The Pretrial Integrity Act has been in effect for one month now and has generated several questions about the implications of the new provisions. Some of the most frequently asked questions stem from probation violations, particularly how arrests for probation violations are treated under the new law. This post briefly addresses the two most common questions in this context.
A new case from the Supreme Court of North Carolina gives us a chance to revisit the issue of a defendant’s confrontation rights at a probation violation hearing.
Under G.S. 15A-1347(b), if a defendant waives a probation revocation hearing in district court, he or she may not appeal the revocation or imposition of a split sentence to superior court for a de novo violation hearing. That law was enacted in 2013 as part of legislation designed to streamline the superior court caseload, focusing it on contested cases and those implicating a defendant’s right to a jury trial. S.L. 2013-385. I wrote a post about that law in 2014, here, wondering about some of the then-new law’s wrinkles. The Court of Appeals considered its first case under G.S. 15A-1347(b) last year in State v. Flanagan, 2021-NCCOA-456, 279 N.C. App. 228 (2021).
Under State v. Morgan, a case recently decided by the Supreme Court of North Carolina, a trial judge can’t act on a probation case after it has expired unless he or she makes a finding that there is “good cause shown and stated” to do so. In the short run, you’ll need to modify the forms to do it.
The felony and misdemeanor sentencing grids tell us who can get probation. Community Corrections has its own grid that determines how that probation will be carried out.
A string of recent cases have shown what absconding isn’t. A case from the court of appeals this week gives us an example of what absconding is.
In State v. Krider, __ N.C. App. __, 810 S.E.2d 828 (2018) (discussed here), a divided court of appeals vacated the defendant’s probation revocation based on absconding. Last week, the supreme court affirmed the court of appeals. Today’s post considers what Krider tells us about absconding—and what constitutes sufficient proof of any probation violation.
It seems to be getting harder, not easier, to say what it means to abscond from probation.