State v. Langley, A20A1806

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
Writing for the CourtMarkle, Judge.
Citation855 S.E.2d 376,358 Ga.App. 343
Parties The STATE v. LANGLEY.
Decision Date08 February 2021
Docket NumberA20A1806

358 Ga.App. 343
855 S.E.2d 376

The STATE
v.
LANGLEY.

A20A1806

Court of Appeals of Georgia.

February 8, 2021


855 S.E.2d 377

John Herbert Cranford Jr., Newnan, Christine Diane Caldwell, for Appellant.

Jared Benjamin Craig, for Appellee.

Markle, Judge.

In this case, we must determine whether the trial court may probate a sentence imposed under OCGA § 16-11-131 (b), which makes it unlawful for a person on probation to possess a firearm. The trial court concluded that it had the discretion to probate a portion of the sentence, and the State appealed.1 After considering the relevant statutory language, we conclude that the trial court lacked the discretion to impose the probated sentence. Accordingly, we vacate the sentence, and remand the case for resentencing.

The facts are undisputed. In 1987, Dennis Mark Langley was convicted of murder. Following his release from incarceration, he began his term of probation. In 2019, the department of community supervision conducted a search of his home, as permitted by the terms of his probation, and discovered several firearms. As a result, Langley was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, in violation of OCGA § 16-11-131 (b). He pled guilty, and the trial court sentenced him to ten years, to serve six months in prison with the remainder on probation. The State now appeals, arguing that Langley's sentence is void because the trial court lacked the discretion to impose a probated sentence under the plain language of the sentencing statute. We agree.

"The interpretation of a statute is, of course, a question of law, which is reviewed de novo on appeal. Indeed, when only a question of law is at issue, as here, we owe no deference to the trial court's ruling and apply the ‘plain legal error’ standard of review." (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Mays v. State , 345 Ga. App. 562, 563, 814 S.E.2d 418 (2018).

Where the trial court imposes a sentence the law does not allow, that sentence is void. Wilder v. State , 343 Ga. App. 110, 112, 806 S.E.2d 200 (2017). In determining whether the statutory language vested the trial court with the discretion to impose a

855 S.E.2d 378

probated sentence, we turn to the rules of statutory construction.

When interpreting any statute, we necessarily begin our analysis
...

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4 practice notes
  • Rios v. State, A20A1999
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 8, 2021
    ...was entering "a non-negotiated open-ended plea agreement," and the court had discretion to sentence him to as many as 60 years in prison.855 S.E.2d 376 Finally, Rios argues that his convictions must be vacated because the record does not show that the trial court resolved the conflict betwe......
  • Langley v. State, S21G0783
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • February 1, 2022
    ...the discretion to probate any portion of a sentence imposed for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. See State v. Langley , 358 Ga. App. 343, 345, 855 S.E.2d 376 (2021). We conclude that the Court of Appeals did err, and we therefore reverse its judgment.1. In 1987, Dennis Mark Lan......
  • Langley v. State, S21G0783
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • February 1, 2022
    ...lack the discretion to probate any portion of a sentence imposed for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. See State v. Langley, 358 Ga.App. 343, 345 (855 S.E.2d 376) (2021). We conclude that the Court of Appeals did err, and we therefore reverse its judgment. 1. In 1987, Dennis Mar......
  • State v. Langley, A20A1806
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • July 27, 2022
    ...imposed a sentence totaling ten years, to serve six months with the remainder on probation. The State appealed, and in State v. Langley, 358 Ga.App. 343 (855 S.E.2d 376) (2021), we reversed the trial court's imposition of the probated sentence. The Supreme Court of Georgia granted certiorar......
4 cases
  • Rios v. State, A20A1999
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • February 8, 2021
    ...was entering "a non-negotiated open-ended plea agreement," and the court had discretion to sentence him to as many as 60 years in prison.855 S.E.2d 376 Finally, Rios argues that his convictions must be vacated because the record does not show that the trial court resolved the conflict betwe......
  • Langley v. State, S21G0783
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • February 1, 2022
    ...the discretion to probate any portion of a sentence imposed for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. See State v. Langley , 358 Ga. App. 343, 345, 855 S.E.2d 376 (2021). We conclude that the Court of Appeals did err, and we therefore reverse its judgment.1. In 1987, Dennis Mark Lan......
  • Langley v. State, S21G0783
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Georgia
    • February 1, 2022
    ...lack the discretion to probate any portion of a sentence imposed for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. See State v. Langley, 358 Ga.App. 343, 345 (855 S.E.2d 376) (2021). We conclude that the Court of Appeals did err, and we therefore reverse its judgment. 1. In 1987, Dennis Mar......
  • State v. Langley, A20A1806
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • July 27, 2022
    ...imposed a sentence totaling ten years, to serve six months with the remainder on probation. The State appealed, and in State v. Langley, 358 Ga.App. 343 (855 S.E.2d 376) (2021), we reversed the trial court's imposition of the probated sentence. The Supreme Court of Georgia granted certiorar......

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