12th District Court of Appeals reverses firearms conviction

Buckeye Firearms Association member Jonathan Fox, an attorney in Butler County, recently obtained a win for another BFA member who had been convicted of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle in the Preble County Municipal Court.

Hall was stopped by an Ohio State Trooper for a traffic violation and immediately announced that he was a lawful concealed carry holder and had placed his weapon on the dash for the officer’s safety. The Trooper later discovered that Hall’s Ohio concealed handgun license had expired. Hall produced his Florida concealed carry license and the reciprocity agreement. The Ohio State Highway Patrolman declined to view them, instead releasing Hall with just a seat belt ticket.

When Hall appeared in the Eaton Municipal Court he contested the seat belt charge and the case was set for trial. When Hall informed the prosecutor that his speedy trial rights had been violated, the prosecutor advised the patrolman to file the speeding charge and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. The patrolman informed the Eaton, OH prosecutor that he NEVER OBSERVED A FIREARM! The additional charges were filed and the case proceeded to trial.

Even though the patrolman testified that he never saw a firearm, didn’t know if it was loaded or unloaded, knew that Hall had a valid Florida Concealed Carry license before he filed the charge, the municipal court found Hall guilty of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

Fox appealed Hall’s conviction to the 12th District Court of Appeals and in a unanimous decision, issued 12/28/2018, reversed Hall’s conviction stating the trial court “created such a manifest miscarriage of justice that the conviction must be reversed.” See “State of Ohio v. Rocky J. Hall, 2018-Ohio-5300.”

"I am gratified that the Appellate Court reversed the wrongful conviction of a legally licensed concealed handgun license-holder," Fox said. "Members should be aware that vindictive prosecutors can create significant legal problems for concealed carry holders that demand their trial rights afforded under Ohio Law."

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