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DUI

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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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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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…)

What is OVI in Ohio

What is OVI in Ohio? I typically use the term DUI in my articles because that is what most people commonly call the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol.  Even Ohio lawyers loosely use the term DUI, rather than the official term of OVI.  DWI is typically recognized as an outdated term by both laypeople and professionals.   What are DUI, OVI, DWI, and BAC in Ohio? DUI is driving under the influence.  DWI is driving while impaired.  DUI and DWI are acronyms that are no longer used in Ohio since Ohio enacted a law in 1982 that refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as OMVI or “operating a motor vehicle impaired.”  But, what is OVI in Ohio if OMVI was the official term at one point?  When Ohio removed the requirement that the vehicle be motorized, the offense was shortened to OVI, or “operating a vehicle impaired.”  This leaves us with the term BAC, which is still alive and well today in the law.  BAC refers to blood alcohol content.  In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC of .08 breath alcohol content or greater.  If the driver is under 21 years of age, the legal limit is as low as .02 breath alcohol content.  For many people, that can be reached with as little as one drink within the hour before testing.   (more…)

Can An Ohio Police Officer Arrest Someone Outside Their Jurisdiction?

Can an Ohio police officer arrest someone outside their jurisdiction? A police officer cannot arrest someone for a crime committed outside of their jurisdictional limits.  The question is what their jurisdictional limits are.  The state highway patrol and sheriffs or their deputies have the power to make arrests for violations on all state highways, but only for certain listed offenses.  Generally, all other police officers are limited to the area they were elected or appointed to serve.  Township police officers who are not commissioned peace officers cannot enforce traffic laws on any state highway.  Commissioned peace officers serving a township with a population of 50,000 or less cannot exercise their powers on interstate system highways.  Out of town officers hired or appointed by the local department have authority in that area for that limited time.   (more…)

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?

Can police use sobriety checkpoints to stop and check to see if the drivers may be driving under the influence of alcohol? In other words, are sobriety checkpoints legal?   The United States Supreme Court held that sobriety checkpoints are valid. In their decision, the Court found that the intrusion and inconvenience to individuals who are stopped is outweighed by the government’s interest in restricting drunk driving. Ohio courts determined that there are four factors to determining the legality of a sobriety checkpoint: (1) a checkpoint location must be selected for its safety and visibility to oncoming motorists; (2) adequate advance warning signs illuminated at night, must timely inform approaching motorists of the nature of the impending intrusion; (3) uniformed officers and official vehicles must be in sufficient quantity and visibility to show the police power of the community; and (4) policy-making administrative officers must make a pre-determination of the roadblock location, time, and procedures to be employed, according to carefully formulated standards and neutral criteria.   (more…)

When The Police Are In Hot Pursuit

What does it mean when the police are in hot pursuit? Generally, when the police are hot on the trail of a fleeing suspect they can pursue him or her.   Any search or seizure is limited by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which says: “The right of the people to be secure in their person, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The Fourth Amendment specifically protects people against the physical entry of their homes. A warrantless entry and search of a private residence is presumptively unreasonable. There are several exceptions to the search warrant requirement: (1) search incident to a lawful arrest; (2) consent signifying waiver of constitutional rights; (3) the stop-and-frisk doctrine (4) hot pursuit; (5) probable cause to search accompanied by the presence of exigent circumstances.   (more…)

Negligent Entrustment

If the owner of a vehicle knew at the time he or she allowed the driver to operate a vehicle that the driver was unqualified to operate the vehicle, the owner could be liable for negligent entrustment, also known as wrongful entrustment of motor vehicle. Ohio law states that the owner of a vehicle shall not allow one to drive their vehicle if they know or have reasonable cause to believe that the person: does not have a valid driver’s license; has a suspended driver’s license; or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The code lists some more obscure reasons, which can be found here.  When the owner and driver live in the same household and are related to each other, the law assumes that the owner knows that the household member’s driver’s license is invalid.   (more…)

Driver’s License Is Not Needed For Non-Motor Vehicles

A driver’s license is not needed for non-motor vehicles in Ohio. A motorized bicycle is not a motor vehicle. Trailers towed at twenty-five miles per hour or less is not included in the definition of motor vehicles. A motorized bicycle is “any vehicle that either has two tandem wheels or one wheel in the front and two wheels in the rear, that is capable of being pedaled, and that is equipped with a helper motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters piston displacement that produces no more than one brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of no greater than twenty miles per hour on a level surface. A motorized bicycle does not become a motor vehicle unless it is pulling a trailer.   (more…)

Police Can Make A Warrantless Stop To Give Emergency Aid

The Ohio Supreme Court, in State v. Dunn, ruled that the police can make a warrantless stop to give emergency aid. In this case, the officer received a radio dispatch that there was a suicidal male driving a tow truck who was planning to kill himself. Although the officer did not observe any traffic violations, the vehicle stop was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court. The Ohio Supreme Court said that the stop was justified under a community caretaking or emergency aid exception to the Fourth Amendment’s restrictions for warrantless searches and seizures. Because police have a duty “to provide emergency services to those who are in danger of physical harm” such stops will often be held to be valid. This exception eliminates the need to show a reasonable basis to rely on the accuracy of a tip, as that standard only applies to investigating suspected criminal activity.   (more…)

Suspended Driver’s License in Ohio

What do you do if you have a suspended driver’s license in Ohio? The solution starts with determining what event caused the driver’s license to be suspended. Once the cause is determined, one may be able to figure out the reinstatement requirements. It is also important to know what can happen if one is convicted of driving under a suspended driver’s license. Ohio BMV’s website can be found on my links page, along with a number of other important links.   How does one’s driver’s license get suspended in Ohio? A judge can order the suspension as part of your sentence for a crime. Such crimes include drug possession, drug trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia, OVI, hit-skip, fleeing and eluding, or driving under suspension. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) imposes suspensions for failure to show proof of insurance either during a traffic stop or after random selection by the BMV to show proof of insurance. This suspension is known as a non-compliance suspension and is covered under Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Act.   (more…)

What Is A Municipal Court In Ohio?

