Welcome to The Briefcase

Commentary and analysis of Ohio criminal law and whatever else comes to mind, served with a dash of snark.  Continue Reading »

×

June 6, 2006

The Supreme Court will hear oral argument tomorrow in the case of State v. Azbell, and the ensuing decision should clear up some confusion about the speedy trial statute.  In Azbell, the defendant had been arrested at a pharmacy in May of 2003 trying to buy drugs with a phony prescription.  Although she was booked and fingerprinted at that time, no charges were filed.  In January of 2004 she was indicted, and wasn't served with the indictment until April.  The 6th District held that since the speedy trial time runs from the time of arrest, the time for trial ran from her arrest in May, and thus had expired.

If the Supreme Court affirms,


that could have ramifications in the 8th District, because our court has consistently held that speedy trial time does not run unless the person is actually charged with the crime.  (In State v. Fallat, for example, they reached that result despite the fact that the defendant had been in jail for three days before being released.)  I wouldn't get your hopes up, though; I think a reversal by the Supreme Court is likely.

A similar fate probably awaits the 3rd District decision in State v. Cress, also on the docket for argument on Wednesday.  (Bensing's Rule on handicapping Supreme Court decisions:  take the State and give the points.)  The defendant in that case had been arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend, and subsequently called and told her that he'd tell the police about her drug usage if she didn't drop the charges.  He was then charged with intimidation, which requires the defendant make "an unlawful threat of harm."  The court held that this meant the threat must be illegal in itself, and since the defendant had the legal right to tell the police about his girlfriend's drug usage, the evidence was insufficient to convict.

Finally, a moment's thought for those who landed on the beaches of Normandy fifty-two years ago today, in the last "good war."  As the song says, times were so much simpler then...

Search

Recent Entries

  • April 20, 2017
    The Supreme Court takes a look at the trial tax
    And you thought this was the week you only had to worry about income taxes
  • April 18, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Remembering Warren Zevon, and the Fourth Amendment lives
  • April 17, 2017
    Case Update
    Structural error, prejudice, and police run amok.
  • April 13, 2017
    Some arguments on sentencing
    Why oral arguments can be fun, even when they're not yours
  • April 12, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Oh fun: declarations against interest v. non-hearsay. Also, the difference between not guilty and innocent, and Ohio's statute penalizing the refusal to take chemical test in a DUI case goes bye-bye
  • April 11, 2017
    Case Update
    Filibusters, and appellate cases on all the ways lawyers can screw up.
  • April 7, 2017
    Change of course
    A new approach in my client-attorney relationships
  • April 4, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    A true rocket docket, and Anthony Sowell pops up again
  • April 3, 2017
    Case Update
    Free merchant speech, an argument on Brady, another look at Creech
  • March 28, 2017
    What's Up in the 8th
    Pro se motions, pro se defendants, and advice for deadbeat dads