on appeal of jurisdiction.
 

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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