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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.


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…)

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