Cox v. Commonwealth (U)

The defendant pled guilty to driving while intoxicated, second offense, possession of marijuana and felony hit and run. The trial court sentenced the defendant to a maximum sentence of five years, but the court also stated that it would reconsider the sentence if the defendant found an in-house treatment center to attend after serving one full year in detention.

The trial court’s written order under appeal appears to state that the trial court reserved jurisdiction to act on the defendant’s sentence after he served a year in the Virginia Department of Corrections. However, the trial court lacked authority to modify or suspend the sentence once he was transferred to the Department. The presence of an ultra vires provision in a sentencing order renders the entire order void ab initio. Accordingly, the sentencing order is a nullity.

Vacated and remanded.

Cox v. Commonwealth (U), No. 171380, Mar. 28, 2019. SCV (per curiam) from CAV.

Categories: Opinions, Supreme Court of Virginia, Unpublished


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