Trial court has no authority to alter man’s conviction

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An Elkhart Superior judge was correct in determining that he couldn’t reduce a man’s Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor a year after the original judgment was made, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

When Bryan Fields was charged and convicted of Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated in 2010, the trial court stated that the conviction was entered conditionally subject to potential reduction to a misdemeanor provided certain criteria were met. When Fields petitioned a year later to have his conviction converted to the misdemeanor, Judge Charles Wicks determined he had no authority to do so based on State v. Brunner, 947 N.E.2d 411 (Ind. 2011).

The Court of Appeals agreed, pointing out Brunner held that Indiana Code 35-50-2-7(b) indicates that the Legislature intended to limit the trial court’s authority to reduce a Class D felony conviction to a Class A misdemeanor to the moment the trial court first enters its judgment of conviction and before it announces the sentence.

Fields improperly relied on I.C. 35-38-1-17 to support his argument because that statute only addresses the authority to reduce or suspend a sentence, not to convert a conviction, Judge Terry Crone wrote.

“While it may be equitable and desirable for the legislature to give a trial court discretion to modify a properly entered conviction like the conviction at issue here, at this time, the legislature has not given any such authority,” he wrote.



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  1. This is ridiculous. Most JDs not practicing law don't know squat to justify calling themselves a lawyer. Maybe they should try visiting the inside of a courtroom before they go around calling themselves lawyers. This kind of promotional BS just increases the volume of people with JDs that are underqualified thereby dragging all the rest of us down likewise.

  2. I think it is safe to say that those Hoosier's with the most confidence in the Indiana judicial system are those Hoosier's who have never had the displeasure of dealing with the Hoosier court system.

  3. I have an open CHINS case I failed a urine screen I have since got clean completed IOP classes now in after care passed home inspection my x sister in law has my children I still don't even have unsupervised when I have been clean for over 4 months my x sister wants to keep the lids for good n has my case working with her I just discovered n have proof that at one of my hearing dcs case worker stated in court to the judge that a screen was dirty which caused me not to have unsupervised this was at the beginning two weeks after my initial screen I thought the weed could have still been in my system was upset because they were suppose to check levels n see if it was going down since this was only a few weeks after initial instead they said dirty I recently requested all of my screens from redwood because I take prescriptions that will show up n I was having my doctor look at levels to verify that matched what I was prescripted because dcs case worker accused me of abuseing when I got my screens I found out that screen I took that dcs case worker stated in court to judge that caused me to not get granted unsupervised was actually negative what can I do about this this is a serious issue saying a parent failed a screen in court to judge when they didn't please advise

  4. I have a degree at law, recent MS in regulatory studies. Licensed in KS, admitted b4 S& 7th circuit, but not to Indiana bar due to political correctness. Blacklisted, nearly unemployable due to hostile state action. Big Idea: Headwinds can overcome, esp for those not within the contours of the bell curve, the Lego Movie happiness set forth above. That said, even without the blacklisting for holding ideas unacceptable to the Glorious State, I think the idea presented above that a law degree open many vistas other than being a galley slave to elitist lawyers is pretty much laughable. (Did the law professors of Indiana pay for this to be published?)

  5. Joe, you might want to do some reading on the fate of Hoosier whistleblowers before you get your expectations raised up.