Butler County Judge Charles Pater has refused to preside over future cases involving sex crimes. His recusal is due to a written admission issued two months ago stating he may have been biased in sentencing a defendant based upon Judge Pater's own personal experience with a family member who was a victim of a sex crime.
Those with a history of low-level drug and theft charges that were previously prevented from having their cases expunged will be happy to know that the law has changed. Starting this year, the Ohio legislature has expanded the number and type of cases that can be expunged. This will benefit those who have long been haunted by past mistakes on background checks.
The Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative
On January 31, 2019, more than one third of the 1.1 million Ohioans with suspended driver's licenses will have an opportunity to petition the BMV to reduce their reinstatement fees or waive them entirely. This opportunity falls under a new six month program called the Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative.
We recently represented a hard-working single father with no criminal record who is thirty-seven years old. His girlfriend told him that she would accuse him of domestic violence if he ended the relationship. When he ended the relationship, she followed through with her threat and called 911. She told the arresting officer he hit her a few times in the back of the head and pulled her hair. Our client denied harming her or any woman. Even though the officer noted in the complaint that he did not observe any injuries, he felt as though he had probable cause to charge and arrest our client and charge him with first degree misdemeanor domestic violence based solely upon the ex-girlfriend's statements.
For the second time this year, Ohio has expanded its Intervention in Lieu of Conviction ("ILC") statute, once again benefitting defendants across the State. Effective on October 29, 2018, the new ILC statute gives a person countless opportunities to enroll in ILC. In other words, even if a person has previously been given an opportunity for ILC, the court now has the discretion to permit a defendant to enroll into the program again.
It's Sunday morning. You just woke up to a piercing headache, a mysterious stain on your favorite shirt, and wait, what's that paper in your pocket? You pull out a crumpled up rectangular sheet of blue paper. The words "ordered to appear" and "prohibited acts" jump off the paper. Your heart begins to race as it all comes rushing back to you. Take a deep breath. We have seen it all and we can help.
In most instances, the answer in Ohio is yes. The common misconception is that if someone has been convicted of a felony then they are not eligible to vote. Ohio, however, is one of a handful of states that allow convicted felons to vote. The only time a convicted felon is not eligible to vote is if they are currently incarcerated as part of their sentence. Upon release, though, the defendant can re-register to vote. One exception, however, is for defendants convicted of a felony related to election fraud-in those instances the defendant is permanently ineligible to vote.
A few weeks ago, a divided United States Supreme Court in Carpenter v. United States, 2018 WL 3073916, *9 held Fourth Amendment protections extend to a cell phone user's cell tower location data held by the user's wireless company. Why? A cell phone user has a legitimate expectation of privacy concerning their physical movements according to the Court.
Does character matter in criminal and university discipline cases? Yes! In a criminal trial or at a university hearing evidence of your good character can help you, or your persistent bad character can haunt you. Let's talk about how.
In recent years, Title IX-an act designed to prohibit discrimination based on sex-has, ironically, been used to facilitate sex-based discrimination on college campuses. "Title IX" refers to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 which states: