Probationer’s admission to smoking marijuana supports revocation

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Because a man on probation admitted to participating in unlawful conduct during his probationary period, the trial court correctly revoked his probation, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

In Tommy Lampley v. State of Indiana, 48A04-1405-CR-231, Tommy Lampley appealed the order revoking his probation and ordering him to serve his sentence in the Department of Correction. Lampley pleaded guilty in 1998 to Class C felony assisting a criminal and was sentenced to eight years, with five executed in the DOC and the remaining years suspended to probation. He was to serve this sentence consecutively to a prior possession of cocaine conviction.

In 2014, Lampley’s sentence was modified so that he was placed in work release. But shortly after arriving at the center, he committed several violations, including testing positive for marijuana.

At a hearing on the work release violation, Lampley admitted to violating the terms of his work release. The probation department filed a notice alleging he failed to successfully complete his executed time on work release. The state later amended the notice of violation to include that Lampley allegedly failed to “behave well in society.” Again, at an evidentiary hearing, Lampley admitted to smoking marijuana in celebration of leaving the DOC.

Lampley on appeal argued that the trial court erred in revoking his probation because of his failure to complete work release and because he failed to behave well in society. Lampley is correct that work release was not a condition of his probation, but it’s likely the state amended the notice of violation because it realized that and needed to include a reason why his probation could be revoked, Judge Rudolph Pyle III wrote.

Because Lampley admitted to smoking marijuana, that supports revoking his probation, the COA held.

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