Category Archives: PROBATION

TIME SPENT IN JAIL WHILE ON PROBATION: Urban Myth – The 12 Month Limit (15-18)

local jails
2015 calendar

URBAN MYTH – Many years ago, an entire generation of judges and attorneys were taught that Minnesota law (MS 609.135, subd 4) established a 12 month cap on the total amount of local jail that a defendant could be required to serve (whether as a condition of probation or as a sanction for violating probation), and that any incarceration in excess of 12 months would require execution of the stayed sentence = prison.

This update is designed to dispel that myth and provide the bench and bar with a simple explanation and general rule along with supporting authority.

TO READ THE FULL UPDATE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK: 

PendletonUpdate 15-18

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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).

TO READ THE FULL TRAINING UPDATE CLICK ON FOLLOWING LINK:

PendletonUpdate 15-15

Urine Drug Testing: The Risk of False Positives – What Judges Need to Know

immunoassaysJudges rely on urine drug screening (UDS) tests in a myriad of criminal and civil settings. In criminal cases, defendants are often ordered by the court not to use or possess alcohol or mood altering chemicals as a condition of their pretrial release or probation. In family court cases, parents are often ordered to undergo UDS as part of a court-ordered child custody evaluation. The results of the UDS can have tremendous adverse consequences for defendants (incarceration or loss of privileges) or for divorcing parents (loss of custody or parenting time). The potential for false-positive urine drug screen (UDS) results presents a due process dilemma for the presiding judge. When and under what circumstances can a judge feel comfortable relying on the results of a urine drug screening test without a secondary confirmation test? This training update will address the following six topics:

  1. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FALSE POSITIVE RESULTS
  2. WHAT COMMON SUBSTANCES CAN CAUSE FALSE POSITIVES?
  3. MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY RECOMMENDATIONS
  4. WHAT SHOULD JUDGES DO?
  5. SPECIAL CONCERN – CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATIONS
  6. URBAN MYTH – FALSE POSITIVES BASED ON 2nd-HAND SMOKE

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

PendletonUpdate14-20

Probation Revocations – The Austin Findings (11-08)

Following A Probation Violation Hearing (Misd, Gross Misd Or Felony), If The Court Determines There Is Clear And Convincing Evidence That A Condition Of Probation Has Been Violated (Or If The Probationer Admits The Violation), What 3 Specific Findings MUST The Court Make Before Defendant’s Probation Can Be Revoked And The Sentence Executed?

CLICK ON LINK BELOW TO READ MORE

Pendleton11.08-Probation_Revocations-The_Austin_Findings