Heaton v. StateAnnotate this Case
Defendant pled guilty to receiving stolen property, a felony. While serving her probation term, Defendant was arrested and charged with theft. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial court determined that Defendant had committed four probation violations, including commission of a new criminal offense, and ordered Defendant to serve a portion of her previously suspended sentence. Defendant appealed, contending that the trial court erred by using the probable cause standard rather than the preponderance of the evidence standard in evaluating whether she committed the crime of theft. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the trial court, holding (1) the correct burden of proof for a trial court to apply in a probation revocation proceeding is the preponderance of the evidence standard; and (2) because it was unclear which standard the trial court used in this instance, the case was remanded for a new determination of whether Defendant violated the conditions of her probation by a preponderance of the evidence and, if so, the appropriate sanction for such a violation.