Submitted May 16, 2017
from the Court of Appeals for Hamilton County, No. C-150431,
T. Deters, Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, and Sean M.
Donovan, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.
Raymond T. Faller, Hamilton County Public Defender, and
Joshua A. Thompson, Assistant Public Defender, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, Andrea Beasley, appeals the
judgment of the First District Court of Appeals, which
concluded that Beasley forfeited her right to challenge the
trial court's policy of refusing to accept no-contest
pleas. We agree with the court of appeals that the trial
court erred by adhering to such an arbitrary policy. But we
also conclude that Beasley preserved the error for appeal.
For the reasons below, we reverse the judgment of the court
of appeals and remand the matter to the trial court to allow
Beasley to enter a new plea in accordance with Crim.R. 11.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
2} A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Beasley for
possession of cocaine discovered during a traffic stop.
Beasley filed a motion to suppress evidence of the cocaine on
the grounds that the stop and search of her vehicle violated
both the United States and Ohio Constitutions. Following a
hearing, the trial court denied the motion.
3} On the day of trial, Beasley and her attorney
appeared before the trial court judge to enter her plea, with
the prosecutor present. Before entering her plea,
Beasley's attorney summarized on the record an earlier
discussion that took place between the judge, prosecutor, and
Beasley's attorney in the judge's chambers:
Judge, we had a conversation in chambers. My client wishes to
plead no contest. But as this Court explained, the Court has
a blanket policy [of] not accepting no contest pleas, and the
Court will only accept a [plea of] guilty or not guilty.
The State has agreed to allow her to plead no contest, and we
discussed the fact that my client wants to plead no contest
to preserve her right to appeal the motion to suppress that
was denied. But the Court reiterated that it has a policy of
not accepting no contest pleas under any circumstances.
She does not dispute the facts of the case. But in light of
her options, she wants to enter the plea.
4} The judge responded, "I see what you're
saying. Okay. All right. Anything from the State regarding
5} The prosecutor replied, ...