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Martinez v. State

Court of Appeals of Indiana

August 8, 2017

Evaristo Martinez, Appellant-Defendant,
v.
State of Indiana, Appellee-Plaintiff

         Appeal from the Marion Superior Court Trial Court Cause No. 49G19-1511-CM-41708 The Honorable Rebekah F. Pierson-Treacy, Judge The Honorable Ronnie Huerta, Commissioner

          Attorney for Appellant Suzy St. John Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellee Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Angela N. Sanchez Supervising Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          Altice, Judge.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] Following a bench trial, Evaristo Martinez was convicted of Class A misdemeanor operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). On appeal, Martinez argues that his conviction must be reversed because he did not validly waive his right to a jury trial.

         [¶2] We affirm.

         Facts & Procedural History

         [¶3] On November 22, 2015, Martinez was pulled over for speeding and failing to signal a left turn. Martinez exhibited signs of intoxication, and after failing a field sobriety test, he was transported to the police station where a chemical breath test revealed that he had an alcohol concentration equivalent of 0.129 grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

         [¶4] As a result of these events, Martinez was charged with two OWI offenses, one as a Class A misdemeanor and one as a Class C misdemeanor, as well as Class C misdemeanor driving without ever receiving a license. At the initial hearing, Martinez (who speaks limited English) received a written advisement of rights form in Spanish. The form advised Martinez that he had a right to a jury trial, and that because he was charged with misdemeanors, he would be required to file a petition requesting a jury trial at least ten days before the trial date if he wished to exercise that right.[1] The form further advised that if no timely jury request was filed, Martinez would waive his right to be tried by a jury. Martinez signed the form, indicating that he had read and understood his rights.

         [¶5] Martinez retained counsel the day after the initial hearing, and he was continuously represented by counsel through trial. At a pretrial conference on February 25, 2016, the trial court issued a case management order setting a trial date of June 9, 2016. The order also contained the following paragraph:

Monday, Thursday, and Friday trial settings are 1 day trials. If a jury is demanded by either the Defendant or the State, then the jury will be heard on the same date as the court trial setting. Written jury waviers [sic] will not be granted less than 30 days prior to the trial date. Oral jury waviers [sic] will not be accepted. Jury demand by the State must be in writing and filed no less than 30 days prior to the trial date. Continuances are disfavored.

Appellant's Appendix at 26.

         [¶6] Martinez did not file a request for a jury trial, and this case proceeded to a three-day bench trial, at the conclusion of which he was found guilty of the OWI offenses. The State dismissed the driving without ever receiving a license charge, and the trial court vacated the judgment of conviction for the Class C misdemeanor OWI. On the remaining Class A misdemeanor, the trial court sentenced Martinez to ...


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