Ohio has over 100 municipal courts, including some of our local courts:  Wadsworth Municipal Court, Medina Municipal Court, Wayne County Municipal Court, Barberton Municipal Court, Akron Municipal Court, and Stow Municipal Court.  So, what is a municipal court in Ohio?   (more…)

What Do You Do When Pulled Over By The Police?

What do you do when pulled over by the police?  This really depends on the situation, but there are some tips that work for traffic stops, especially those where the officer suspects a DUI or OVI.   Be aware that the officer and perhaps his video camera is watching your every move.  Signal and pull over right away, but do so smoothly, safely, and completely.  Put the car into park or, if you have a stick-shift, move the gear to neutral and set the parking brake.  Have your license, registration and insurance in hand as quickly as possible.  Keep your seat belt on.  Turn off the radio and roll your window down.  When the officer approaches your vehicle and asks for your driver’s license, registration and insurance, hand them over.  If you still have not located these items, ask the officer for permission before going to retrieve them.  This will alert the officer that you are merely trying to comply with his or her request and that you are not retrieving a weapon.  The officer will be noting whether you are having difficulty finding these items, especially if it looks clumsy.  The officer may ask questions.  You should either politely decline or keep your answers short and true, without admitting anything.   (more…)

Tuscarawas Township DUI Attorney

One who drives through Tuscarawas Township and receives an OVI citation will be in need of the services of a Tuscarawas Township DUI attorney, who has the familiarity and experience to navigate one’s way through Massillon Municipal Court, Stark County Court of Common Pleas, and Stark County Juvenile Court, where misdemeanor, felony and juvenile DUIs are heard.   Misdemeanor DUI citations issued in Tuscarawas Township are sent to Massillon Municipal Court, Two James Duncan Plaza, Massillon, Ohio 44648.  Felony DUI indictments for an incident alleged to have occurred in Tuscarawas Township are filed in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, 101 W. Tuscarawas Street, Canton, Ohio 44702.  Delinquency complaints alleging OVI in Tuscarawas Township are filed in the Stark County Juvenile Court, 110 Central Plaza South, Suite 601, Canton, Ohio 44702.   (more…)

Perry Township DUI Attorney

A person who is cited for DUI in Perry Township will need the services of a Perry Township DUI attorney.  A Perry Township OVI lawyer is an attorney who has the familiarity and experience to handle such cases in Massillon Municipal Court, Stark County Court of Common Pleas, and Stark County Juvenile Court, where misdemeanor, felony and juvenile DUIs are heard.   Individuals alleged to have committed a misdemeanor DUI in Perry Township would be required to attend hearings in Massillon Municipal Court, Two James Duncan Plaza, Massillon, Ohio 44648.  Individuals receiving a felony DUI indictment for an incident alleged to have occurred in Perry Township will be required to attend hearings in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, 101 W. Tuscarawas Street, Canton, Ohio 44702.  Juveniles receiving delinquency by way of DUI complaints for incidents alleged to have occurred in Perry Township will be required to attend hearings in the Stark County Juvenile Court, 110 Central Plaza South, Suite 601, Canton, Ohio 44702.   (more…)

Lawrence Township DUI Attorney

When someone receives a ticket for DUI from a police officer in Lawrence Township, that person will need the services of a Lawrence Township DUI attorney, who has the familiarity and experience to handle such cases in Massillon Municipal Court, Stark County Court of Common Pleas, and Stark County Juvenile Court, where misdemeanor, felony and juvenile DUIs are heard.   Individuals accused of a misdemeanor DUI in Lawrence Township would have their case heard in Massillon Municipal Court, Two James Duncan Plaza, Massillon, Ohio 44648.  Individuals indicted for a felony DUI alleged to have occurred in Lawrence Township will have their matter addressed in the Stark County Court of Common Pleas, 101 W. Tuscarawas Street, Canton, Ohio 44702.  Juvenile DUIs in Lawrence Township are handled in the Stark County Juvenile Court, 110 Central Plaza South, Suite 601, Canton, Ohio 44702.   (more…)

Jackson Township DUI Attorney

Daniel F. Gigiano, Wadsworth OhioWhen someone receives a DUI citation in Jackson Township, that person will need the services of a Jackson Township DUI attorney.  A Jackson Township OVI lawyer does not necessarily have an office in Jackson Township but has the familiarity and experience to handle such cases in Massillon Municipal Court, Stark County Court of Common Pleas, and Stark County Juvenile Court, where misdemeanor, felony and juvenile DUIs are handled. (more…)

Orrville DUI Attorney

An Orrville DUI attorney provides aggressive representation for traffic and criminal defense, as the DUI may be accompanied by other traffic offenses, such as assured clear distance, as well as criminal charges, such as possession of drugs.  In Ohio, DUI is referred to as OVI or operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The OVI charges can be split in two: (1) the OVI charge, which alleges that the person operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them; and (2) the BAC charge, which usually alleges that the person operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, which is determined by a breath sample, or an equivalent amount by blood serum or plasma or urine, as well as levels of various drugs. (more…)

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