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Ohio Jury Selection

Ohio jury selection is part psychology, part hunch.  In a few minutes, attorneys must decide if a person could be fair in a particular case.  That person could be a very fair person, but may not be able to decide a particular case fairly.  On the other hand, another person may usually side with a particular side, but just may do so in a particular situation. 

 

Stereotypes Do Not Work In Ohio Jury Selection

 

The first rule in jury selection is not to rely on stereotypes.  While stereotypes can provide a good starting point, the potential juror needs to be questioned as to his or her particular beliefs and biases.  For example, I am Italian and I love Italian food.  While I know it may be hard to believe, there might be some Italian person out there that does not like Italian food.  Another possibility is that the person has an Italian last name but does not identify as Italian.  Perhaps, the Italian culture in that person's family is long gone and replaced by other cultures, or simply the American culture.  This also holds true for professions.  While many social workers and teachers may tend to be sympathetic to people's feelings and pain, there may be some who are more skeptical.  The point is before a lawyer starts assuming he or she has a juror who can explain some Italian cultural or cuisine item to the rest of the jury, make sure the potential juror fits the bill.

 

Select Ohio Jurors Based On Their Experiences And Beliefs

 

The second rule is to get right at what drives that person.  Get right at the person's experiences and beliefs.  Most of the time, an attorney only gets a few questions per juror to determine this.  I devote some technical questions to determine someone's intellectual beliefs.  Then, I ask some questions about how they feel about certain topics to determine their emotional beliefs.  If there is going to be a unique approach to the trial, I may ask the jurors if they have any issues with that approach.  For example, I tried a case where we slowed down the security video footage to get a better look at what happened.  I simply asked the jury how they felt about instant replay.  The jurors who liked it would likely appreciate the value in slowing down the video to examine the events.  The jurors who did not like instant replay would likely tune out all the hard work we put into slowing down the video for their benefit. 

 

Select Ohio Jurors With Values Favorable To The Facts Of Your Case

 

The third rule is ask jury questions that hit on values related to the case, without describing the case they will be hearing.  The judge may not allow me to ask questions that get too close to the facts of the case, so I usually have to be careful.  The judge limits questions like that because he or she does not want me to gather a straw poll on the potential verdict.  Would I like to do that?  Of course I would.  On the other hand, I would not put too much stock in that process anyway, as a simplified version of the facts may not match that juror's view of the facts after hearing the evidence.  Different jurors focus on different things.  Sometimes, they ask themselves if the Defendant is acting the way he or she should be acting in such a situation.  This can be a brutal analysis, as one charged with a crime may be extremely nervous and struggle to get his or her words out, making it look like they are not acting right.  Sometimes, this intuitive approach is telling; other times, it is misleading.  Yet, jurors bring in their lifetime of experiences and techniques in analyzing people.

 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano.  Experienced.  Aggressive.  Dedicated.

 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1993.  He immediately began practicing as an assistant prosecutor working in a courtroom that focused on major traffic cases, such as DUI and driving under suspension, spending over one year focusing on the many issues in these cases.  Attorney Daniel Gigiano then spent the next five years of his government practice working on misdemeanors, felonies, grand jury and preliminary hearings, juvenile delinquency cases, and abuse and neglect cases.  In 1999, he was admitted to practice in Ohio.  In 2000, he took his experience to a private practice in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio.  Attorney Gigiano has maintained a practice in Wadsworth since that time.  During his private practice, he has tried numerous criminal and civil jury trials to verdicts.  Call now at 330-336-3330 if you need the services of an experienced Medina County trial attorney in Wadsworth.


Will Ohio Lower DUI Limit To .05

Will Ohio lower DUI limit to .05?  In March 2017, Utah’ legislature set up the state to become the first state to lower the legal threshold for drinking and driving to .05 blood alcohol concentration.  While states are looking to get more aggressive with DUI laws, such efforts can result in problems in the actual application of the law.  This articles examines the law and the impracticality of enforcing the law on the street and in the courtroom.

 

Proposed DUI Law Criticized

 

Critics have said the bill fails to address the real problem, which are the 77% of alcohol-related traffic deaths in Utah caused by drivers with a blood-alcohol content of 0.15 and above.  The proponent of the law said the problem with the 0.08 BAC law is that “it send the message that you can drink up to a certain point and then drive.”  The proponent then noted that several foreign countries have a 0.05 limit. 

