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State v. Stephens

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Second District

September 13, 2013

STATE OF OHIO Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
HASHIM STEPHENS Defendant-Appellant

Criminal Appeal from Common Pleas Court Trial Court Case No. 1 l-CR-695.

LISA M. FANNIN, Atty. Reg. #0082337, Clark County Prosecutor's Office, Attorney for Plaintiff-Appellee.

ADRIAN KING, Atty. Reg. #0081882, Adrian King Law Office, LLC, Attorney for Defendant-Appellant.

OPINION

FAIN, P.J.

(¶ 1} Defendant-appellant Hashim Stephens appeals from his conviction and sentence for one count of Trafficking in Cocaine, a felony of the third degree, and one count of Failure to Comply, a felony of the third degree. The trial court, as part of its sentence, imposed a two-year driver's license suspension for Trafficking in Cocaine, and a three-year driver's license suspension for Failure to Comply, for a total suspension of five years.

(¶ 2} Stephens contends that the trial court erred by ordering his driver's license suspensions to be served consecutively. We agree. That part of the judgment of the trial court is Reversed; the judgment of the trial court is Affirmed in all other respects; and this cause is Remanded for the re-imposition of driver's license suspensions.

I. The Course of Proceedings

(¶ 3} Stephens was charged by indictment with Trafficking in Crack Cocaine, in an amount greater than ten grams, but less than twenty-five grams, in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), a felony of the third degree; Possession of Crack Cocaine, in an amount greater than ten grams, but less than twenty-five grams, in violation of R.C. 2925.11(A); Trafficking in Marijuana, in an amount less than 200 grams, in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2); Failure to Comply with an Order or Signal of a Police Officer, in violation of R.C. 2921.331(B) and 2921.331(C)(5), a felony of the third degree; and Failure to Comply with an Order or Signal of a Police Officer, in violation of R.C. 2921.331(B) and 2921.331(C)(4).

(¶ 4} Pursuant to a plea bargain, Stephens pled guilty to Trafficking in Crack Cocaine and to one count of Failure to Comply, and the other counts in the indictment were dismissed. Consistently with the plea bargain, Stephens was sentenced to imprisonment for eighteen months on each count, to run consecutively to one another, and also to a two-year sentence that had been imposed in another case. Stephens was fined $5, 000, and $1, 725, which had apparently been found on his person, was ordered forfeited, but was credited against his fine.

(¶ 5} The plea agreement was silent on the issue of driver's license suspension. The Trafficking offense provides for a license suspension for a definite period time of not less than six months, nor more than five years. R.C. 2925.03(D) and 2925.03(G). The Failure to Comply offense provides for suspension for a definite period of time of not less than three years, up to life. R.C. 2921.331(E), 4510.02(A)(2). The trial court ordered the suspension of Stephens's license for two years on the Trafficking count, and for three years on the Failure to Comply count, for a total suspension of five years.

(¶ 6} Stephens appealed from the judgment of the trial court. His assigned counsel filed a brief under the authority of Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), indicating that he had not found any potential assignments of error having arguable merit.

(¶ 7} By entry herein dated April 18, 2013, we rejected the Anders brief, finding a potential assignment of error based upon the imposition of consecutive driver's license suspensions. New appellate counsel has filed a brief setting forth the following as Stephens's sole assignment of error:

THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN IMPOSING CONSECUTIVE DRIVERS LICENSE SUSPENSIONS (TWO YEARS FOR COUNT I AND THREE YEARS FOR COUNT IV) UNDER ...

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