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People v. Snedeker.

2023 COA 46. Sentencing—Probation.

June 1, 2023

Snedeker was found guilty of two counts of securities fraud and two counts of theft. The district court sentenced him to four years in the custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC) on the securities fraud counts and a consecutive term of one year of work release and 20 years of economic crimes probation on the theft counts. A court of appeals division vacated one count of securities fraud and one count of theft, but Snedeker’s overall sentence remained unchanged. Snedeker’s prison sentence began in 2015, he started work release in 2018, and he entered a day reporting program in 2018. In 2019, the probation department filed a complaint alleging numerous probation violations. Before Snedeker’s probation revocation hearing, the Colorado Supreme Court issued Allman v. People, 2019 CO 78, holding that when a defendant is sentenced for multiple offenses in the same case, the court may not impose imprisonment for some offenses and probation for others. Snedeker moved to dismiss the complaint based on Allman, and the prosecutor conceded that Snedeker should be resentenced and didn’t object to dismissal of the complaint. The court resentenced Snedeker to 20 years of probation and granted four years of credit for time already served. It simultaneously resentenced Snedeker in another case, revoking the original 15-year economic crimes probation sentence and resentencing him to four years in DOC custody. It ordered the sentences in both cases to run concurrently.

On appeal, Snedeker contended that his new sentence was illegal under Allman because he will complete both a prison and probation sentence in the same case. However, a court may resentence a defendant to probation after the defendant has served the prison portion of a prison-plus-probation sentence that was found to be illegal under Allman. Here, the combination of both prison and probation components rendered Snedeker’s entire sentence illegal. Under these circumstances, the entire original sentence is void, and the proper remedy isn’t removing the probation sentence but rather resentencing and imposing a legal sentence. Because Snedeker’s prior sentence is void and the new sentence is a probation sentence without any prison component, Snedeker’s new sentence conforms to Allman and is legal.

Snedeker also argued that, because the district court simultaneously resentenced him in two separate cases, it couldn’t legally impose a probation sentence in this case and a prison sentence in the other under Allman. However, Allman does not address whether a district court may impose prison and probation sentences in separate cases, and the court of appeals declined to extend Allman to such situations.

The order was affirmed.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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