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Judges differ on pretrial credit award

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Each judge on an Indiana Court of Appeals panel weighed in with a separate opinion as to how much pretrial credit time a defendant, who pleaded guilty to one charge - other charges were dismissed - is entitled to, or if he is entitled to any time at all.

Chief Judge John Baker, and Judges Edward Najam and Cale Bradford authored separate opinions on the issue in Keland L. Brown v. State of Indiana, No. 34A05-0812-CR-716.

Keland Brown was arrested March 6, 2008, on various dealing, possession, and false informing charges. While he was in jail on those charges, the state filed four additional charges against him and "arrested" him April 10 on those charges. He remained in jail until his October 15 sentencing hearing, at which he pleaded guilty to dealing in cocaine as a Class B felony, one of the four charges added April 10. In exchange for the guilty plea, the state dismissed all the other pending charges and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Judge Najam, who authored the lead opinion, believed Brown was entitled to credit time from April 10 to October 15, the day of his sentencing hearing. He cited Dolan v. State, 120 N.E.2d 1364, 1372 (Ind. Ct. App. 1981), and Stephens v. State, 735 N.E.2d 278, 284, (Ind. Ct. App. 2000), to support his decision.

"Here, while some of those charges - and the credit time accrued against those charges - were dismissed pursuant to the plea agreement, Brown nonetheless still accrued credit time towards his eventual sentence from April 10 to October 15. The trial court erred in not awarding Brown credit for that period of time served," Judge Najam wrote.

Judge Kirsch opined that when a trial court is sentencing pursuant to a plea agreement that resolves multiple charges, including the charge for which the defendant is being held in jail, that credit time should be accorded against the sentence ultimately imposed absent any provision in the plea agreement to the contrary.

Chief Judge Baker wrote that Dewees v. State, 444 N.E.2d 332, 332 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983), which ruled Dewees wasn't entitled to any credit which may have accrued on a separate charge, was instructive to Brown's situation. Combining the decision in Dewees, with the rule that credit is to be applied for confinement time that is a "result of the criminal charge for which sentence is being imposed," the chief judge believed the trial court properly denied Brown's request for pretrial credit time.

The judges did unanimously agree that the trial court didn't abuse its discretion by not identifying Brown's guilty plea as a mitigating factor during sentencing and that his sentence is appropriate under Indiana Appellate Rule 7(B).

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  1. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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