DUI Appeals Reports 01/01/16

The Third District holds that a criminal court may not modify a final judgment, including a sentence, nunc pro tunc except when the original sentence was void or it contains a clerical error.

State v. Roehrig, 2015 Ohio 5187 (3d Dist).


December 14, 2015

Roehrig charged with an OVI as well as a tail light and license plate light offense on March 28, 2015.  On July 2, 2015, pursuant to an agreement, Roehrig entered a guilty plea and the state moved for leave to amend the OVI charge to a charge of Reckless Operation as a second offense. The state also recommended a fine, thirty days in jail with twenty-seven suspended, and a six-month suspension of Roehrig's operator's license effective March 28, 2015.  The court accepted the plea, permitted the state to amend the charge, and followed the sentence recommendations including a suspension of "thirty days and a six-month license suspension relating back to the date of the stop, March 28th."  Four days later, the court without explanation amended the sentence.  Specifically, it modified the six-month license suspension to be effective July 2, 2015.  Roehrig appealed, arguing that the court did not have authority to amend its original sentence.

The Third District reviewed that courts in criminal cases may not reconsider their final judgments unless, except "(1) when a void sentence has been imposed, and (2) when the judgment contains a clerical error."  The Third District went on to explain that, "Errors subject to correction by the court include a clerical error, mistake, or omission that is mechanical in nature and apparent on the record and do not involve a legal decision or judgment."

The Third District agreed with Roehrig, that it could find no reason or authority for the trial court to modify its original and final sentencing.  Therefore, the Third District granted the appeal and sent the case back to the trial court to impose the original sentence.