Probation revocation following positive drug tests affirmed

The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed the revocation of a Kentucky man’s previously suspended sentence for an Indiana conviction after he admitted to violating his probation when he tested positive for illegal substances.

Jeffrey Overstreet was convicted in Indiana of Level 5 felony criminal confinement resulting in bodily injury and was sentenced to six years in the Indiana Department of Correction. While the sentencing was taking place, Overstreet was serving another sentence in a separate cause in the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Upon his release from the KDOC, the Dearborn County Probation Department transferred Overstreet’s probation to Kentucky, where he was a resident. However, Indiana later filed a probation violation petition against Overstreet when he submitted positive drug tests as directed by Kentucky Probation and Parole.

The Dearborn Circuit Court ultimately ordered Overstreet to serve the balance of his previously suspended sentence in the Indiana Department of Correction, which he appealed, arguing there was no benefit in placing him in the DOC and that “extreme sanction” didn’t comport with the violations he committed.

The appellate court affirmed in Jeffery Overstreet v. State of Indiana,19A-CR-1114, noting that his three positive drug screens were hardly mere “technical” violations of probations. It was further unconvinced that he should be placed in Purposeful Incarceration where he could continue to receive substance abuse treatment based on his past criminal history.

“Contrary to his argument, the same substance abuse treatments are offered in the DOC. Also, we note, as did the trial court, that Overstreet has received extensive treatment for his substance abuse in the past, but nevertheless continues to abuse drugs. Overstreet has been shown considerable leniency and given multiple opportunities to address his addiction, all to no avail,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote for the appellate court.

“In sum, when Overstreet agreed in his plea agreement that the trial court could place him on probation, he impliedly agreed to comply with the terms of any such probation and to the imposition of any punishment or consequence for violating probation,” the appellate court continued.

Therefore, the appellate court ultimately concluded that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by ordering Overstreet to serve the five-year balance of his previously suspended sentence.

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