Corey Brown, Jr. was originally sentenced to prison for five years because he failed to answer his door when his probation officer knocked at 6:50 AM.
His PO claimed she showed up at his door, called his cellphone but nobody answered, knocked very loudly but nobody answered and left a card in his door but nobody called back. Brown claimed he was home but asleep at 6:50 AM, didn’t hear his phone ring or anybody knock on his door and never found a card left in his door jam. Nevertheless, the lower court convicted him of not being at his residence and gave him years in prison!
Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal said no way! When the State charges a violation of community control, it must prove the violation by the greater weight of the evidence. There must be finding of a willful and substantial violation of a condition of community control.
At issue was whether the “State’s evidence that no one answered the door in response to a knock is legally sufficient to prove that Brown was not home. It is not.” The court observed that Brown could have been asleep (as many people are at 6:50 AM), in the shower, or a multitude of other reasons.
FAC NOTE: if you are not under house arrest or a probation curfew, you do not need to be home when police come to do an address verification.
Thanks to Bill Dobbs for sharing this case.