State v. Howard, 21CA0103

CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
Writing for the CourtDelaney, J.
Citation2022 Ohio 3394
PartiesSTATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee v. SAMANTHA HOWARD Defendant-Appellant
Docket Number21CA0103
Decision Date26 September 2022

2022-Ohio-3394

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee
v.

SAMANTHA HOWARD Defendant-Appellant

No. 21CA0103

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking

September 26, 2022


Appeal from the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 20CR432

For Plaintiff-Appellee:

CLIFFORD J. MURPHY

ASSISTANT PROSECUTOR

For Defendant-Appellant:

STEPHEN T. WOLFE

Wolfe Law Group, LLC

Hon. Earle E. Wise, Jr., P.J. Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J. Hon. Patricia A. Delaney, J., Judges:

OPINION

1

Delaney, J.

{¶1} Appellant Samantha Howard appeals from the November 12, 2021 Judgment of Conviction and Sentence of the Licking County Court of Common Pleas. Appellee is the state of Ohio.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

{¶2} This case arose on May 2, 2020, when two police officers observed appellant fail to properly signal when turning while operating her vehicle in the area of Spring Street, Utica, Licking County.

{¶3} The officers executed a traffic stop and contacted appellant, the sole occupant of the vehicle. Appellant acknowledged her operator's license was suspended. As they confirmed her license status, the officers noticed appellant place something under the driver's seat of the vehicle. A subsequent inventory search revealed a striped bag containing several syringes loaded with an unknown black substance. The items were sent to the crime lab for analysis and determined to be 0.147 grams of heroin.

{¶4} Appellant was charged by indictment with one count of drug possession (heroin) pursuant to R.C. 2925.11(A)(C)(6)(a), a felony of the fifth degree. Appellant opted to enter a plea of guilty as charged on or around November 12, 2021, and was found to be TCAP-eligible. "TCAP" refers to the "Targeted Community Alternatives to Prison" program and is described infra.

{¶5} The trial court imposed a prison term of 8 months and ordered appellant to serve her sentence at the Licking County Justice Center pursuant to R.C. 2929.34(B).

{¶6} Appellant now appeals from the judgment entry of her conviction and sentence.

2

{¶7} Appellant raises one assignment of error:

ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR

{¶8} "THE TRIAL COURT ERRED WHEN IT IMPOSED AN EIGHT-MONTH LOCAL JAIL SENTENCE."

ANALYSIS

{¶9} In her sole assignment of error, appellant argues the trial court erred in imposing a term longer than six months because she was required to serve the term in a local jail facility. We disagree.

{¶10} We note we have addressed appellant's argument in the context of a conviction upon a fifth-degree felony, arising in Licking County, in State v. Highley, 5th Dist. Licking No. 2019 CA 00086, 2019-Ohio-5177.

{¶11} R.C. 2929.34(B)(3)(c) governs TCAP and provides that on and after July 1, 2018, no person sentenced...

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