Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Defendants Have No Entitlement to Second Grant of Probation, says Court of Criminal Appeals

The Court of Criminal Appeals has stated in this opinion that in revoking probation, a trial court had the authority to order Mr. Hunt to serve his original four year sentence in confinement. As authority for this action the court looks to both the Tennessee Code (Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 40-35-310 and -311(e)) and case law, State v. Mitchell, 810 S.W.2d 733, 735 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1991).

In a language that cannot be mistaken for anything less than a directive to defendants and counsel, the court wrote: "This court has repeatedly cautioned that an accused, already on probation, is not entitled to a second grant of probation or another form of alternative sentencing.  Therefore, the trial court did not err by ordering the appellant to serve his original sentence in confinement."

Here, Mr. Hunt was on probation for child neglect and abuse of his infant son.  His probation officer filed a probation violation report, alleging that Hunt had violated his probation by failing to obey laws, failing to report to his probation officer, and using marijuana. Hunts' four year sentence was revoked by the trial court based on these violations. This action by the trial court is affirmed.

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