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City of Middletown v. Homel

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District

July 1, 2013

CITY OF MIDDLETOWN, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BENJAMIN L. HOMEL, Defendant-Appellant.

CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM MIDDLETOWN MUNICIPAL COURT Case No. 12TRC00353-A

Carrie Carpenter, Middletown City Prosecutor, for plaintiff-appellee

Steven R. Adams, Marguerite Slagle, for defendant-appellant

HENDRICKSON, P.J.

{¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Benjamin L. Homel, appeals his conviction in the Middletown Municipal Court for reckless operation of a vehicle. For the reasons that follow, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and discharge Homel from his conviction.

{¶ 2} On October 14, 2011, Middletown Police Officer Carl Jones saw Homel's vehicle stuck in the mud on a road that had been closed for construction. Officer Jones smelled the odor of alcoholic beverage on Homel's person, and noticed that his eyes were bloodshot and that he was unsteady on his feet. Officer Jones performed standard field sobriety tests on Homel, and based on his performance on those tests, arrested him for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI), a first-degree misdemeanor. Officer Jones took Homel to the city jail where he refused to take a BAC test, which led to Homel's receiving an administrative license suspension. Officer Jones issued a citation to Homel for driving on a street closed for repair but forgot to issue a citation to him for OVI.

{¶ 3} On January 13, 2012, Homel pled guilty to the charge of driving on a street closed for repair. On January 18, 2012, Officer Jones filed in the Middletown Municipal Court a copy of a Uniform Traffic Ticket and an affidavit, charging Homel with OVI in violation of Middletown Municipal Code Ordinance (M.M.C.O.) 434.01. The state attempted to serve the OVI citation on Homel but was unsuccessful. Homel was eventually arrested on the OVI charge.

{¶ 4} Homel moved to dismiss the OVI charge against him on several grounds, including that his speedy trial rights had been violated. After holding a hearing on the motion to dismiss, the trial court overruled it. Homel then pled no contest to a reduced charge of reckless operation in violation of M.M.C.O. 434.02. The trial court found Homel guilty of the reduced charge and sentenced him to serve 30 days in jail, which was suspended, and to pay a $250 fine.

{¶ 5} Homel now appeals, assigning the following as error:

{¶ 6} Assignment of Error No. 1:

{¶ 7} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS ON SPEEDY TRIAL GROUNDS.

{¶ 8} Assignment of Error No. 2:

{¶ 9} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR THE LACK OF ...


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