Days on appeal bond not subject to credit time

August 26, 2015

A defendant who was released after an appeals court vacated a conviction that was later upheld by the Indiana Supreme Court cannot count the time he was released pending appeal against his sentence.

“We hold, as a matter of first impression, that credit time for a defendant’s release on appeal bond is prohibited under Indiana law,” Judge Edward Najam wrote for the panel Wednesday in Bruce Ryan v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1501-CR-2.

Ryan had been sentenced to two years executed at the Department of Correction for conviction of Class C felony child molestation, but the Court of Appeals reversed and ordered a new trial, citing a prosecutor’s closing arguments that the panel held deprived Ryan of a fair trial.

Ryan subsequently was granted bond pending appeal, but the trial court required he get an ankle monitor and comply with conditions set by Marion County Community Corrections. Those conditions included restrictions on his movement outside Marion County, random searches of his home and prohibitions on alcohol, among other things.

But the Indiana Supreme Court took Ryan’s case and affirmed his conviction.

In the instant case, Ryan sought to apply the 429 days he spent on appeal bond without violating community corrections conditions as credit against his sentence. The trial court denied the request, and the Court of Appeals agreed.

“"In sum, we hold that Indiana Code Section 35-33-9-5(c) and Appellate Rule 18 prohibit an award of credit time for the time a defendant is released on an appeal bond, regardless of the conditions of the defendant’s release,” Najam wrote.

“We also hold that, insofar as Ryan’s arguments require this court to review the conditions of his release on his appeal bond, Ryan’s challenge is untimely.  Ryan could have sought, but chose
not to seek, immediate review of the conditions of his release pursuant to Appellate Rule 18.  Having forfeited that remedy, Ryan’s challenge to the conditions of his release is now moot,” the panel concluded.


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