No. 27909 - State of West Virginia v. Garland Leonard
Maynard, Chief Justice, dissenting:
I dissent because I agree with the circuit court that there had been a
continuance of prosecution from the magistrate court to the circuit court so that the
revoked license (DUI), first offense charge was not time-barred.
The appellant's prosecution in magistrate court clearly commenced within
one year after the misdemeanor offense was committed, in compliance with W.Va. Code
§ 61-11-9. Therefore, the State fulfilled its obligation to prosecute the appellant in a
timely manner. The appellant, on the other hand, delayed his prosecution by moving to
transfer the charge against him to circuit court. In finding that the appellant's prosecution
is time-barred, the majority effectively punishes the state for its good faith efforts to bring
a timely prosecution and rewards the appellant for conduct which caused the delay of
which he now complains.
I fear that the majority's decision puts yet another tool into the hands of criminal defendants with which to manipulate crowded court dockets to their own advantage. Accordingly, I dissent.