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Ohio Legal Issues Blog

Can the Police Force You to Unlock Your Phone?

During a criminal investigation, can the police make you turn over your password to your phone? The answer to that question depends on where you live, as the courts are divided on the answer to that question. This makes the question ripe for clarification by the United States Supreme Court.

Can I challenge the reading of the radar or laser device in my speeding ticket case?

Yes and No. While you can always set the matter for a trial, a recent Ohio Supreme Court has significantly helped the State of Ohio, and has significantly limited what arguments you can make about the device used to calculate your speed.

Should I file for Social Security Disability now?

We are in challenging economic times, to say the least. Many people who have been working with medical problems, and who have now been laid off or lost jobs, have wondered if they should file for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

The quick answer is that you are eligible for SSD if you are unable to do your past work, or any other work, full time, for a least a year. If a doctor certifies that that is indeed the case, you may qualify for SSD benefits. If you win, you will receive monthly benefits equivalent to the amount you intended to retire on at age 66-67, essentially from the date you became medically unable to work.

Ohio Revised Code 2909.03 Arson - Recent Cincinnati Protests

Over 200 people were arrested over the weekend in Cincinnati. The majority of the arrestees were young, local, and committed minor infractions. However, a few were charged with serious offenses, including arson.

Under Ohio law, arson is a first degree misdemeanor, meaning a person so charged faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of the offense.

Ohio law defines misdemeanor arson in one of two ways: when a person by means of fire or explosion, knowingly causes or creates a substantial risk of physical harm to either: 1) any property of another without the other person's consent; or 2) any structure of another that is not an occupied structure.

Charged for exercising your right to protest?

Since opening our doors in 1995, we have always sought to fight injustice, stand up against inequality, and ensure that everyone has a voice in our criminal justice system. That fight will never end. In times like today, it is even more important that we speak out and stand up for what we believe in and support those who are discriminated against. The team at Rittgers & Rittgers strongly support the peaceful protests and demonstrations to fight the injustices in our world. It is your constitutional right to assemble and speak out and we all have a duty to do so. There is not a more powerful tool for change than people coming together to stand united against racism and injustice. 


This is a complicated question with a lot of possible directions and answers. According to the United States and Ohio Constitutions, the short answer is a resounding "No!" However, there are a lot of "except when..." that must be considered to avoid potential arrests.

What is misconduct at an emergency?

Recently we have been involved with the defense of clients charged with the offense of misconduct at an emergency. Ohio Revised Code § 2917.13 prohibits misconduct at an emergency. It states:

No person shall knowingly do any of the following:

(1) Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other authorized person, engaged in the person's duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot, or emergency of any kind;

Can I be charged with a crime simply for being at a protest?

With everything going on, one question we have been getting recently is whether you can be charged with a crime for simply being at a protest. The answer is it depends. The Ohio Constitution and the First Amendment to the United State Constitution provide for certain rights. These rights include:

Hamilton County Courthouse Announces Update

On May 1, the Presiding and Administrative Judges of the Hamilton County Common Pleas and Hamilton County Municipal Court issued an administrative order regarding courthouse access. The order stated that access to the courthouse will be limited to those who are conducting or are necessary to critical court proceedings. Aside from county and court staff, only attorneys, witnesses, victims, the press, law enforcement, and no more than two immediate family members of litigants are permitted access to the court. Further, everyone seeking access to the courthouse or justice center will be subject to having their temperature checked and will be required to wear a face covering that covers the mouth and nose at all times.

Will my future medical bills, wage loss and pain and suffering be covered in my personal injury claim?

The short answer is yes. By law, the at-fault person's insurance company owes you for all the damages you suffer as a result of an accident. Damages include things in the past, present and future. Future damages are more difficult to predict. The law requires that future damages are proven with reasonable certainty; specifically, future issues must be proven to be more likely than not.

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Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

Lebanon Office
12 East Warren Street
Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Phone: 513-932-2115
Fax: 513-934-2201
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West Chester Office
9078 Union Centre Blvd.
Suite 350
West Chester, OH 45069

Phone: 513-932-9949
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3734 Eastern Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45226

Phone: 513-932-7375
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Florence, KY 41042

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121 West High Street
Oxford, OH 45056

Phone: 513-524-5000
Fax: 513-524-5001
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