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Criminal Defense Archives

Can First Amendment Protections to Free Speech Be Restricted by Civil Stalking Protection Orders? The Ohio Supreme Court To Decide

In a split decision, the Third District Court of Appeals recently upheld a lower court's issuance of civil protection order that protected the Petitioners by prohibiting the Respondent from making any comments about the Petitioners on social media. The case of Bey v. Rasawehr presents a relatively new development in the law as it focuses on the interplay between First Amendment protections, concerns for victim safety in stalking related cases, and the pervasiveness of social media. While the majority of the Court upheld the lower court's order restricting Respondents free speech, the dissent sought to overturn the lower court's order because it prohibited any type of commentary on social media regarding the protected persons. In a 4 to 3 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction of the case, appealed by the Respondent after the unfavorable decision from the Appellate Court. Oral arguments were heard on February 11, 2020 and a decision from the Ohio Supreme Court is expected within the next few months.

Can a Judge Order an Alleged Victim to Allow the Defendant and Their Attorney to Photograph the Inside of Their Home?

No, according a recent decision by the First District Court of Appeals. In State ex rel. S.L. v. Rucker, 2020-Ohio-584, the First District granted a writ of prohibition for S.L. preventing the trial judge from compelling her to allow the defendant or his agent access to her residence. In other words, the First District held that Judge could not order S.L. to allow the defendant access.

Ohio General Assembly to Consider Supreme Court's Proposed Bail Reform

Every year the Ohio Supreme Court proposes rules changes every year, and this year one of the rule changes impacts bail reform and Ohio Criminal Rule 46. One of the major proposed changes is a requirement that defendants have a bail hearing within two business days of arrest and that judges utilize the "least restrictive" conditions when imposing bail. Specifically:

Can Police Officers Lie To You?

Yes, police officers and detectives can lie. It is not illegal for them to do so. This does not mean all police officers do lie. But often times when they do, officers or detectives will employ deceptive tactics to suspects or people who they believe have knowledge of a crime in order to collect information. Of course, they may try this with suspects directly to obtain incriminating information or a damning admission.

License Intervention Programs

Many Ohio drivers find themselves charged with "driving under suspension" after a routine traffic stop. Many of those same drivers had no knowledge that their license was even suspended until they were informed of the suspension by a police officer.

Ohio's Sexually Violent Predator Specification

Ohio Revised Code § 2941.148 outlines Ohio's sexually violent predator specification. It can be applied to sexually violent offenses-namely homicide, assault, and kidnapping. This specification can be used to add onto or enhance sentences. The exact enhancement depends on the underlying sexual offense. Ohio Revised Code § 2971.03 lists a number of specific underlying offenses and the corresponding specification sentence. In many instances the specification carries the possibility of life in prison. 

Ohio's Shift Back to Indefinite Sentencing: Reagan Tokes Law and Current Local Controversy

On March 22nd of this year, indefinite sentencing returned to Ohio through Senate Bill 201 known as the "Reagan Tokes Law." Indefinite sentencing is where a defendant is sentenced to an indefinite range or term of years, with release determinations made by the Parole Board based upon conduct of the incarcerated offender. Definite sentencing, on the other hand, is when the judge sentences a defendant to serve a definite number of years within an applicable range of years. Indefinite sentencing existed in Ohio prior to 1996, and has now returned through the recently enacted Regan Tokes Law. 

Eaton, Ohio, Criminal Defense Lawyers

The attorneys at Rittgers & Rittgers frequently represent people accused of crimes in Eaton Municipal Court. It is not uncommon for John R. Bernans and Neal Schuett to each have numerous cases pending in Eaton Municipal Court. Our Oxford office is quite close to Preble County and the Eaton Municipal Building. Our attorneys successfully resolve OVI, domestic violence, probation violation, and drug-related cases each year in Eaton Municipal Court. Whether you are seeking a plea bargain, bench trial, or jury trial, our attorneys have had success defending a varying degree of cases. Regardless of the type or level of offense, we would be happy to sit down and speak with you about your case. 

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Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

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Lebanon, Ohio 45036

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