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State v. Shafer

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Adams

January 17, 2018

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
JOHN D. SHAFER, Defendant-Appellant.

         CRIMINAL APPEAL FROM COMMON PLEAS COURT

          Tyler E. Cantrell, West Union, Ohio, for appellant.

          David Kelley, Adams County Prosecuting Attorney, and Kris D. Blanton, Assistant Adams County Prosecuting Attorney, West Union, Ohio, for appellee.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT ENTRY

          PETER B. ABELE, JUDGE.

         {¶ 1} This is an appeal from an Adams County Court judgment of conviction and sentence. The trial court found John D. Shafer, defendant below and appellant herein, guilty of having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence in violation of R.C. 4511.194. The court sentenced appellant to serve 180 days in jail, with 120 days suspended, and imposed two years of community control. Appellant assigns the following errors for review:

FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:
"THE TRIAL COURT ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN REFUSING TO GRANT THE CONTINUANCE OF THE SENTENCING."
SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR:
"THE DEFENDANT-APPELLANT WAS DENIED HIS RIGHT TO THE EFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL, AS GUARANTEED BY THE SIXTH AND FOURTEENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION."

         {¶ 2} On December 22, 2016, appellant was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol/drugs. Appellant entered a not guilty plea, but later agreed to plead guilty to having physical control of a vehicle while under the influence in violation of R.C. 4511.194, a first-degree misdemeanor. In exchange, the state agreed to recommended a 60-day suspended sentence and a $250 fine.

         {¶ 3} The trial court ordered a presentence investigation report and set the matter for an April 10, 2017 sentencing hearing. On April 10, the court rescheduled the sentencing hearing to April 17. On April 17, appellant filed a motion to continue the sentencing hearing. Appellant asserted that he admitted himself to an addiction treatment facility. The court found that appellant failed to appear for sentencing and issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

         {¶ 4} On July 10, 2017, the trial court held a sentencing hearing. At the start of the hearing, the court noted that (1) appellant failed to appear for the previously-scheduled sentencing hearing, (2) the court had ordered appellant to obtain weekly drug screens pending sentencing, but appellant had not obtained any. Appellant's counsel indicated that appellant was not aware that he needed to obtain weekly drug screens. Appellant's counsel also related that appellant had been admitted to an addiction treatment facility and that "the court was made aware of the admittance."

         {¶ 5} Before continuing with the sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered appellant to undergo a drug screen to "[s]ee how long he's going to serve." Appellant, unfortunately, tested positive for marijuana. Appellant stated that he "smoked" marijuana when he was in jail.

         {¶ 6} The trial court reviewed the presentence investigation report and observed that appellant had a criminal record dating to 2005, which included drug abuse/trafficking in drugs, burglary, receiving stolen property, rape, and theft. Appellant denied that he had "a Trafficking in Drugs [or Burglary] on [his] record, " but he admitted the rape charge was true. Appellant stated that the theft charge is "supposed to be off [his] record." Appellant agreed that he has a "bad experience with drugs, " but explained that he ...


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