Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook

Reproduced with permission from:
Timothy E. Pierce and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

Criminal Rule 5 -- Initial Appearance, Preliminary Hearing.
Criminal Rule 10 -- Arraignment.
Criminal Rule 10(B) -- May be arraigned in absentia if not guilty plea is entered.
Chapter 2937 -- Preliminary examination; bail.
Chapter 2943 -- Arraignment; pleas.
State v. Thompson, 180 Ohio App. 3d 714, 2009-Ohio-185 – Defendant pleaded no contest to driving under suspension at arraignment and received 180 days. Court gave general advice to those present for arraignment, and directed they pay close attention to what was said to the first person on the docket that day. Upon entering his plea the defendant was only asked if he understood his rights as previously explained. (1) Court did not meet its obligations under Criminal Rules 5 and 10 to advise no statements need be made, and that those that were could be used against him. (2) Plea was not taken in compliance with Crim. R. 11. (3) There was no effective waiver of the right to counsel. (4) Imposition of confinement absent a waiver of the right to counsel was erroneous.
State v. Bickel, 178 Ohio App. 3d 535, 2008-Ohio-5747 -- Court dismissed a charge pursuant to Crim. R. 29 because it believed the defendant had not been arraigned. Such defects must be raised before trial or are waived according to Crim. R. 12(C)(1). In effect the court‘s ruling treated arraignment as an element to be proven, which it is not. Error found but acquittal affirmed.
Akron v. Lewis, 179 Ohio App. 3d 649, 2008-Ohio-6256 – Defendant claimed court did not properly arraign him, but failed to provide a record showing this to be the case and further establishing he raised the issue before trial. Regularity of proceedings presumed.
State v. Schooler, Greene App. No. 2003 CA 65, 2004-Ohio-2430 -- Municipal court judge mistakenly accepted a plea to carrying concealed weapons after being misinformed by the bailiff that it was a misdemeanor. The court did not have subject matter jurisdiction because the weapon was a loaded firearm. Therefore subsequent felony prosecution was not barred by double jeopardy.
State v. Bogner (1999), 135 Ohio App. 3d 412 -- Defense counsel filed an untimely motion to suppress in an OMVI case, which the court dismissed. A no contest plea was entered. On appeal it was claimed arraignment in absentia was defective as the prosecutor's consent had not been obtained, thus the plea was null and void. Since the defense had not been raised before the plea was entered, any error was waived. No claim was made that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to consider an untimely motion. Also see Garland v. Washington (1914), 232 U.S. 642.
Shaker Heights v. Hunte (2001), 145 Ohio App. 3d 150 -- Failure to advise the defendant of his right to counsel at arraignment was not prejudicial as he entered a not guilty plea and made no admissions.
State v. Vordenberge, 148 Ohio App. 3d 488, 2002-Ohio-1612, ¶14 -- "...(W)e hold that even if a defendant waives his right to counsel during arraignment, that waiver is effective for that proceeding only. The trial court, before proceeding to trial, must make an independent inquiry into whether a defendant's waiver of counsel at trial is knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently made."
State v. Obermeyer, 152 Ohio App. 3d 360, 2003-Ohio-1741, ¶ 8 -- Inquiry regarding waiver of the right to counsel fell short where, "(t)he trial court did not discuss the nature of the charge, the statutory offense, the range of allowable punishments, or any possible defenses available to Obermeyer."
State v. Perkins, 154 Ohio App. 3d 631, 2003-Ohio-5092 -- Off camera, following a video arraignment, the defendant was heard to say "that's bullshit" in response to the bond that had been set. This was properly punished as direct criminal contempt.
County of Riverside v. McLaughlin (1991), 500 U.S. 44 -- A person arrested without a warrant is entitled to a prompt determination whether there was probable cause for the arrest. A delay of more than forty-eight hours is presumptively unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment. Also see Powell v. Nevada (1994), 511 U.S. 79 holding McLaughlin applicable to all actions pending at the time the decision was announced and raising the question whether the exclusionary rule is applicable when there has been a McLaughlin violation; United States v. Alvarez-Sanchez (1994), 511 U.S. 350.
State v. Phillips (1995), 74 Ohio St. 3d 72, 94-95 -- "...(A)rraignment by closed-circuit television is constitutionally adequate when the procedure is functionally equivalent to live, in- person arraignment."
State v. Heyden (1991), 81 Ohio App. 3d 272 -- Criminal Rule 10(A), permitting immediate arraignment upon service of the indictment, supersedes R.C. 2941.49 which requires a delay of one day.
State v. Orr (1985), 26 Ohio App. 3d 24 -- Failure to advise the defendant of her rights at initial appearance, as well as during further proceedings, is reversible error. Compare Hamilton v. Brown (1981), 1 Ohio App. 3d 165 finding error waived when defendant is represented by counsel, enters a not guilty plea and proceeds to trial.
State v. Boerst (1973), 45 Ohio App. 2d 240 -- Court failed to advise defendant of his rights at arraignment. Defendant later went to trial unrepresented and was convicted. Reversed.
State v. Fonseca (1997), 124 Ohio App. 3d 231 -- Municipal Court comprehensively muddled initial appearance leading to guilty plea. (1) Though the defendant did not understand English very well, it failed to make sure he understood the charges and penalties in his native language. (2) It failed to inform him that he had a right to counsel, was not required to make any statement, or that a jury trial must be demanded. (3) Upon the entry of a guilty plea the court did not meet its further obligation to advise of the right to retained or appointed counsel and the availability of a continuance for that purpose. (4) The court did not comply with Crim. R. 11 in taking the plea, in particular the use of an unidentified person in the courtroom as an interpreter.
State v. Bayer (1995), 102 Ohio App. 3d 172 -- Court's obligation to inform defendants of various rights at the time of arraignment was not met by addressing those awaiting arraignment as a group, and in the process referring them to a pamphlet furnished to explain those rights. Also see State v. Nichols (1997), 122 Ohio App. 3d 631; In re Miller (1997), 119 Ohio App. 3d 52.
State v. Garris (1998), 128 Ohio App. 3d 126 -- At initial appearance judge advised one person as to rights to appointed counsel and jury trial, telling others in the courtroom to listen carefully. Defendant was never asked if he waived counsel or wanted a jury trial. Reversed.

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Published by Timothy E. Pierce
Copyright © Franklin County Public Defender and Timothy E. Pierce, 2015
Contents may not be duplicated without express permission.