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Coleman v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 21, 2016

Andre C. Coleman, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

         Appeal from the Marion Superior Court The Honorable Allan W. Reid, Commissioner The Honorable Linda E. Brown, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 49G10-1506-CM-20752

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Suzy St. John Marion County Public Defender Indianapolis, Indiana

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Gregory F. Zoeller Attorney General of Indiana Paula J. Beller Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Mathias, Judge.

         [¶1] Following a bench trial in Marion Superior Court, Andre Coleman ("Coleman") was convicted of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. He was ordered to serve 365 days in jail with 363 days suspended to probation. Coleman presents two issues on appeal, which we restate as whether the trial court abused its discretion in imposing a supplemental public defender fee, probation fees, and a drug and alcohol treatment fee.

         [¶2] We vacate the imposition of the supplemental public defender and probation fees and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶3] At approximately 1:20 a.m. on June 13, 2015, Indianapolis Airport Police Officer Julianna Matthews ("Officer Matthews") was out on patrol when she noticed a car parked in the shoulder along the airport's North Access Road. Officer Matthews was concerned because the car was protruding about two or three feet into the roadway, so she stopped to investigate. As she approached the car and knocked on its window, Officer Matthews encountered Coleman in the driver's seat, who appeared to have been asleep. Coleman rolled down the window and spoke slowly to Officer Matthews. He was unable to keep his eyes open or his head still. Coleman admitted to drinking a "couple of beers" but stated that he was not intoxicated. Tr. p. 7. Based on this behavior, Officer Matthews believed that Coleman was under the influence and proceeded to conduct standardized field sobriety tests after Officer Tyler Frankel ("Officer Frankel") arrived at the scene.

         [¶4] Coleman attempted to complete the first test but failed. Officer Matthews tried to administer two more sobriety tests, but Coleman failed because he refused to complete either test. Officer Matthews then arrested Coleman for public intoxication and due to an active warrant in an unrelated case. Appellant's App. p. 12.

         [¶5] On June 13, 2015, the State charged Coleman with two counts of Class B misdemeanor public intoxication. That same day, the trial court held an initial hearing and found Coleman to be indigent. After a thorough examination of Coleman's financial situation, the court appointed an attorney at public expense with no reimbursement requirement. Appellant's App. p. 17.

         [¶6] On September 21, 2015, a bench trial was held, and the trial court took the issue under advisement. The trial court found Coleman guilty on both counts and merged Count II into Count I on October 5, 2015. On September 26, 2015, the trial court held a sentencing hearing and ordered Coleman to serve 365 days in jail with 363 days suspended to probation and to take an alcohol and drug treatment class. Upon Coleman's completion of the class, his probation would become non-reporting. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court found Coleman indigent as to fines and costs. Tr. p. 34. Coleman asked the court if he had to pay for the alcohol and drug treatment class to which the court responded, "Yes, yeah." Tr. p. 33. However, the court never inquired about Coleman's financial situation at this time.

         [¶7] The trial court's sentencing order also did not list a public defender fee or any other court costs or fees. Appellant's App. p. 11. Although the sentencing order indicated that Coleman was required to participate in alcohol and drug treatment as part of his sentence, his total monetary obligation totaled $0. Id. The order of probation also indicated that Coleman was required to complete an alcohol and drug treatment program.[1] However, the order of probation did not designate an amount owed for probation user fees. Appellant's App. p. 27.

         [¶8] One day after sentencing, Coleman was charged $640 in court fees, which included a $50 supplemental public defender fee. The case transaction showed a breakdown of all of the fees including: a $250 alcohol and drug service program user fee, a $50 adult probation administrative fee, a $50 supplemental public defender fee, and a $290[2] adult probation user fee. On April 22, 2016, Coleman's balance remained at $640. Coleman now appeals.

         Standard of Review

         [¶9] Sentencing decisions include decisions to impose fees and costs. Johnson v. State,27 N.E.3d 793, 794 (Ind.Ct.App. 2015). We review a trial court's sentencing decision for an abuse of discretion. McElroy v. State,865 N.E.2d 584, 588 (Ind. 2007). An abuse of discretion has occurred when the sentencing decision is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the court, or the reasonable, probable, and actual deductions to be drawn therefrom. Id. (quotations omitted). "If the fees imposed by the trial court ...


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