If you have been convicted of a crime and are ordered to serve supervised probation, there are strict guidelines you must follow. Even admitting to a technical violation could result in you having to serve out the rest of your sentence in jail. While this is an unfortunate result, it could easily happen to you. Just ask Karim Anthony.
In 2016, Anthony was convicted of burglary and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. His sentenced was suspended, and he was required to do four years of supervised probation. He was also required to pay fines and court costs. A year later, his probation officer filed a delinquency report because he failed to report to his probation officer. The probation officer recommended that Anthony serve 45 days in jail. Five months after that, the probation filed a supplemental report alleging that Anthony violated his probation by receiving new criminal charges and failing to pay his fees.
This time, the probation officer recommended that Anthony’s probation be revoked. At his probation revocation hearing, Anthony admitted to the technical violations of failing to report to his probation officer and not paying his fines and fees. The court then revoked his probation, and he appealed.
Anthony argued that his attorney mistakenly believed that admitting to the technical violations would only result in the 45-day jail sentence originally recommended by the probation officer. He further argued that the trial court should not have revoked his probation without regard to the alleged new criminal charges. Under Alabama Code 1975 Section 15-22-54, a hearing is all that is required to revoke a person’s probation.
The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals reasoned that because he was given a hearing and was represented by counsel at that hearing, his probation could be revoked. They further ruled that admitting to the technical violations was enough to revoke the probation, and the fact that he did not admit to the new criminal charges did not matter.
Anthony also argued that he was entitled to a written list of reasons why the court decided to revoke his probation, as well as what evidence the court relied on in deciding to revoke. He believed the trial court should have to explain why they decided to make him serve the remainder of his original sentence instead of the originally recommended 45-day jail sentence.
The Court of Criminal Appeals discussed a previous decision by the Alabama Supreme Court, which held that a verbal record of findings by the trial court in a revocation hearing was good enough as long as it explained to the parties the reason for the revocation. In Anthony’s case, the trial court indicated that his admission of the technical violation was the reason for the revocation. The Court of Criminal Appeals further ruled that Anthony was not entitled to the reasoning of the sentence imposed.
This case demonstrates the need to have an experienced, skilled criminal defense attorney on your side. You need a competent attorney to guide you through the process of what consequences may occur because of the decisions you make. If you are in need of a skilled defense attorney, contact Joseph A. Ingram of INGRAM LAW LLC at 205-335-2640 to schedule your free consultation.