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Friday, August 17, 2012

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 today (and 4 NFP)

For publication opinions today (1):

In Bryan J. Fields v. State of Indiana, a 6-page opinion, Judge Crone writes:

A jury found Bryan J. Fields guilty of class D felony operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The trial court entered judgment of conviction as a class D felony and imposed an eighteen-month suspended sentence. At that time, the trial court indicated that it would consider a potential reduction of the felony conviction to a misdemeanor after approximately one year provided that Fields complied with the terms and conditions of probation and committed no further criminal offenses. During a review hearing held almost one year after the conviction, the trial court denied Fields’s request to reduce his D felony conviction to an A misdemeanor. Specifically, the trial court concluded that it had no authority to modify the conviction. On appeal, Fields contends that the trial court erred when it determined that it had no such authority. We disagree with Fields and affirm. * * *

Fields maintains that Indiana Code Section 35-50-2-7(b), when read in conjunction with Indiana Code Section 35-38-1-17, grants the trial court authority to convert his felony conviction to a misdemeanor within one year of sentencing. * * *

By its plain language, Indiana Code Section 35-38-1-17 clearly addresses the trial court’s authority to reduce or suspend a sentence, not the trial court’s authority to convert a conviction from a felony to a misdemeanor. Fields does not seek a sentence reduction. Rather, he seeks a conviction conversion. In light of the plain language used by our legislature, and in light of our supreme court’s opinion in Brunner, we must conclude that Indiana Code Section 35-38-1-17 does not grant the trial court the authority to reduce a felony conviction to a misdemeanor.

NFP civil opinions today (2):

Steven C. Lane v. Brandy D. Rosenquist and Hermann Ventures, LLC d/b/a Seasons Homecare (NFP)

Mark Van Eaton and Cynthia Van Eaton Vallimont v. German American Bancorp (NFP)

NFP criminal opinions today (2):

John Willis v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Ronald Williams v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Darrell Hall v. State of Indiana (NFP)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 17, 2012 10:49 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions