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2-for-1 Home Detention Credit While on Probation - Peterink v. State of Indiana

On July 27, 2012, a panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals issued a ruling that could greatly effect the calculation of good time credit (See Peterink v. State). Peterink had entered a plea of guilty to Possession of Marijuana, a Class A Misdemeanor and was sentenced to one (1) year in jail, all of which was suspended. However, the Court placed Peterink on probation and ordered her to serve six (6) months on home detention as a condition of probation. The Court specifically noted that Peterink was to receive no good time credit while on home detention. Peterink's attorney filed a Motion to Correct Errors challenging the sentence, but the trial court did not change the sentence.

The Court of Appeals, in a well thought out and explained decision, relied on I.C. 35-38-2.5-5, which plainly reads, [a] person confined on home detention as a condition of probation earns credit for time served." However, this statute does not state that a person earns "good-time credit" and is ambiguous. But the Court of Appeals, relying on other cases, noted that ambiguities are to be resolved in favor of the accused" and held that Peterink was entitled to earn "good-time credit" while on home detention as a condition of probation.

Another interesting issue in Peterink was the Court of Appeals reliance on Jennings v. State where a panel of the Court of Appeals had determined that a "term of imprisonment" includes both the executed and suspended portions of a sentence. In Peterink, the Judge sentenced Peterink to 1 year suspended AND placed Peterink on probation for one year. This violated the rule set forth in the Jennings case.

If you have questions about home detention, good-time credit, or other criminal defense issues, please contact Gregory A. Miller, a Fort Wayne Criminal Defense Lawyer, at (260) 833-7249.