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Criminal Defense Archives

When an Accused is Charged With a Crime, is the State Permitted to Introduce Evidence of the Accused's Prior Bad Act at the Trial to Attempt to Show the Accused is Likely to Commit Bad Acts and is Therefore Guilty of the Crime in Question?

No. Ohio Rule of Evidence 404(B) outlines a limited set of circumstances during which a prosecutor can attempt to introduce prior bad acts. A prosecutor cannot use a accused's prior bad act to show the accused has a tendency to act wrongfully and from that, attempt to prove the accused therefore must have engaged in wrongful conduct that gave rise to the crime at issue. Instead, a prosecutor may, with the court's permission, use evidence of a prior bad act where the prior bad act would attempt to show proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident. Recently, the Ohio Supreme Court explained this evidentiary rule and applied it a set of facts involving sexual assault.

Can a Defendant Sentenced to Prison Get Jail-Time Credit for House Arrest After Sentencing?

According to the Ohio Supreme Court, the answer is "no." This month, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision in State v. Reed, Slip Opinion No. 2020-Ohio-4255. In Reed, the defendant was found guilty of a felony and given five years of community control with a suspended five year prison sentence. After the defendant violated the terms of his community control multiple times, he was placed on house arrest and electronic monitoring. Ultimately, when he admitted to the violations two years from his original community control sentence, the court imposed the suspended five year prison term. The defendant appealed the decision to the Sixth District Court of Appeals, arguing his sentenced should have been reduced because he should have received jail-time credit for the time served on house arrest and electronic monitoring.

Does Post-Conviction House Arrest Count For Jail Time Credit?

In an update to our previous post on this topic found here: https://www.rittgers.com/blog/2018/05/does-post-conviction-house-arrest-count-for-jail-time-credit.shtml; the Ohio Supreme Court recently held that a defendant is not entitled to days he or she spent in postconviction house arrest. In Ohio v. Reed, 2020-Ohio-4255, the defendant was placed on five years of community control and given a five year suspended prison sentence. Defendant subsequently violated that community control and was placed on house arrest. He was subsequently placed on electronic monitoring after new charges were filed against him.

Petty Theft Carries Serious Consequences

Ohio Revised Code §2913.02 contains Ohio's petty theft statute. A theft charge is considered petty theft if the value of the item taken is less than $1,000. So, stealing a $2 candy bar carries the same penalties as a $999 piece of clothing. Once the value of the item or services equals or exceeds $1,000 then the offense becomes a felony. Theft is committed when a defendant, with a purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, knowingly obtains control over the property or services by one of five ways: (1) without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent; (2) beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent; (3) by deception; (4) by threat; or (5) by intimidation.

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.

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. 

IS IT AGAINT THE LAW TO PROTEST?

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.

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Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

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