Criminal Defense Topics

  • Criminal Defense Topics

    Things Cops Do That Are Illegal: What a Police Officer Can and Cannot Do

    A police officer should be seen as a beacon of safety in the community. They have special privileges to help them do this. However, sometimes cops abuse these rights and break the law. It can be hard for citizens to respect police officers when they see some actions they take as unlawful. It is important to know what police officers are legally allowed to do to make sure that your rights are respected. One main aspect of a police officer’s job is to protect the community and its citizens from crime. To do this, cops are legally allowed to take some actions that regular citizens can’t. Most of these actions…

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  • Criminal Defense Topics

    What if I Don’t Show Up For Jury Duty?

    If you’re like most people, receiving a jury summons in the mail is not something you look forward to. However, juries serve a critical function in the legal process. Being on a jury gives you the opportunity to learn more about the justice system and fulfill your civic duty. Further, it is important not to ignore a summons or you could face pretty stiff consequences.  About Jury Selection in Ohio Now, you may be wondering how people are selected for jury service. In Ohio, names are randomly pulled from registered voter and licensed driver lists. This means that you will only be called in the county or city where you…

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  • Criminal Defense Topics

    What Happens If You Get an Out of State Warrant for Arrest?

    An outstanding arrest warrant is serious and requires your immediate attention. Even if the warrant was issued by another state, you can be arrested here in Ohio and vice versa. Warrants never expire, which means that you could be detained and extradited to the state where it was issued at any time. But, keep in mind that you are entitled to have an attorney represent you throughout this process.    How Is an Out-Of-State Warrant Issued? Now, an out-of-state warrant may be issued for a variety of reasons. Typically, they are ordered by a judge based on “probable cause” that you did one of the following: Failed to appear in court…

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  • Criminal Defense Topics

    How can I get a copy of my Ohio criminal record?

    Criminal Record Check In Ohio Have you ever wondered how to get a copy of your “rap sheet?”  Here is how you can do a criminal record check in the state of Ohio.  First,  you can get a list of your criminal charges and convictions from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (”BCI”).  But this list only includes convictions from Ohio courts. Federal Criminal Record Check The Federal Bureau of Investigation (”FBI”) provides a nation-wide report that includes convictions from every state. This is the most accurate listing. You must provide written permission and your fingerprints in order to obtain a BCI or FBI report. You can get…

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  • Criminal Defense Topics

    What Does The New Texting And Driving Law Mean?

    Recently, Governor Kasich signed a texting while driving ban into law.  This new law is codified under Ohio Revised Code section 4511.204, and for those under 18 with a temporary permit or a probationary license, section 4511.205 applies.  This is the first in a series of articles outlining what is prohibited and permitted under these new laws. Ohio Revised Code section 4511.204 ‘Section 4511.204 makes is a minor misdemeanor to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving.  There are some exceptions and limitations to this law.  One limitation is that this is a “secondary” offense.  That means that a police officer is not permitted to stop a vehicle…

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  • Criminal Defense Topics

    Can Your Husband Or Wife Testify Against You?

    Can a spouse testify? Many people believe that marriage is an institution that is good for society.  That is, many people hold the belief that married people are more stable and likely to contribute good things to society.  Many people also believe that homes with two parents are better environments in which to raise children.  People also generally hold the belief that things said and done between husband and wife ought to be entitled to some privacy. The law, if nothing else, tends evolve and exist roughly in parallel with what society believes to be best.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that the law tries to support marriages…

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  • Criminal Defense Topics

    What Is Opening the Door?

    Shortly prior to the date of this article, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion in, State of Ohio v. Van Williams, addressing the question of when bad things a person may have done in the past can be used against them. Character Evidence Revisited In Van Williams, the defendant apparently had sexual relationships with two teenage boys, one in approximately 1997 and one in 2008.  The state sought to, and did, use evidence of the 1997 relationship in order to convict him of the 2008 relationship.  The 1997 relationship resulted in a misdemeanor conviction and under ordinary circumstances, since the conviction is over ten years old, it could not have been…

  • Criminal Defense Topics

    What Is Attorney-Client Privilege?

    Attorney-Client Privilege In addition to the general rules about what evidence is and is not allowed to be presented in court there are certain categories of relationships that people can develop that can allow them to avoid testifying, prevent them from testifying, or allow them to prevent the other person from testifying.  The classic example of this is the attorney-client privilege. One commonly held belief among clients and potential clients is that anything at all that is said between an attorney and his client is privileged and forever shielded from disclosure.  This is not the case.  The attorney-client privilege protects much of what is said, but not everything.  It is…

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    Are Evidence Rules Good for Society

    Some of the previous posts have discussed evidence rules that prevent evidence from being allowed into court because of the effect it has on the fairness or reliability of the court proceeding.  However, there are also a large number of evidence rules which prevent otherwise appropriate evidence from being heard, less because it introduces unreliability into the court process and more because it is simply good for society if we have these rules. Remedial Measures Here are a few examples:  Evidence regarding so-called “subsequent remedial measures” or, in other words, attempts to fix problems, is generally excluded from court.  Discussions or information related to offers to compromise, plea, or settle claims…

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    What Are Some Common Exceptions To Hearsay? Evidence – Part VI

    Are There Exceptions To Hearsay? It may seem that the hearsay rule would make court proceedings very difficult.  If statements other than those made in the current proceeding cannot be used as evidence, it might seem it would be very hard to challenge anything anyone said. For instance, what if, in a criminal case, Charles testified that he shot Larry, and then, when sued by Larry’s family, tried to deny it?  The previous testimony by Charles would, according to the basic definition of hearsay, be hearsay.  It would be a statement, made outside of the current court proceeding and Larry’s family would be using it to show the “truth of…

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