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Prior conviction counts in sentencing decision

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A prior drunk-driving conviction - reached pursuant to a state statute now repealed and recodified in a newer law - can be used in determining a person's sentence, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled today.

A unanimous six-page ruling in Wayne Schenk v. State of Indiana, No. 82A01-0806-CR-301, affirms a judgment from Vanderburgh Superior Judge Robert Pigman. The case follows Schenk's arrest in November 2007 on a charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. He pleaded guilty as part of an agreement that specified he'd be sentenced to 18 months on an adult alcohol abuse probation service, though the court would determine if any portion of that sentence could be suspended in lieu of a minimum six-month period on home detention.

Finding that Schenk had two prior OWI convictions from 1988 and 2003, the trial court sentenced him to 18 months, with six months executed on home detention and 12 months on probation. Schenk appealed, arguing that the 20-year-old conviction was pursuant to Indiana Code 9-11-2, which was repealed in 1991 and made a part of the revised motor vehicle laws of IC 9-30-5.

Schenk argued the court misinterpreted IC 35-50-2-2(b)(4)(R), which states anyone committing a drunk driving offense with at least two prior unrelated convictions can only receive a partial sentence suspension and, in this case, that minimum was six months.

The appellate panel looked at the legislative intent and also precedent in Holt v. State, 638 N.E.2d 786,787 (Ind. 1994) that determined an uncodified savings clause preserved the prior OWI conviction under an older statute since repealed and recodified.

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  1. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  2. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  3. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  4. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  5. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

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