MCFADDEN, C. J., MCMILLIAN, P. J., and SENIOR APPELLATE JUDGE
Phipps, Senior Appellate Judge.
discretionary appeal from the grant of Michelle Huffman's
motion to dismiss the State's petition to revoke her
probation, the State argues that the court erred because the
petition gave Huffman adequate notice of the charges against
her. We agree and reverse.
issue here is whether the probation revocation petition
afforded Huffman due process. We review this question of law
de novo. See White v. State, 274 Ga.App. 805, 805
(619 S.E.2d 333) (2005) (reviewing the question of "the
legal effect of an order" issued by the Board of Pardons
and Paroles "de novo").
relevant facts are not in dispute. On March 1, 2018, after
Huffman entered negotiated guilty pleas to 3 counts of
withholding information from a practitioner, she was
sentenced to 12 years on probation. On November 7, 2018, the
State filed a petition for modification/revocation of
probation, alleging that Huffman had committed the following
VIOLATION 1: did commit the new felony offenses of
Forgery-First Degree and Theft by Deception, on or about
August 10, 2018, in Houston County, Georgia, in violation of
a condition of probation.
VIOLATION 2: did fail to pay court ordered monies in that
[Huffman] has made no payments on fines, fees, or supervision
fees, in violation of a condition of probation.
hearing on the State's petition was held on November 15,
2018. There, Huffman argued that the trial court should
dismiss the revocation petition on due process grounds
because the State did not give proper notice as to the
particulars of each new offense listed in Violation 1 of the
petition. Huffman contended that there were multiple ways to
commit the offenses of forgery and theft by deception and
that the State was required to give notice of how she
violated the particular statutes at issue in order for her to
prepare an adequate defense. The State responded that a
revocation petition is not required to meet the same
standards as an indictment. The trial court continued the
matter to allow the State an opportunity to amend the
the State declined to amend the petition, the trial court
entered an order granting Huffman's motion to dismiss it.
The court noted the Supreme Court of Georgia's decision
in Wolcott v. State, 278 Ga. 664 (604 S.E.2d 478)
(2004), which held that a revocation petition comported with
due process when it "set forth the crime, the
approximate date and the particular venue" of the
probation violation, id. at 667 (2), but distinguished
Wolcott on the ground that the challenge was raised
after conviction and involved a single straightforward
offense, whereas the State was alleging here that Huffman
committed forgery in the first degree and theft by deception,
both of which could be committed in multiple ways. The trial
court concluded that even though, having been arrested and
charged regarding each of the offenses, Huffman had actual
knowledge of the State's allegations, the petition was
inadequate as a matter of law because it "fail[ed] to
allege the victim or the manner in which the alleged crime
was committed," which affected Huffman's
"ability to prepare a defense" and her "double
jeopardy protection." The court thus dismissed the
petition with prejudice, and we granted the State's
application for discretionary review.
Supreme Court has recently reminded us, "'the
requirements of due process are flexible and call for such
procedural protections as the particular situation
demands.'" Miller v. Deal, 295 Ga. 504, 510
(2) (761 S.E.2d 274) (2014), quoting Wilkinson v.
Austin, 545 U.S. 209, 224 (IV) (125 SCt 2384, 162
L.Ed.2d 174) (2005). Specifically, a probation revocation is
not a criminal prosecution and does not require the extent of
proof sufficient to sustain a conviction. Johnson v.
State, 142 Ga.App. 124, 127 (2) (235 S.E.2d 550) (1977).
situation before us is a probation revocation proceeding such
that our Supreme Court's decision in Wolcott
remains very much on point. That the crime of forgery can be
committed in more than one way is also true of the crime at
issue in Wolcott: aggravated assault may be
committed with intent to murder, rape, or rob, or (on the
other hand) with a deadly weapon, which two alternatives
require different sets of facts as proof. See, e.g.,
Thomas v. State, 292 Ga. 429, 434 (5) (738 S.E.2d
571) (2013) (declining to merge convictions for aggravated
assault with intent to rob and with a deadly weapon where
each method of committing the crime required evidence that
the other did not, citing OCGA § 16-5-21 (a) (1), (2)).
The holding of Wolcott is that the revocation
petition comported with due process because it "set
forth the crime, the approximate date and the particular
venue," Wolcott, 278 Ga. at 667 (2), just as
this petition did. Although Huffman cites the Supreme
Court's recent decision in Jackson v. State, 301
Ga. 137 (800 S.E.2d 356) (2017), which found an indictment
insufficient for due process purposes in light of its failure
to either "set out all the elements of the offense
charged" or "allege the facts necessary to
establish violation of a criminal statute[,]" id. at 141
(1), we are bound to follow Wolcott in the context
of a probation revocation, and in the absence of any
indication that Jackson or any other decision of a
higher court has changed the law in that context.
these reasons, we conclude that the trial court erred when it
granted Huffman's motion to dismiss the State's
petition to revoke her probation.
McFadden, C J, and ...