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Speedy Trial Rights When a Felony is Dismissed for Future Indictment

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Just 3 days ago, the Franklin County Court of Appeals issued a speedy trial decision that is circuitous and illogical. The case is called State v. Brian Crosby. It was posted on December 28, 2012. I've read it 10 times and I still don't know why the Court concluded that there was no speedy trial violation. Here's the ultimate question: What happens when an accused is arrested on a felony charge, booked into jail, has a bond hearing in Municipal Court and the felonies are dismissed for future indictment? Doesn't the defendant have a right to speedy trial within 270 days of his arrest? What if he is not subsequently indicted until 300 days later? What if he is indicted on day 200 but he is not brought to trial until day 300? An accused is

guaranteed the constitutional right to a speedy trial pursuant to the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Ohio Constitution, Article I, Section

10. State v. Taylor, 98 Ohio St.3d 27.

Pursuant to R.C. 2945.71(C)(2), the state must bring a defendant arrested on felony charges to trial within 270 days of his arrest. If the defendant is held in jail in lieu of bail on the pending charge, each day counts as three days. R.C. 2945.71(E); If an accused is not brought to trial within the speedy trial time limits, the court, upon motion, must discharge the defendant. R.C. 2945.73(B). State v. Broughton, 62 Ohio St.3d 253 (1991).

For purposes of computing how much time has run against the state under R.C. 2945.71 et seq., the time period between the dismissal without prejudice of an original indictment and the filing of a subsequent indictment, premised upon the same facts as alleged in the original indictment, shall not be counted unless the defendant is held in jail or released on bail pursuant to Crim.R. 12(I).

However, when new and additional charges arise from the same facts as did the original charge and the state knew of such facts at the time of the initial indictment, the time within which trial is to begin on the additional charge is subject to the same statutory limitations period as the original charge. The 10th District has found speedy trial violations in this instance. The best case for the defense in the 10th District on this issue is State v. Vickers, 10th Dist. No. 10AP-318. Here are the facts in Vickers: On July 15, 2007, the area humane society removed several dogs from the defendant's premises, believing that they were being used in dog fighting. On July 17, 2007, a complaint was filed against defendant alleging five misdemeanor charges. On July 18, 2007, a felony complaint was filed in municipal court charging defendant with one count of dog fighting. On July 27, 2007, that felony complaint was dismissed for future indictment.

On August 8, 2007, a third complaint was filed in municipal court, charging the defendant with 12 misdemeanor charges. On November 14, 2007, the defendant entered pleas of guilty to several of the misdemeanor counts arising out of the two complaints, and he was sentenced on December 19, 2007. On April 28, 2008, a ten-count indictment was filed in the common pleas court against the defendant. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on speedy trial grounds, which the trial court granted. On appeal, the 10th District first found that the April 28, 2008 indictment and the complaints filed in municipal court arose out of the same set of facts and that such facts were known to the state at the time the original charges were filed. Therefore, the Court then found the pertinent inquiry was whether a finding that all of the offenses arose out of the same facts required the court to find that the speedy trial clock ran continuously from July 18, 2007 to April 28, 2008.

The Vickers decision is important to all criminal lawyers in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. If felony charges are filed in the municipal court that are later dismissed for future indictment, trial counsel must analyze the case for speedy trial violations when the State files an indictment on facts that arose out of the same set of facts that were known to the state at the time of the original charges were filed. However, the State will argue that time is tolled from the date the charges are dismissed for future indictment and the subsequent indictment.

This remains a murky area and ultimately needs cleaned up by the Ohio Supreme Court.