COA affirms denial of motion to clarify probation sentencing

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A man arguing his probation should end three years earlier than the date listed in the system has failed to secure relief from the Court of Appeals of Indiana.

In February, Shawn Haslam entered into a plea agreement by which he would to plead guilty to operating while intoxicated as a level 6 felony and admit that he was a habitual vehicular substance offender. In exchange, the state agreed to dismiss a charge of Class C misdemeanor operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.08 or more.

As for sentencing, the agreement called for a seven-year term, all suspended to probation, including five years on home detention and good time credit for time spent on home detention.

The Montgomery Superior Court held a hearing in March, telling Haslam, “You would serve five years on home detention concurrently with probation,” and, “Then you would have two years remaining after the five years of the home detention.” Haslam replied, “[y]es.”

Haslam then pleaded guilty to operating while intoxicated as a Level 6 felony and admitted he was a habitual vehicular substance offender.

A month later, Haslam filed a motion to clarify the sentencing order for probation. He argued Montgomery County Probation had set his completion date in 2029, but the date should actually be July 19, 2026, based on good time credit accrued before sentencing and on home detention.

The motion was denied and an appeal ensued.

Before the COA, Haslam failed to secure a reversal.

“We note that Ind. Code § 35-38-2.5-5(d) expressly provides that a person’s ‘term of confinement on home detention’ is computed on the basis of the person’s accrued time on home detention plus any good time credit, and it does not provide that the person’s term of probation is computed on the basis of accrued time on home detention plus any good time credit,” Judge Elaine Brown wrote. “Haslam does not point to a provision of Ind. Code § 35-38-2.5-5 which provides that the good time credit which a person earns while confined on home detention affects or reduces the length of the person’s ordered probation.”

Thus, judges concluded the trial court didn’t err in Shawn A. Haslam v. State of Indiana, 22A-CR-911.

“The court’s sentencing order, consistent with the plea agreement, states that Haslam ‘shall serve five years (two and one-half years actual)’ on home detention and that Haslam be ‘placed on supervised probation for a period of 7 years,’” Brown wrote. “The trial court denied Haslam’s motion to clarify. We find no error.”

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