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Trial court denied due process in revoking probation

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A man whose probation was revoked without an evidentiary hearing after he walked away from an inpatient alcohol treatment program imposed by the court will receive a new hearing.

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in Paul Sparks v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1207-CR-593, that Marion Superior Judge Robert Altice denied Sparks’ due process rights when the court ordered him to serve the five-year sentence for convictions of battery and invasion of privacy that had been suspended.

“An evidentiary hearing did not take place in this case,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote in the unanimous opinion. “While Sparks admitted to violating a term of his probation, this admission came following the trial court’s comment that it was inclined to give him four years if he accepted responsibility for his actions.

“The trial court’s comment at the outset of the hearing overlooks the fact that the probationer has a constitutional and statutory right to an evidentiary hearing in which the State proves the probation violation by a preponderance of the evidence before the trial court decides whether a condition of probation was violated,” Robb wrote. “A trial court’s failure to hold an evidentiary hearing prior to revoking probation requires reversal even if there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the revocation of the probation.”

 

 

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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