Thursday, November 1, 2012

Judgment Entries of prior convictions of Domestic Violence must comply with Criminal Rule 32(C) (11 1 12)

If you have previously pled guilty to or were convicted of domestic violence, you face an increased level of the offense the second time around. If you committed two or more prior DV offenses, then the level of the offense is increased again. R.C. 2919.25. Today the Ohio Supreme Court recognized that there are a number of ways the State may prove a prior conviction of DV. The defendant may admit to the prior offense or stipulate to it, for example. But the Ohio Supreme Court held that if the prosecution decides to use judgment entries from the prior offenses to prove the prior convictions, those judgment entries must comply with Ohio Criminal Rule 32(C) (Rule 32(C) states that "A judgment of conviction shall set forth the plea, the verdict, or findings, upon which each conviction is based, and the sentence. Multiple judgments of conviction may be addressed in one judgment entry. If the defendant is found not guilty or for any other reason is entitled to be discharged, the court shall render judgment accordingly. The judge shall sign the judgment and the clerk shall enter it on the journal. A judgment is effective only when entered on the journal by the clerk." State v. Gwen, 2012-Ohio-5046.

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