The Case- People v. Walker was decided March of 2011
In this case the entry of a Defendant’s conviction based on the revocation of a Deferred Judgment was reversed because the District Attorney failed to exercise due diligence in locating a Defendant – who lived locally in Colorado – to make that person aware of a pending revocation of a deferred judgment
Facts: Ms. Walker entered a guilty plea to possession of a schedule II controlled substance, a felony. The trial court approved a deferred sentence. Two months prior to end of the deferred period, the prosecution moved to revoke the deferred. According to the person supervising the deferred, Ms. Walker could not be located.
The DA obtained an arrest warrant for Ms. Walker’s arrest and claimed to have mailed a copy of the motion to revoke to defense counsel.
SIX YEARS (6) years after the deferred judgment period ended, the Defendant was arrested on the outstanding warrant.
At the revocation hearing – the Defendant testified that she never moved and that she still lived in the same apartment in which she resided at the time of the plea.
The Colorado Court held that the DA “abandoned” the motion to revoke Ms. Walker’s deferred sentence. The Court reasoned that the time involved 6 – years – could not be excluded from the period in which to prosecute the motion to revoke because the Defendant did not absent herself from the jurisdiction.
More importantly, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that the DA did not make reasonable efforts to give notice to either Ms. Walker or her defense counsel and that the prosecution does not make reasonable efforts to procure the defendant or defendant’s counsel, then the claim or motion will be deemed abandoned.