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State v. Santiago

Court of Common Pleas of Delaware, New Castle

February 24, 2014

STATE OF DELAWARE,
v.
WILLIAM SANTIAGO, Defendant.

Date Submitted: February 17, 2014

Allison Abessinio, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Attorney for the State of Delaware

Michael W. Modica, Esquire, Attorney for Defendant

ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR REARGUMENT

Alfred Fraczkowski, Associate Judge [12]

On October 28, 2013, Defendant filed this Motion for Reargument and/or for New Trial of the Court's decision of August 29, 2013, in which the Court denied Defendant's motion to suppress and subsequently found Defendant guilty of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The State contends that the motion is untimely under the governing rule, Court of Common Pleas Criminal Rule 33.

FACTS

Trial in this matter was held on August 29, 2013. The Court first heard Defendant's motion to suppress evidence obtained in a non-consensual, warrantless extraction of Defendant's blood. The Court, bound by the Superior Court's decision in State v. Flonnory, [1] denied the Motion, and the matter proceeded to trial. Ultimately, the Court found Defendant guilty of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Counsel for Defendant moved to defer sentencing for 60 days, for the opportunity to file a motion to reargue following the issuance of a pending Superior Court decision. The State did not object. The Court granted Defendant's motion and sentencing was scheduled for November 18, 2013.

On October 28, 2013, Defendant filed the present motion, titled "Motion for Reargument and/or for New Trial." Defendant argues that subsequent to trial, the Superior Court issued State v. Jones, [2] which implicitly rejects the Flonnery holding upon which this Court's decision was based.

The State argues that Defendant's motion is untimely under Court of Common Pleas Criminal Rule 33. Furthermore, the State contends, Defendant was not deprived of due process and a new trial is not the proper remedy, as the Court's decision was based on case law that existed at the time of trial.

LAW

Despite the dual title of Defendant's motion, the argument presented by Defendant was consistent with a motion for reargument. The State, on the other hand, presented argument only as to a motion for new trial. The Court will bifurcate the motion and address the merits of Defendant's motion as a motion for new trial and as a motion for reargument separately.

a. Motion for New Trial

Motions for new trial must be timely filed pursuant to Court of Common Pleas Criminal Rule 33, which provides:

The Court on motion of a defendant may grant a new trial to that defendant if required in the interest of justice. If trial was by the Court without a jury the Court on motion of a defendant for a new trial may vacate the judgment if entered, take additional testimony and direct the entry of a new judgment. A motion for a new trial based on the ground of newly discovered evidence may be made only before or within two years after final judgment, but if an appeal is pending the Court may grant the motion only on remand of the case. A motion for a new trial based on any other ...

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