CRIMINAL LAW (probation revocation): Barker v. Commonwealth (COA 1/22/2010)

Barker v. Commonwealth
2008-CA-001312 01/22/2010 2010 WL 199413

Opinion by Judge VanMeter; Judge Nickell concurred by separate opinion; Senior Judge Lambert dissented by separate opinion. The Court affirmed an order of the circuit court revoking appellant’s probation after appellant incurred assault charges while on probation, in violation of a condition that he not commit another offense. The Court first held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in reaching the conclusion that appellant violated the terms of his probation by incurring the new charges. The court gave notice of and conducted the probation revocation hearing at which appellant and his counsel were present and were afforded an opportunity to cross-examine the probation officer, as well as to present rebuttal testimony. The Court next held that the trial court’s reliance on hearsay evidence presented by the probation officer did not violate appellant’s due process rights nor was it an abuse of discretion. The Court finally held that the trial court did not violate appellant’s due process rights by failing to make written findings when the order specifically stated that appellant violated the conditions of probation by his arrest on the new charges.