FELONY SENTENCING & PROBATION VIOLATION HEARINGS: The one thing a judge should never say or promise (15-15)

judge-pointing-finger-300x286GENERAL RULE:  During a felony sentencing or probation violation hearing (PVH), although judges may warn defendants that a violation of probation can have serious ramifications, the court should NEVER PROMISE, MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS OR OTHERWISE IMPLY that the court will send the defendant to prison if he/she violates conditions of their probation, or that the court has otherwise prejudged the proceedings.

Warning: If such a statement is made and a reasonable examiner [i.e. an objective, unbiased, layperson with full knowledge of the facts and circumstances] would question whether the judge could impartially conduct the proceedings, then at the request of the defendant, the judge would likely be disqualified from the probation violation hearing. State v. Finch, 865 N.W.2d 696 (Minn.2015).


PendletonUpdate 15-15

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