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Court correctly denied petition to expunge felony conviction

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The Indiana Court of Appeals, citing a recent expungement case involving a misdemeanor conviction, agreed with the rationale of that panel that if a person violates the terms of probation, that person did not successfully complete his sentence.

Jereme Lee Wall sought to have his February 1992 conviction of Class C felony criminal mischief expunged. He had all but 120 days of his sentence suspended to probation. But the trial court denied his request, citing that in 1993, Wall admitted to violating his probation by not updating his address with the probation department, resulting in the revocation of the balance of his sentence.  

Indiana Code 35-38-9-4, in effect when Wall filed his expungement petition in September 2013, required that the person seeking expungement have successfully completed the person’s sentence, including any term of supervised release, and satisfied all other obligations placed on the person as part of the sentence.

Wall argued he successfully completed his sentence and term of supervised release, so the trial court was required to expunge his conviction. In Alvey v. State, 20A04-1310-MI-533, the Court of Appeals last month dealt with a similar argument under the statute for misdemeanor convictions. That panel found because Craig Alvey twice admitted to violating probation, he did not “successfully complete” his sentence. The panel noted that the intent of the General Assembly was to allow those who completed their sentences without incident to petition for expungement.

The judges Wednesday agreed with their colleagues.

“We think that the legislature had the same intent in drafting Section 35-38-9-4, which applies to felony convictions. In this case, Wall admitted to violating the terms of his probation, and by doing so he failed to successfully complete his sentence. Wall contends that his probation violation was a ‘technical’ one,” Judge Terry Crone wrote. “However, Section 35-38-9-4 does not distinguish between major and minor violations. Based on the foregoing, we conclude that the trial court properly denied Wall’s petition to expunge his conviction.”

The case is Jereme Lee Wall v. Alfred H. Plummer, III, 85A02-1311-MI-976.


 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

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  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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