 

Proposed DUI Law Problems

 

The field sobriety tests were designed to determine if someone is at a 0.10 BAC or above.  When states lowered the limit to 0.08, that already signaled a move away from criminalizing driving under the influence and towards outlawing drinking and driving.  A 0.05 BAC limit is simply another step in that direction.  Someone at 0.05 could very well pass the field sobriety tests.  If the person is not under the influence of alcohol, can that person be arrested?  If the person cannot be arrested, the request for a breathalyzer does not occur. 

 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano.  Experienced.  Aggressive.  Dedicated.

 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano was admitted to the practice of law in Illinois in 1993.  He immediately began practicing as an assistant prosecutor working in a courtroom that focused on major traffic cases, such as DUI and driving under suspension, spending over one year focusing on the many issues in these cases.  Attorney Daniel Gigiano then spent the next five years of his government practice working on misdemeanors, felonies, grand jury and preliminary hearings, juvenile delinquency cases, and abuse and neglect cases.  In 1999, he was admitted to practice in Ohio.  In 2000, he took his experience to a private practice in Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio.  Attorney Gigiano has maintained his private practice in Wadsworth since that time.  Call now at 330-336-3330 if you need the services of an experienced Medina criminal defense attorney in Wadsworth.


Ohio Public School Student Searches

When Ohio public school student searches occur, those Ohio students are protected by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Fourth Amendment protects people in the United States from unreasonable searches and seizures.  Students can be searched if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school.    

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Ohio Will Changing Mental Capacity

In 2016, the Ninth District Court of Appeals decided that a person under legal guardianship can execute a valid will, ruling on Ohio will changing mental capacity.  Even more notable are the reasons: he suffered from schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, had a low IQ and was a frequent drug user.  Using traditional analysis, the court determined that he had the capacity to execute a will. 

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Ohio Felony Sentencing

Ohio felony sentencing laws place most Ohio crimes into five classes.  These range from the lowest (fifth degree felony) to the highest (first degree felony).  This article will focus on the basic sentencing scheme.  This article will not discuss specialized Ohio felony sentencing laws, such as the death penalty, life imprisonment, and mandatory additional prison time.  Rape and murder are crimes that fall into such specialized Ohio felony sentencing laws. 

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Mandatory DUI Blood Tests Unconstitutional

Many states, including Ohio, criminalize the refusal to submit to alcohol testing after being arrested for DUI.  The United States Supreme Court, in ruling mandatory DUI blood tests unconstitutional, imposed severe limits on such state laws. 

 

Individual Rights And Liberties Are More Important Than Getting Tough On Crime

This case sends a message to get tough on crime advocates:  citizens' personal liberty cannot be infringed in the name of enforcing criminal laws.  The United States was formed on the notion of individual rights and freedoms.  The U.S. Supreme Court reminded us of this fact in its decision.

 

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Repeat OVI Offender Specifications Constitutional

Ohio Supreme Court Declares Repeat OVI Offender Specifications Constitutional

  In 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court found the repeat OVI offender specifications constitutional.  The accused challenged the Ohio DUI sentencing laws as unconstitutional because they violated equal protection of the law.  The Ohio Supreme Court did not agree with that argument.

 

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Ohio Medicaid Waiver Program

The Ohio Medicaid Waiver Program funds the services necessary to allow the individual to stay in his or her own home.  These programs “waive” Medicaid regulations so individuals can use community-based programs that cost far less than nursing homes and other institutional residential settings.  This program addresses the high cost of nursing home care and people's desire to stay in their own homes.

 

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Ohio Cell Phone Search Requires Search Warrant

Apple and the FBI have gotten a lot of attention lately on the government’s power to search cell phones.  Apple refused to unlock its phones and FBI figured out how to do it by themselves.  Long before this battle ensued, the Ohio Supreme Court issued the following decision: Ohio cell phone search requires search warrant

 

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Police Cannot Search Legally Parked Cars Without A Warrant

In 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling that declared that the  police cannot search legally parked cars without a warrant.  The arrest of an occupant of the vehicle does not, by itself, give the police authority to search legally parked vehicles.

