Saturday, August 21, 2004

Tazewell County woman violates probation by taking methadone?

The Roanoke paper reports here ("Woman jailed for listening to doctor," 8/21/04) on the case of woman in Tazewell County who found herself in a situation where her doctor prescribed methadone for her OxyContin addiction but the judge (Judge Henry Vanover) in her criminal case concluded that taking methadone violated her probation.

The article says that Judge Vanover entertained a motion on Friday for reconsideration of his ruling that the defendant would have to serve three years of her suspended time for violating the terms of her probation, and notes that the ACLU is working to help the defendant in the case.

The article somewhat bungles the terminology. Apparently the woman got a jail sentence that was suspended on condition that she not violate the terms of her probation, and the judge reimposed the prison time he had earlier suspended, once the probation violation was found to have occurred. The article notes that the defendant was charged last year with child abuse and possession of OxyContin.

Another question I have about this scenario is whether it would have been feasible for the defendant in advance of taking the methadone to apply to the Court for modification of the terms of her probation. I suspect that Judge Vanover would studied such a request at somewhat greater length than he did in the exchange that is quoted at the end of the article.

No comments: