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State v. Robinson

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Butler

May 8, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
CORPORAN A. ROBINSON, Defendant-Appellant.

         CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM BUTLER COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. CR2007-03-0399

          Michael T. Gmoser, Butler County Prosecuting Attorney, Lina N. Alkamhawi, for plaintiff-appellee

          Michael R. Haas, for defendant-appellant

          OPINION

          RINGLAND, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Corporan Robinson, appeals a decision from the Butler County Court of Common Pleas denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. For the reasons stated below, we affirm the decision of the trial court.

         {¶ 2} Robinson is a native of the Dominican Republic and a citizen of Spain. In 2007, Robinson pled guilty to one count of possession of marijuana in violation of R.C. 2925.11, a fifth-degree felony, and he was placed on community control.

         {¶ 3} On April 1, 2016, Robinson moved to withdraw his guilty plea pursuant to R.C. 2943.031(D). Robinson alleged that he had not been informed of the immigration consequences of his plea because he was not provided an interpreter at the plea hearing.

         {¶ 4} The trial court held a hearing regarding Robinson's motion. At the hearing, Robinson admitted that an interpreter was present at the plea hearing. However, he maintained that the record was insufficient to establish that the interpreter was properly credentialed or under oath at the plea hearing. Robinson also maintained that his trial counsel failed to advise him of the immigration consequences of his guilty plea.

         {¶ 5} The trial court denied Robinson's motion. Robinson now appeals the decision of the trial court, raising a single assignment of error for review:

         {¶ 6} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN OVERRULING DEFENDANTS MOTION TO VACATED WHEN THE STATES FAILED TO SHOW THAT AN INTERPRETER HAD BEEN SWORN IN AND WAS CERTIFIED TO PROVIDE INTERPRETATION UNDER THE RULES OF THE STATE OF OHIO. [sic]

         {¶ 7} In his sole assignment of error, Robinson argues the trial court erred by denying his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. We find Robinson's assignment of error is without merit.

         {¶ 8} An appellate court reviews a trial court's decision on a motion to withdraw a plea filed pursuant to R.C. 2943.031(D) for an abuse of discretion. State v. Reyes, 12th Dist. Butler Nos. CA2015-06-113, CA2015-06-114, and CA2015-06-115, 2016-Ohio-2771, ¶ 14. The extent of the trial court's discretion is dependent upon the basis for the withdrawal motion. When the movant is a United States citizen, the trial court's discretion is confined to the manifest-injustice standard contained in Crim.R. 32.1. State v. Velazquez, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2015-05-091, 2016-Ohio-875, ¶ 6. Where, as here, the movant is a noncitizen filing for relief under R.C. 2943.031(D), the standards contained within the statute govern the trial court's decision. Id.

         {¶ 9} R.C. 2943.031(A) requires that a trial court personally address a defendant and advise him or her of certain immigration consequences before accepting a guilty or no contest plea. These consequences include the possibility of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, and the denial of naturalization. R.C. 2943.031(A). The trial court is tasked with ensuring that the defendant understands these potential consequences prior to accepting the plea. Id. If the statutory requirements are not met, a defendant may seek relief under R.C. 2943.031(D) and withdraw the guilty plea.

         {¶ 10} Robinson claims that the record fails to demonstrate that he was provided a certified interpreter to assist him in understanding the consequences of his guilty plea. Robinson also claims that ...


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