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State v. Sims

Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Hamilton

November 1, 2017

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
SHAWNTEL SIMS, Defendant-Appellant.

         Criminal Appeal From: Hamilton County Municipal Curt TRIAL NOS. C-16TRD-28152A C-16TRD-28152B C-16TRD-28152C C-16TRD-28152D.

          Joseph T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Scott M. Heenan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for Plaintiff-Appellee,

          Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, and Demetra Stamatakos, Assistant Public Defender, for Defendant-Appellant.

          OPINION

          Myers, Judge.

         {¶1} In this appeal, defendant-appellant Shawntel Sims argues that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to accept his no-contest pleas without first obtaining a written waiver of his right to a jury trial pursuant to R.C. 2945.05, and that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress.

         {¶2} Because the trial court was not required to obtain a written waiver of Sims's right to a jury trial before accepting his no-contest pleas, and because it properly denied his motion to suppress, we find Sims's arguments to be without merit.

         Facts and Procedure

         {¶3} Sims was stopped for a tinted-window violation. In addition to being cited for that violation, he received citations for driving under an OVI suspension, a safety-restraint violation, and driving under a financial-responsibility-law suspension. All citations were for "petty offenses" under Ohio law. Crim.R. 2(D).[1]

         {¶4} For a petty offense, a defendant is not automatically entitled to a trial by jury. Rather, he must make a written demand. Crim.R. 23(A). In this case, Sims filed a timely jury demand with the trial court. He also filed a motion to suppress. Following the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress, Sims entered no-contest pleas to all charges. The trial court accepted Sims's pleas and found him guilty. For the offense of driving under an OVI suspension, the trial court sentenced Sims to 180 days in jail and imposed a $500 fine and court costs. For the offense of driving under a financial-responsibility-law suspension, the trial court sentenced Sims to 30 days in jail and imposed a $10 fine and costs. For the safety-restraint and tinted-window violations, the trial court only imposed costs.

         Lack of Final Appealable Orders

         {¶5} Before proceeding to the merits of Sims's arguments, we must examine our jurisdiction to entertain this appeal. This court only has jurisdiction to review final orders and judgments. Ohio Constitution, Article IV, Section 3(B)(2); R.C. 2505.03.

         {¶6} A judgment of conviction is a final order under R.C. 2505.02 when it sets forth (1) the fact of the conviction, (2) the sentence, (3) the judge's signature, and (4) the time stamp indicating the entry upon the journal by the clerk. State v. Lester, 130 Ohio St.3d 303, 2011-Ohio-5204, 958 N.E.2d 142, paragraph one of the syllabus; State v. Bennett, 1st Dist. Hamilton Nos. C-140507 and C-140508, 2015-Ohio-3246, ¶ 4; Crim.R. 32(C). Each of these requirements must be contained in a single document. State v. Daniels, 1st Dist. Hamilton No. C-140242, 2014-Ohio-5160, ¶ 7, citing State v. Baker, 119 Ohio St.3d 197, 2008-Ohio-3330, 893 N.E.2d 163, ¶ 17.

         {¶7} In Bennett, we held that while required by law to be imposed, court costs are not a criminal punishment and do not constitute a sanction that can be imposed as a sentence. Bennett at ¶ 4-5. In this case, the trial court imposed a jail term and a fine for the offenses of driving under an OVI suspension and driving under a financial-responsibility-law suspension. But for the safety-restraint and tinted-window violations, it imposed costs only. Consequently, no sentence was imposed for these offenses and the entries appealed from with respect to them are not final and appealable orders. We accordingly dismiss the appeal with respect to the safety-restraint and tinted-window violations.

         Jury ...


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