Supreme Court Seal
South Carolina
JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT
Site Map | Feedback
2004-UP-021 - State v. Taylor

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Court of Appeals

The State,        Respondent,

v.

William Edward Taylor,        Appellant.


Appeal From York County
John C. Hayes, III, Circuit Court Judge


Unpublished Opinion No. 2004-UP-021
Submitted November 19, 2003 – Filed January 15, 2004


AFFIRMED


Chief Attorney Daniel T. Stacey, of Columbia, for Appellant.

Deputy Director for Legal Services Teresa A. Knox, Legal Counsel Tommy Evans, Jr. and Legal Counsel J. Benjamin Aplin, all of Columbia, for Respondent.

PER CURIAM:  William Edward Taylor appeals the revocation of his probation, arguing the trial court erred when it considered his arrest record during the revocation hearing.  We affirm. [1]

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Taylor was sentenced as a habitual traffic offender to five years imprisonment suspended to two years imprisonment and three years probation.  During his probationary sentence, a probation arrest warrant was issued charging him with failing to follow his agent’s instructions and advice, failing to report, failing to pay the public defender fund, and failing to pay his supervision fees.  Taylor admitted the allegations in the warrant were true.  In asking for mercy from the court, Taylor said he had “pretty much cleaned up [his] act.”  The court told Taylor it had his NCIC report and to be careful not to contradict it.  When Taylor later admitted he previously had a drug problem but that he had “been clean now for awhile, for a couple of years now,” the court mentioned Taylor’s arrests in multiple jurisdictions while on probation.  At the conclusion of the hearing, the court revoked Taylor’s probation in full, reinstating the remainder of his suspended sentence. 

LAW/ANALYSIS

Taylor argues the court erred in considering his arrest record in imposing the maximum revocation.  We find no error. 

Probation is a matter of grace, rather than a right and revocation is a means to enforce the terms of probation.  State v. Hamilton, 333 S.C. 642, 648, 511 S.E.2d 94, 97 (Ct. App. 1999).  The decision to revoke probation is addressed to the circuit court’s discretion.  State v. Lee, 350 S.C. 125, 129, 564 S.E.2d 372, 374 (Ct. App. 2002).  This court will not reverse the circuit court’s revocation of probation unless the decision was influenced by an error of law, lacked evidentiary support, or constituted an abuse of discretion.  Taylor admitted to violating several terms of his probation.  State v. Knapp, 338 S.C. 541, 543, 526 S.E.2d 741, 742 (Ct. App. 2000).  Thus, the revocation clearly has evidentiary support. 

Additionally, the court’s decision does not appear to have been an abuse of discretion or the product of a legal error.  Although the court mentioned Taylor’s arrest record, it did not do so until after it had already made the determination on the record that the violations that Taylor readily admitted to were substantial.  The court did not mention the arrests when it announced its decision on revocation.  Our reading of the record does not indicate the court considered any improper matters in its decision to revoke Taylor’s probationary sentence in full. 

AFFIRMED.

HUFF, STILWELL, and BEATTY, JJ., concur.


[1]        We decide this case without oral argument pursuant to Rule 215, SCACR.