 

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Punitive Damages Award Against Dead Person Allowed

In 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a punitive damages award against dead person allowed.  The deceased person’s estate can be held responsible for punitive damages if a trial court awards such damages against the decedent, cutting into the share of the estate the heirs can receive. (more…)

DUI Blood Testing Requirements

On February 10, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision on DUI blood testing requirements. In this latest case, the Ohio Supreme Court had to decide if the police substantially complied with the Department of Health regulations.  The substantial compliance standard was created by the Ohio Supreme Court years ago.  Some argue that the substantial compliance standard provides rational flexibility while others argue that it allows court to ignore serious forensic errors by the police.

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Misdemeanor Concurrent Sentences Mandatory

When one is sentenced on both a felony and a misdemeanor, the Ohio Supreme Court has determined misdemeanor concurrent sentences mandatory with felony sentences. In a decision entered recently this year, this Ohio Supreme Court resolved conflicting opinions among the lower courts on this issue.  Consecutive sentences are served one right after the other, with no double credit for any of the time served.  Two six month sentences would add up to a year if they ran consecutive to one another.  Concurrent sentences are served at the same time.  Two six month sentences would add up to only six months if they ran concurrent to one another.

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New Ohio Criminal Mental State Requirements

In 2014, the Ohio Legislature passed into law new Ohio criminal mental state requirements. This new law required any criminal laws passed after December 19, 2014, to contain a mental state or a guilty mind as an element of the offense.  This means the new crime must include the requirement that the accused committed the act recklessly, knowingly or intentionally.  Acting recklessly, knowingly or intentionally is acting with the mental state required as part of the offense.

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Ohio Appeal Rights

If you do not like the ruling at trial, you may have Ohio appeal rights, which is the right to appeal the trial court’s decision.  

Ohio Appeal Rights To Appeal The Magistrate

    If the trial or hearing was heard by a magistrate, you have the right to appeal the magistrate. If the magistrate issued an order, you have the right to ask the judge to set the order aside.  This must be filed within ten days of the order.  Filing this motion does not automatically stop the order from taking effect.  If the magistrate issued a decision, you have the right to object to the decision.  The objection automatically stops enforcement of the decision.  Unfortunately, this includes the parts you may like along with the parts to which you have objections.  The objection must be filed within fourteen days of the filing of the magistrate’s decision. (more…)

Ohio Paternity Parentage Cases

Ohio child custody rights of unmarried parents are decided in Ohio paternity parentage cases, which includes requests for legal custody, parenting time and/or shared parenting. In Ohio, an unmarried mother has sole legal custody of a child born outside of marriage.  The father has no legal rights to the child until he requests the court to issue orders establishing a father-child relationship and an order for parenting time.

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Modifying Child Custody In Ohio

Courts modifying child custody in Ohio have to follow a set of rules. As always, the best interests of the child must be considered.  However, before getting to that point, the court must consider a number of factors as to whether the case qualifies for a modification of parental rights and responsibilities.  A change in circumstances is required to even gain the right to be in court on a child custody modification motion.  This requirement promotes stability in the child's life and prevents motions for changes in custody based on insignificant events.

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Ohio Marriage Contracts

Ohio marriage contracts involves three parties: (1) you; (2) your spouse; and (3) the State of Ohio. Marriage is a legal contract with rights and obligations.  Of course, marriage is not just a cold legal concept—marriage is a spiritual and personal relationship between two people.  The obligations of marriage: mutual respect, fidelity and support.  The duty to support includes the parties’ mutual biological and adopted children.

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Ohio Divorce Impacts Benefits

An Ohio divorce impacts benefits in many ways. Benefits can be preserved while the divorce is pending. Rights to benefits can either be awarded or denied after the divorce is finalized. When a divorce is filed, most domestic relations courts in Ohio automatically issue retraining orders. These restraining orders prohibit the parties from selling assets or destroying assets, and from cancelling benefits. This means neither party can remove the other from any insurance coverage, including health insurance.

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Ohio Child Custody Evaluations

Some child custody battles in Ohio need a more in-depth look than what can be provided by just the testimony of the witnesses. Ohio child custody evaluations can provide that deeper look into the parents and children involved.  A child custody evaluation is ordered by the court and usually consists of psychological evaluations of the parents, observations of the parents with the children, interviews of the parents, and collateral information.

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