Riddell Law LLC http://www.riddelllaw.com Riddell Law LLC | Columbus DUI Lawyers | OH Criminal Defense Attorneys Wed, 24 May 2017 02:17:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 New Annie’s Law’s Ignition Interlock Requirements Face Unique Challenges in Rural Ohio http://www.riddelllaw.com/annies-law-interlock-rural-ohio/ Wed, 24 May 2017 02:16:59 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=6080 IGNITION INTERLOCK CREATES UNFORSEEN ISSUES FOR RESIDENTS OF OHIO’S RURAL COUNTIES Ohio has recently changed its OVI law, which governs operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Under “Annie’s Law”, Ohio’s OVI penalties puts much more reliance on ignition interlock devices. These machines monitor the levels of alcohol in a person’s […]

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IGNITION INTERLOCK CREATES UNFORSEEN ISSUES FOR RESIDENTS OF OHIO’S RURAL COUNTIES

Ohio has recently changed its OVI law, which governs operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Under “Annie’s Law”, Ohio’s OVI penalties puts much more reliance on ignition interlock devices. These machines monitor the levels of alcohol in a person’s system by requiring the driver of a vehicle blow into the device before the car will start.

Lawmakers in Ohio hope that the new law will reduce the prevalence of drunk driving in the state, but may have overlooked potential serious burdens the new law will place on those living in poorer and more remote rural counties.

ACCESSIBILITY OF INTERLOCK

Ignition interlock has been studied in rural counties elsewhere with mixed success.

In one study of judges in rural Arizona, many judges interviewed indicated that it is difficult for those who have been cited with DUI / OVI to have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles. Many rural counties and towns do not have an easily accessible vendor who can easily place an ignition interlock on the vehicle. The vendors are typically third party private companies who maintain the ignition interlock devices for the courts. Private companies will not operate in low-density communities where it is not economically viable for their business.

It is likely that drivers convicted of OVI in rural Ohio will be forced to commute to cities such as Columbus, Cincinnati, or Cleveland to have the ignition interlock installed and maintained on their vehicle. For those who cannot make the monthly commute from their rural home to maintain the interlock, this is potentially not an option, which could lead to drivers opting to not have the interlock installed, and take the chance of driving without the interlock.

COST OF INTERLOCK

OVI is a serious offense in Ohio that carries the potential for high fines and court costs that can be difficult for the average person to readily pay. In addition to the known installation and monitoring costs, there are other costs the come with the Ohio’s enhanced reliance on ignition interlock.

Ohio requires that anyone found guilty of OVI must pay for the installation and maintenance of the ignition interlock. For many in rural counties and communities in the state of Ohio, this is an added cost at the end of a very expensive ordeal they simply do not have the money to spend on. As a result, drivers may take the risk of operating a car without the interlock and choose to drive on a restricted license.

Annie’s Law’s reliance on ignition interlock devices is new and many do not yet fully realize what impact it will have on those who have been cited with OVI, especially those in rural communities.

It is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable about all possible defenses available to you including whether you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle after facing an OVI charge.

If you have questions about your Columbus OVI or interlock violation charges, talk to our Columbus DUI attorneys at 614-361-2804.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “Ignition Interlock: An Investigation Into Rural Arizona Judges’ Perceptions.” TRAFFIC TECH, Technology Transfer Series ser.

 

 

 

 

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Ohio ALS Suspension Terminated in OVI Case Due to Police Officer Error http://www.riddelllaw.com/administrative-license-suspension-als-ohio/ Tue, 16 May 2017 18:12:22 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=6053 CAN AN OHIO ALS SUSPENSION (ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION) BE TERMINATED DUE TO A POLICE ERROR? The Ohio Court of Appeals recently held that if a police officer doesn’t follow statutory procedure when putting a driver on an Ohio ALS suspension (Administrative License Suspension), the driver is entitled to an immediate termination of the license suspension. Toledo v. […]

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CAN AN OHIO ALS SUSPENSION (ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION) BE TERMINATED DUE TO A POLICE ERROR?

