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Posts tagged "United States Constitution"

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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Can The Police Use My Statement Against Me?

People accused of crimes often ask: “can the police use my statement against me?” In order for a statement to be used against someone in court, the statement must be voluntary and may also need Miranda warnings prior to the statement being given. A truly voluntary statement is important and valuable, because a confession given under torture or abusive conditions may simply be someone telling their tormentor what he or she wants to hear in order to make the torture stop.   The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution gives people the right to remain silent and to be free from being forced to incriminate himself or herself. These rights in the 5th Amendment also mandate that any statements must be voluntary. The Ohio Supreme Court cited the following factors in determining whether a statement is voluntary include: totality of the circumstances, age, mentality, and prior criminal experience of the accused; the length, intensity, and frequency of the interrogation; the existence of physical deprivation or mistreatment; and the existence of threat or inducement.   (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…)

Automatic Lifetime Registration For Juvenile Sex Offenders Is Unconstitutional

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that automatic lifetime registration for juvenile sex offenders is unconstitutional. In their decision, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that automatically imposing a lifetime registration requirement for a juvenile sex offender amounts to cruel and unusual punishment and violates the juvenile’s right to due process of law. In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Act, also known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORN). In 2008, Ohio became the first state to adopt a law that followed SORN. When the Ohio Supreme Court reviewed this law in its 2012 decision, it noted that most of the states refused to pass similar laws, opposing the lifetime sex offender registration and notification requirements for juveniles. This national consensus of rejecting automatic lifetime registration requirements for juveniles was the first of two factors the Court used to strike down this portion of the law. The second step was to look at the court’s own independent judgment on whether this punishment violates the Constitution. In doing so, the Court determined that: (1) the lifetime registration requirement was much more likely to hinder than to help juveniles obtain stable employment and reintegrate into their communities after their release from custody; (2) was contrary to past decisions that held that juveniles should be treated as less morally capable than adults; and (3) was contrary to the juvenile justice system’s primary purpose of rehabilitation rather than punishment. This analysis led the court to conclude that the severity of lifetime registration and notification and lack of adequate justification renders it cruel and unusual under the eighth amendment to the United States Constitution. The law also denied due process because it is automatic and does not allow the court to consider the child’s background or how publication of the offense might affect rehabilitation.

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Can A Person Waive The Right To Remain Silent?

Can a person waive the right to remain silent?  The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to remain silent, often referred to as “pleading the fifth.”  Ohio also guarantees this right in Article 1, Section 10 of the Ohio Constitution.   In the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the court said that the following warnings must be given prior to a custodial interrogation:   (more…)

What Jail Time Credit Will Be Applied?

One question that frequently arises at sentencing is what jail time credit will be applied?  Time spent in confinement can be credited against a sentence.  Confinement includes jail and community based correctional facility (CBCF).  Treatment can count if the defendant was confined there.  In order to get credit, the person had to be in custody for the case that is proceeding to sentencing.  In other words, the person cannot get credit for time served on another charge or other case.   (more…)

Bankruptcy Is Constitutional

Did you know that bankruptcy is mentioned in the United States Constitution?  In other words, bankruptcy is constitutional.  The United States Constitution states:  “[The Congress shall have Power] to establish . . . uniform laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States.”  Look it up!  U.S. Constitution, Art. I, Section 8, clause 4.   The Framers wanted to ensure that there would be a uniform system of bankruptcy so that one state would not put someone in debtor’s prison for a debt that was discharged in another state.   (more…)

Miranda Warnings

Before the police can question someone who is in custody, they must give Miranda warnings, which are:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney.  If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.

Failure to comply with this requirement can result in suppression of evidence after the filing of a motion to suppress. The United States Supreme Court, in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), said that the warnings must be given “when an individual is taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom by the authorities in any significant way, and is subjected to questioning, the privilege against self-incrimination is jeopardized.  Procedural safeguards must be employed to protect the privilege.” (more…)