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State v. Chaffin

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Twelfth District, Madison

May 30, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
BRANDON CHAFFIN, Defendant-Appellant.

         CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM MADISON COUNTY COURT OF COMMON PLEAS Case No. CR20160048

          Stephen Pronai, Madison County Prosecuting Attorney, Rachel Price and Nicholas Adkins, for plaintiff-appellee

          Charlyn Bohland, for defendant-appellant

          OPINION

          S. POWELL, P.J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Brandon Chaff in, appeals from the sentence he received in the Madison County Court of Common Pleas after he pled guilty to one count of aggravated burglary. For the reasons outlined below, we affirm.

         {¶ 2} On April 14, 2016, the Madison County Grand Jury returned an indictment charging Chaffin with aggravated burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.11(A)(1), aggravated burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.11(A)(2), and kidnaping in violation of R.C. 2905.01(A)(2), all first-degree felonies. Chaffin was also charged with felonious assault in violation of R.C. 2903.11(A)(1), a second-degree felony. The charges arose after Chaffin and an accomplice forcefully broke into a London, Madison County, home where they then assaulted a female victim inside before stealing several items, including jewelry, her cell phone, and other electronics. During this time, Chaffin broke the victim's nose and held her at gunpoint. At the time of the offense, Chaffin was 16 years old and on probation.

         {¶ 3} On June 6, 2016, Chaffin entered into a plea agreement and pled guilty to aggravated burglary in violation of R.C. 2911.11(A)(1) in exchange for the remaining offenses being dismissed. After conducting the required Crim.R. 11 plea colloquy, the trial court accepted Chaffin's guilty plea and ordered a presentence investigation report be completed. The matter was then scheduled for sentencing on July 21, 2016.

         {¶ 4} At the sentencing hearing, and upon reviewing the presentence investigation report, the trial court noted that the victim suffered serious physical, psychological, and economic harm as a result of Chaffin's actions. The trial court also noted that Chaffin was on probation at the time of the offense. The trial court then sentenced Chaffin to seven years in prison and ordered him to pay the victim $6, 579.36 in restitution. Chaffin did not dispute the amount of restitution imposed. The trial court also ordered Chaffin to pay court costs and notified him that he would be subject to a mandatory five-year term of postrelease control.

         {¶ 5} Chaffin now appeals from this sentence, raising three assignments of error for review.

         {¶ 6} Assignment of Error No. 1:

         {¶ 7} THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT IMPOSED A FINANCIAL SANCTION WITHOUT CONSIDERING BRANDON CHAFFIN'S PRESENT AND FUTURE ABILITY TO PAY THE SANCTION, IN VIOLATION OF R.C. 2929.19(B)(5).

         {¶ 8} In his first assignment of error, Chaffin argues the trial court erred by ordering him to pay restitution without first considering his present and future ability to pay that financial sanction.[1] We disagree.

         {¶ 9} Pursuant to R.C. 2929.19(B)(5), which was previously codified under R.C. 2929.19(B)(6), before imposing a financial sanction, including restitution, the trial court must first "consider the offender's present and future ability to pay the amount of the sanction[.]" There are no express factors that must be considered or specific findings that must be made regarding the offender's ability to pay. State v. Dandridge, 12th Dist. Butler No. CA2003-12-330, 2005-Ohio-1077, ¶ 6. In fact, although preferable for appellate review, "'a trial court need not explicitly state in its judgment entry that it considered a defendant's ability to pay a financial sanction.'" State v. Dehner, 12th Dist. Clermont No. CA2012-12-090, 2013-Ohio-3576, ¶ 47, quoting State v. Henderson, 4th Dist. Vinton No. 07CA659, 2008-Ohio-2063, ¶ 7. Nevertheless, there must be some evidence in the record to show that the trial court acted in accordance with the legislative mandate that it consider the offender's present and future ability to pay. State v. Lang, 12th Dist. Brown No. CA2011-03-007, 2011-Ohio-5742, ¶ 12, citing State v. Adkins, 144 Ohio App.3d 633, 647 (12th Dist.2001). This court looks to the totality of the record to see if this requirement has been satisfied. State v. Rabe, 12th Dist. Clermont No. CA2013-09-068, 2014-Ohio-2008, ¶ 74.

         {¶ 10} "[T]he proper standard of review for analyzing the imposition of restitution as a part of a felony sentence is whether the sentence complies with R.C. 2953.08(G)(2)(b)." State v. Collins, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2014-11-135, 2015-Ohio-3710, ¶ 31. Pursuant to R.C. 2953.08(G)(2)(b), this court may increase, reduce, or otherwise modify a sentence that is appealed, or vacate the sentence and remand the matter for resentencing, if we clearly and convincingly find the sentence is contrary to law. State v. Geldrich, 12th Dist. Warren No. CA2015-11-103, 2016-Ohio-3400, ¶ 12. The term "sentence" as utilized in R.C. 2953.08(G)(2)(b) encompasses an order of restitution. Collins at ΒΆ 31, fn. 1. This is an "extremely ...


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