Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2013 TRC
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Mark Stanton Cuyahoga County Public
Defender BY: David Martin King John T. Martin Cullen Sweeney
Assistant Public Defenders.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Barbara A. Langhenry Director of Law
BY: Bridget E. Hopp Assistant City Prosecutor City of
BEFORE: Boyle, J., E.A. Gallagher, P.J., and Stewart, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
J. BOYLE, JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant, Troussaint Jones, appeals from a
judgment of the Cleveland Municipal Court denying his motion
to dismiss charges pending against him on the grounds that
any further proceeding would violate the double jeopardy
protections guaranteed to him by the United States and Ohio
Constitutions. He raises one assignment of error for our
The trial court erred and violated Troussaint Jones's
state and federal constitutional protections against double
jeopardy when it denied Jones's motion to dismiss and
permitted the city to subject Troussaint Jones to a second
prosecution for the same offenses to which he pled no contest
three years earlier.
For the reasons that follow, we agree with Jones that any
further criminal prosecution in this matter offends the
principles of double jeopardy. Accordingly, we reverse the
trial court's judgment and remand with instructions.
Procedural History and Factual Background
On the afternoon of June 15, 2013, Ohio State Highway Patrol
Trooper Jason Turner pulled Jones over after observing him
swerve across marked lanes. Noticing signs of impairment in
Jones, Trooper Turner attempted to conduct field sobriety
tests but was unable to proceed due to Jones's
combativeness. The trooper cited Jones with violating four
state laws: R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(a) (driving while intoxicated)
and (A)(2) (driving while intoxicated with a prior OVI within
the past 20 years and refusal to submit to chemical tests),
4510.037(J) (driving with a 12-point suspended license), and
4511.33 (driving over "marked lanes").
The case proceeded through a series of pretrials that
eventually ended in Jones's defense attorney entering a
plea of no contest for Jones to the charges. The court, sua
sponte and over the city prosecutor's objection, amended
the OVI violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(a) to a violation of
Cleveland Codified Ordinances ("CCO") 433.011,
which prohibits a person from being in physical control of a
vehicle while impaired. Further, the court found Jones not
guilty of OVI in violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(2), but found
him guilty of driving under a suspended license
("DUS") and driving over marked lanes ("marked
The court sentenced Jones to pay a fine and spend 60 days in
jail with 55 days suspended. The court further ordered Jones
to attend programs and meetings related to drug and alcohol
abuse, and placed him on one year of active probation. Jones
completed his sentence as ordered.
The city sought and obtained leave from this court to appeal
the trial court's decision. On appeal, the city raised
one assignment of error: that the trial court abused its
discretion by reducing a charge of OVI to physical control
over the prosecutor's objection. In a plurality opinion,
this court agreed. With two concurrences and one dissent, the
court's controlling opinion reversed Jones's physical
control conviction and remanded the cause to the trial court.
See Cleveland v. Jones, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No.
Immediately after we released our decision, Jones filed
motions for reconsideration and for en banc review, primarily
arguing that any remand would violate double jeopardy and
that the panel's decision was in conflict with other
decisions of this court. We denied both motions in
succession. Much like the opinion in the direct appeal, the
motion for reconsideration showed a split in ...