Sunday, June 21, 2009

If Competency is raised before trial, a hearing must be held. (6 21 2009)

The Fourth District Court of Appeals just reversed convictions for "harassment by inmate" because the defendant’s appointed counsel raised the issue of competency before trial commenced and the trial court failed to hold a hearing on the matter. Ohio Revised Code Section 2945.37(B) clearly states that a hearing must be held on the issue of the defendant’s competence to stand trial if it is raised before the commencement of trial. The defendant raised the issue at the 11th hour since his trial was scheduled to start in just thirty minutes, and the trial court cited the fact that the "county is suffering an economic hardship at this time" in denying the defense motion for a continuance for a competency determination. But the Fourth District relied on the clear language of 2945.37(B) in reversing the convictions and remanding the case for a new trial after a competency hearing. State v. Hinkston, 2009-Ohio-2631.

Contact me if you need a Dayton Criminal Defense Attorney for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site and filling in the "contact me" form.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Guilty Plea Was Not Knowing, Voluntary, and Intelligent (6 21 2009)

The Seventh District Court of Appeals reversed a guilty plea made in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court because it was not made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently.  Criminal Rule 11 requires certain things of the trial judge before a guilty plea can be accepted.  Criminal Rule 11(C)(1)(c) states that judges must inform defendants of the following before their plea is accepted.
1.  The defendant is waiving her right to a jury trial
2.  To confront witnesses against her
3.  To compulsory process for favorable witnesses
4.  To require the State to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
5.  And her privilege against compulsory self incrimination.
A trial judge in Mahoning County failed to comply with numbers three and four as listed above and so the Court of Appeals reversed the guilty plea and remanded the case back to the trial court.  State v. Wheeler, 2009-Ohio-2647.

Contact me if you need a Dayton criminal defense lawyer for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site and filling in the “contact me” form.
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