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.
Filler weight is included in drug cases. Believe it or not, it is illegal to possess and sell fake drugs in Ohio. Fake drugs are officially referred to as counterfeit controlled substances. While a controlled substance is usually part of a class of illegal or strictly regulated substances, a counterfeit controlled substance is a non-controlled substances that a reasonable person would believe to be a controlled substance because of its similarity in shape, size, color, markings, labeling, packaging, distribution, or price.
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.
What is the difference between misdemeanors and felonies in Ohio? In most instances, a misdemeanor in Ohio is a crime that is punishable by not more than one hundred eighty days in jail. One cannot be sent to prison on a misdemeanor. Some felonies are punishable by six or more months in prison. All felonies in Ohio are punishable by at least six months in prison. Felonies can be sentenced to local jail time.
sets forth the different classes of misdemeanors and their sentencing ranges: a misdemeanor of the first degree is not more than one hundred eighty days in jail; a misdemeanor of the second degree is not more than ninety days in jail; a misdemeanor of the third degree is not more than sixty days in jail; a misdemeanor of the fourth degree is not more than thirty days in jail; and a minor misdemeanor cannot consist of any jail time.
There is no time limit on charging crimes when one flees to avoid prosecution. In State v. Bess
, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Ohio law tolls or stops the running of the statutes of limitations when the offender purposefully avoids prosecution. This applies to crimes that had not yet been charged or even discovered, as long as the offender purposefully avoids prosecution. In this case, Bess learned in 1989 that he was being investigated for raping a young girl. He fled to Georgia and assumed a false identity in order to avoid prosecution. He was indicted later that same year. He remained in Georgia until he was arrested in 2007 and returned to Ohio. During trial preparation, the prosecutor interviewed the girl’s brother and learned for the first time that he too was raped by Bess. A second indictment charged Bess with that rape. Bess was convicted. While there was no question that the State of Ohio could try Bess for rape of the girl, the real question was whether he could be charged and convicted of a crime eighteen years after he purposefully fled to avoid prosecution. The Ohio Supreme Court said that he could be charged and convicted in this manner because he purposefully fled the jurisdiction to avoid prosecution.
When people accused of a crime come into my office, they often ask “can something be done to keep me out of jail?” More specifically, many clients ask if I can promise to keep them out of jail. I guess I am a little too honest. I do not make that promise. Does that mean I cannot do the job? No, it means I do not lie to people. I can promise to defend you with the knowledge and ability that I have accumulated for over twenty-one years of practicing law.
If someone is charged with a fourth or fifth degree felony, Ohio law basically tells the judge to give the person probation (technically called community control) unless there are some specific reasons not to do so. Does that usually mean that the person stays out of jail? Possibly, but the judge may decide to give a short jail sentence. Many of these felonies may qualify for diversion or intervention in lieu of a conviction. However, there may be technical problems with getting into an intervention in lieu of a conviction program and the prosecutor could decide that he or she does not want to offer diversion for a particular case. What if you do not like the terms of the diversion? Perhaps, you feel like the victim is inflating the losses and making you pay much more than they ever lost. You could take it to trial, and try to get your case reduced to a misdemeanor by a jury of your peers. Because the judge cannot send you to prison on a misdemeanor, you got this thing beaten, huh? Not so fast. That judge can still send you to jail on a misdemeanor conviction, especially if he or she thinks the actions that they heard during trial demand a response. Some crimes have minimum sentences. For example, DUIs have minimum sentences starting at three days in jail. Firearm specifications have at least a one year minimum prison term, often triggering a separate and consecutive prison term for the main felony charge.
A Medina County Felony Trial Attorney is an aggressive advocate who fights for the rights of people who are accused of major crimes. This type of attorney has taken several cases to trial and has multiple victories as a result. These victories are not just pretrial victories, but involve putting it all on the line, picking a jury and being willing to allow that jury to decide the fate of the accused. This type of attorney is the only type of attorney that can achieve a real victory in some cases. Sometimes, the prosecutor does not offer a deal, but simply states that the accused can plead to the indictment and take their chances in front of the judge while the prosecutor asks for a lengthy sentence. However, an experienced criminal trial attorney can muster the respect needed to get some kind of deal, even in the toughest situations. Only the experienced felony trial attorney can potentially get some of the charges eliminated by the very real threat of taking the matter to trial, not to win, but to simply eliminate the offenses that the prosecutor cannot prove. Only the experienced felony trial attorney can convince the prosecutor that the State of Ohio could potentially lose so much credibility in losing on some counts, that the remainder of the counts could be in jeopardy at trial. Finally, the felony trial attorney can simply take the case to trial. (more…)