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Court upholds probation revocation

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All of the arguments made by a man as to why his probation shouldn’t have been revoked failed before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Devon Dokes Jr. was on probation – which included a prohibition against possessing a firearm – when he was charged in 2011 with possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon. The state petitioned to revoke his probation based on this offense and for not paying probation fees.

The probation revocation hearing was held simultaneously with the bench trial on the criminal charge. Two witnesses said they saw Dokes handle the gun in question, but he was found not guilty of the criminal charge. The court did find, however, that he violated his probation, citing the possession charge.

Dokes argued on appeal that the state didn’t meet its evidentiary burden to prove he was on probation; and that because he was found not guilty on the criminal charge, the testimony that he possessed the gun was incredibly dubious and insufficient to support the probation revocation.

There’s no question that Dokes was on probation at the time he was charged with possession, the judges held, and the rule of incredibly dubious testimony doesn’t apply to his case.

They also rejected his argument that he can’t have his probation revoked because the trial judge found him not guilty of the crime.

“Because of the difference between the burden of proof required to convict someone of a crime and the burden of proof required to revoke probation, the court could revoke probation after finding Dokes not guilty based on the same evidence,” wrote Judge Melissa May.

 

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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