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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All of the arguments made by a man as to why his probation shouldn’t have been revoked failed before the Indiana Court of Appeals.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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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