Court affirms probation revocation, total time ordered in DOC

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A Vigo County man lost his argument before the Indiana Court of Appeals that his term of informal probation should not have been revoked by the trial court after he violated terms of his placement in a home detention program.

James McCauley entered into a plea agreement for Class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated with a prior conviction following his arrest in May 2013 at a sobriety checkpoint. McCauley would receive a maximum three-year sentence, with 18 months on home detention, followed by 18 months served on informal probation.

About a year later, the state filed a petition to revoke direct placement in the home detention program and/or to revoke McCauley’s probation. McCauley had allegedly consumed alcohol twice, despite program rules against it, failed to report to community corrections for a weekly check-in appointment, twice left his home without authorization, and owed the home detention program $495 in fees. The state sought McCauley committed to jail or the Department of Correction to serve his sentence.

McCauley didn’t dispute some of the allegations against him and didn’t contest the request for incarceration because he said he couldn’t afford the home detention program fees. The court ordered him to serve the entire three-year sentence, minus accrued credit time, at the DOC.

In James McCauley v. State of Indiana, 84A01-1405-CR-219, McCauley claimed the court erred, not by revoking his placement in home detention, but by also revoking his term of informal probation. He wanted the COA to order him incarcerated for the 18 months he would have been on home detention, followed by the 18 months of informal probation.

The appeals court found based on I.C. 35-38-2.6-5, the trial court had ample statutory authority to order McCauley incarcerated for the remainder of his sentence, regardless of the term of probation because he violated the terms of his home detention.

The judges also pointed to McCauley’s lengthy criminal history and his inability to comply with his sentencing requirements, such as refraining from alcohol use.

“McCauley’s failure to comply with the strict requirements of home detention indicates that he would be highly unlikely to succeed under the less-restrictive requirements of informal probation. Instead, he would be at risk to continue his misconduct and endanger himself and others,” Senior Judge Carr Darden wrote.

The judges also rejected his argument that the revocation of probation violated his right to due process under the 14th Amendment.

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