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Criminal procedure — Illegal sentence — Jail sentence following failure to pay restitution

After entering a plea of not guilty, but later agreeing to a stipulated statement of facts, Harry R. Walker, Appellant, was convicted in the Circuit Court for Carroll County of the unlawful taking of a motor vehicle. The trial court deferred sentencing for four months in order to allow Walker an opportunity to make restitution payments, which he agreed he would do. In deferring sentencing, the court indicated its willingness to consider a suspended sentence if damages were paid in full by the time of sentencing. Ultimately, Walker made no payments toward restitution and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, all but three years suspended. Restitution was ordered as a condition of probation.

Walker filed a timely appeal, presenting one question for our review:

Did the trial court impose an illegal sentence when it imposed a sentence of active jail time after offering Mr. Walker an opportunity to buy a suspended sentence?

Read the opinion here: