Tuesday, June 05, 2007

S.C. Supreme Court holds that probation may not be revoked for breach of agreement with DPPS

In State v. Stevens, Stevens was on probation following 2002 convictions for stalking and domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature. While on probation in 2005, DPPPS--not the Court-- entered an agreement with Stevens that he would be electronically monitored and would also to avoid certain “exclusion zones” areas near the former girlfriend’s home and work. He entered an exclusion zone and DPPPS issued a probation revocation warrant. His probation was revoked.

The state Supreme Court held that statutory law permits DPPPS to impose “conditions of supervision” which “enhance…court imposed conditions” of probation. Enhancing Court conditions does not equate with the power to set its own conditions. Where monitoring is imposed by the court, DPPPS may require the probationer to participate in the GPS program as a condition of supervision under § 24-21-430 because this program would “enhance…court-imposed conditions.” Here, however, DPPPS could not unilaterally impose GPS monitoring on Stevens and thus his probation could not be revoked for violating the agreement between him and DPPS.

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