OLATHE, Kan., Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- William McKnight thought the State of Kansas violated his rights when it lengthened his sentence. So did Carl Folsom III, a partner at Bell Folsom, P.A. After listening to Mr. Folsom, the Kansas Supreme Court agreed. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court held that the State of Kansas violated Mr. William McKnight's rights after it unfairly lengthened his sentence.
The case had nothing to do with McKnight's original sentence, but with how the court changed his sentence after he violated his probation terms. When McKnight was originally sentenced for possession with intent to distribute, he was given 30 months in prison with an additional 24 months of post-release supervision, but the court suspended his sentence and placed him on 18 months probation. Upon violating probation, the court revoked it and imposed a sentence of 22 months of incarceration and no probation on McKnight.
Yet the key to the case lies in what happened two months later. Just last month the State moved to change the sentence and add a 24-month post-release supervision, arguing that a sentence of just 22 months incarceration was illegal because it was less of a sentence than the original given.
The defense by Bell Folsom argued that the trial court had authority at the probation revocation hearing to impose any lesser sentence they deemed fit. The Supreme Court agreed, finding that the statute in question allows the trial court to impose any sentence that is less than the original sentence imposed, and that there is not any requirement that a period of probation be imposed when it was previously revoked.
"I'm very pleased with the ruling, as it puts sentencing back in the hands of judges," Brendan Bell, partner at Bell Folsom and Olathe defense attorney, explains. "Each case is different -- it's better for a judge to have more discretion regarding sentencing, as they are more familiar with the case, the facts and the defendant. Mandatory minimum sentences treat every case the same."
The McKnight case is just one of many successes that Johnson County criminal defense lawyers at Bell Folsom have had in front of the Supreme Court. The attorneys at Bell Folsom have achieved favorable outcomes for clients facing criminal charges in both state and federal courts, including the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The attorneys at Bell Folsom are regularly sought out by other attorneys for their expertise in the areas of illegal search and seizure and arrest without probable cause. A recent triumph for the firm included partner Carl Folsom's "55 & 55" case: Folsom secured 55 reversed convictions with one 55-page brief to the Kansas Supreme Court.
For more information about Bell Folsom, please call (866) 754-5311 or visit their website: http://www.bellfolsom.com.
SOURCE Bell Folsom, P.A.