ILNews

Defendant's fleeing justifies delayed arrest

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld the revocation of a man’s suspension for probation violations after finding the trial court did not err in ordering the man serve the remainder of his originally suspended sentence.

Jason B. Saunders pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a Class D felony in 2000, received a suspended sentence, and was placed on probation for two years. He was ordered to obey all laws and refrain from alcohol consumption. A month later, the state filed a notice of probation violation because Saunders never reported to the probation officer as ordered. An arrest warrant was issued the same day, and 11 years later, the warrant was expanded to include Tennessee.

Saunders was arrested in 2011 and had committed several offenses in Tennessee while on probation in Indiana. The trial court rejected his probation officer’s recommendation that he receive a 180-day sanction so that he could go back to Tennessee to face his probation penalties there using “Tennessee tax payers’ money.”

On appeal, Saunders claimed that the state’s 11-year delay in arresting him and pursuing the 2000 probation revocation matter amounted to a denial of his right to due process. He didn’t raise those arguments on the trial level, so the appellate court considered whether there was a fundamental error. Any prejudice that may have resulted to Saunders was because he fled from Indiana for 11 years. He admitted to all the violations and hasn’t shown his defense to the violations was impaired by the state’s delay in prosecution, wrote Judge John Baker.

Saunders’ violation of two conditions of his probation, which included committing several new offenses, justified the imposition of the entirety of his previously suspended three-year sentence, the judges held in Jason B. Saunders v. State of Indiana, No. 06A01-1111-CR-596.

 

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  1. Indianapolis Bar Association President John Trimble and I are on the same page, but it is a very large page with plenty of room for others to join us. As my final Res Gestae article will express in more detail in a few days, the Great Recession hastened a fundamental and permanent sea change for the global legal service profession. Every state bar is facing the same existential questions that thrust the medical profession into national healthcare reform debates. The bench, bar, and law schools must comprehensively reconsider how we define the practice of law and what it means to access justice. If the three principals of the legal service profession do not recast the vision of their roles and responsibilities soon, the marketplace will dictate those roles and responsibilities without regard for the public interests that the legal profession professes to serve.

  2. I have met some highly placed bureaucrats who vehemently disagree, Mr. Smith. This is not your father's time in America. Some ideas are just too politically incorrect too allow spoken, says those who watch over us for the good of their concept of order.

  3. Lets talk about this without forgetting that Lawyers, too, have FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND ASSOCIATION

  4. Baer filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit on April 30 2015. When will this be decided? How many more appeals does this guy have? Unbelievable this is dragging on like this.

  5. They ruled there is no absolute right to keep a license, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time. So with that being said, this state taught me at the age of 15 how to obtain that license. I am actually doing something that I was taught to do, I'm not breaking the law breaking the rules and according to the Interstate Compact the National Interstate Compact...driving while suspended is a minor offense. So, do with that what you will..Indiana sucks when it comes to the driving laws, they really and truly need to reevaluate their priorities and honestly put the good of the community first... I mean, what's more important the pedophile drug dealer or wasting time and money to keep us off the streets?

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