Thursday, October 4, 2012

Judge failed to inform defendant of maximum penalty, pleas reversed (10 4 2012)

Lovell Jennings was about to enter guilty pleas to two counts. One count was a second degree felony which carried a mandatory 2 to 8 years at the time of the plea hearing. The judge incorrectly told Jennings that the maximum penalty for that count was two to five years. The Eighth District Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County reversed the pleas because Jennings was not properly informed of the maximum penalty he faced as required by Ohio Criminal Rule 11. The Court of Appeals vacated the pleas to both counts because "it remains unclear whether Jennings would have accepted the state’s plea offer had he known that he faced a longer prison term." State v. Jennings, 2012-Ohio-4596.

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