This morning Jamie Markham and I loaded a passenger van with a group of district court judges who had come to the SOG for a week-long orientation course. We hauled them (through the snow) over to the offices of Community Corrections on Yonkers Road in Raleigh. Jamie lectured while I drove.
We took the judges over to probation headquarters so that in addition to learning about the law of probation from the expert (Jamie, obvi), they could meet, hear from, and question the people who set, write, and administer probation policy and who supervise probationers. The experience was amazing.
Suppose a defendant is convicted of a class I felony and has a prior record level of I. That’s a “C” block on the felony sentencing grid, where only community punishment is authorized. Community punishment can include a range of punishments from a fine only, up to supervised probation, but does not encompass a straight active sentence. The defendant informs the sentencing court that she wants to serve her time in prison. The defendant further explicitly states she will not accept probation and refuses to meet with probation, missing several opportunities to begin the intake process. What options does the trial court have? Continue reading →
A special purpose extension of probation is permitted only for certain specified purposes. According to a case decided earlier this week, substance abuse treatment isn’t one of them. Continue reading →
If you’ve noticed an uptick in probation hearings on extensions, today’s post may help explain why. As of last month, Community Corrections will no longer seek ordinary extensions of probation without notice and a hearing. In other words, they will no longer seek “in chambers” extension orders, even when the defendant consents to them. Continue reading →
Since 2009, all North Carolina probationers are subject to a regular condition of probation allowing warrantless searches of their person, vehicle, and premises by a probation officer. Under legislation passed that year, those searches must be for purposes “directly related to the probation supervision.” G.S. 15A-1343(b)(13). How related to probation must a search be to be “directly related”? A recent case sheds some light. Continue reading →