ILNews

Court defines due process rights for drug court participants

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The Indiana Court of Appeals agreed with a defendant that his due process rights were denied when his participation in a drug court program was ended without giving him notice of a hearing, or allowing him to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses.

Even the state conceded that Robert L. Gosha was denied his right to due process and believed he should have a new hearing.

In Robert L. Gosha v. State of Indiana, No. 48A02-0912-CR-1210, as part of his probation violation, Gosha was referred to drug court. Sanctions would be stayed if he successfully completed the program. After being admitted, he was allegedly found with drugs and paraphernalia in his home.

The drug court held a hearing without notice and without any evidence presented, and terminated Gosha’s participation in the program. The trial court also denied Gosha’s request for an evidentiary hearing on the ending of his participation and Gosha’s motion to correct error.

Finding Hopper v. State, 546 N.E.2d 106 (Ind. Ct. App. 1989), to be instructive, the Court of Appeals ruled that the due process rights afforded a defendant in probation revocation hearings are now required for defendants participating in a drug court program. Defendants should receive written notice of the claimed violations, disclosure of the evidence, a chance to be heard and present evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and have a neutral and detached hearing body.

The drug court is to conduct an evidentiary hearing to allow Gosha written notice of the violations, and the ability to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The judges also noted that a defendant may waive his right to procedural due process, but Gosha didn’t knowingly waive that right.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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