Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Appeal from the Cleveland Municipal Court Case No. 2016 TRC
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT Mark Stanton Cuyahoga County Public
Defender By: Paul Kuzmins Assistant Public Defender
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Barbara A. Langhenry Law Director City
of Cleveland Law Department.
BEFORE: Keough, A.J., E.T. Gallagher, J., and Jones, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
KATHLEEN ANN KEOUGH, A.J.
Defendant-appellant, Julie Tittl ("Tittl"), appeals
her conviction following a no contest plea. For the reasons
that follow, we reverse her conviction and remand for further
In September 2016, the police responded to the area of Fulton
Road and Sackett Avenue after receiving a tip about an
erratic driver. When the officers arrived, they found
Tittl's car parked in the parking lot of Fulton Beverage.
Tittl exited the store and after being questioned, refused to
submit to a chemical test; the record is unclear whether
field sobriety tests were performed. However, the record
indicates that Tittl had "glossy eyes, slurred speech,
" which was the basis for arresting and charging her
with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of
drugs and/or alcohol ("OVI"). Following discovery,
Tittl filed a motion to suppress, contending that the
arresting officers lacked probable cause to arrest her for
On October 20, 2016, Tittl formally withdrew her motion to
suppress, and the city amended the OVI charge to physical
control of a motor vehicle in violation of Cleveland Codified
Ordinances 433.011 ("physical control"), a
misdemeanor of the first degree. Defense counsel then stated:
DEFENSE COUNSEL: Basically we'll enter a plea of no
contest to [p]hysical [c]ontrol, stipulate to a finding of
guilty and request also that the ALS suspension be
terminated, that it be reflected on the journal entry so my
client can get her license back. And as the City stated,
there are no priors, no accident.
4.) The trial court then inquired about the facts surrounding
the encounter. After hearing from Tittl, the court imposed
the following sentence:
THE COURT: Okay. I'm going to terminate the ALS. Fined a
thousand dollars, 180 days. I'll suspend the days suspend
750 dollars of the fine. Six months inactive probation.
Don't pick up anything else, okay. Good-bye.
(Tr. 7.) Tittl requested community service in lieu of the
fine, but the trial court requested that she file a formal
motion after she completed a poverty affidavit.
On November 3, 2016, Tittl moved to withdraw her no contest
plea. That motion was renewed on November 17. Despite the
filings, the trial court did not rule on the motions. Tittl
timely appealed from the judgment entry of conviction, and
this court granted a stay of execution of sentence pending
appeal. Subsequently, this court remanded the case back to
the trial court for the limited purpose of ruling on
Tittl's motions to withdraw her plea. The trial court
denied her motions.
In her sole assignment of error, Tittl contends that the
trial court erred in failing to personally inform her of the
effect of her no contest plea. We agree. A trial court's
obligations in accepting a plea depends on the level of the
offense to which the defendant is pleading. N. Royalton
v. Semenchuk, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 95357,