The Ohio Court of Appeals recently held that if a police officer doesn’t follow statutory procedure when putting a driver on an Ohio ALS suspension (Administrative License Suspension), the driver is entitled to an immediate termination of the license suspension. Toledo v. Ferguson, 2017-Ohio-1394

In Ohio, an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) is a driver’s license suspension that can be imposed, before being found guilty of any crime, on individuals charged with Operating a Vehicle while Impaired (OVI). 

In Ferguson, the Defendant was charged with OVI (DUI / Operating a Vehicle while Impaired). The officer filed a report to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) indicating the Defendant had blood shot eyes, smelled of alcohol, and showed signs of impairment based on a field sobriety test.

However, the officer filed the report with the court six days after the Defendant was cited for OVI. The Defendant appealed the ALS, and a hearing was held to determine whether the ALS should be terminated.

OHIO REVISED CODE SECTION 4511.197: REQUIRED ALS SUSPENSION WHEN CHARGED WITH OVI 

Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.192 describes the notice requirement officers must follow when placing an individual under an ALS.

A driver who has been charged with OVI and placed under an ALS suspension will have his or her license suspended immediately, but may appeal the ALS suspension within 5 days of being arrested for OVI.

The Court in Ferguson found that the arresting officer did not allow for the Defendant to appeal his ALS within 5 days as his initial court appearance was held 6 days after being arrested for OVI.

In addition to allowing for an appeal of the ALS within 5 days, the officer must also send a certified copy of his report within 48 hours to the BMV and the court that will have jurisdiction over the case. Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.192(D)(1)(d) and (E)

The Court in Ferguson held that the purpose of the 48 hour rule is to, “provide an aggrieved licensee with a means of obtaining prompt, post-suspension review of an ALS.”

Similar cases to Ferguson have upheld the termination of the ALS due to the arresting officer failing to adhere to the notice requirement of 4511.192:

  • An officer failed to send the report to the court. The court stated that “sending a copy of the sworn report to the court is a mandatory requirement” for an ALS. State v. Frame, 5th Dist. Morrow No. CA-881, 1999 Ohio App. LEXIS 2498
  • An officer filed the report in the wrong court, and as a result, the case was dismissed and refiled beyond 5 days after the arrest or citation. The Court stated that notice to the court is intended to allow the offender to “begin the process of judicial review’ of a police officer’s actions, and the delay was a violation of the defendant’s Due Process. Meadows v. Ohio BMV, 71 Ohio Misc.2d 3, 4, 653 N.E.2d 757

In Ferguson, the arresting officer failed to file the report with the court within 48 hours or the earliest possible date. “As a result, appellant did not have appropriate opportunity to review the notarized, sworn report and prepare written appeal for his initial appearance.” Toledo v. Ferguson, 2017-Ohio-1394

ANY ERROR ON BEHALF OF THE BMV MAY RESULT IN TERMINATION OF OHIO ALS SUSPENSION

The Court in Ferguson held that for purposes of an ALS, the officer is an agent of the BMV, and any action taken by the officer in error can result in the termination of an ALS. Toledo v. Ferguson, 2017-Ohio-1394 citing Triguba v. Registrar, 10th Dist. Franklin No. 95APG11-1416, 1996 Ohio App. LEXIS 2771.

The State of Ohio cannot set forth the guidelines for determining how the ALS is to be administered, not follow the guidelines, and still hope to enforce the ALS.  This is particularly true where the defendant is not given the opportunity to review the documents in a timely fashion.

Administrative License Suspension can vary from case to case and there can be difficulty understanding what defenses may be available to you.

It is important to contact a Columbus OVI attorney who is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of defending against the ALS suspension, including whether the arresting officer gave proper notice of the ALS.

If you have questions about your Columbus DUI or related charges, talk to our Columbus DUI attorneys at 614-361-2804.

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Ignition Interlock Devices: New Penalties & False Positives http://www.riddelllaw.com/ignition-interlock-false-positives-violations/ Sun, 23 Apr 2017 11:37:36 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=6011 IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES: OHIO’S NEW INTERLOCK PENALTIES & INTERLOCK FALSE POSITIVES  Ohio has recently changed its OVI law, which governs operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Under the new language of the law, Ohio puts much more reliance on ignition interlock devices. These machines monitor the levels of alcohol in […]

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IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES: OHIO’S NEW INTERLOCK PENALTIES & INTERLOCK FALSE POSITIVES 

Ohio has recently changed its OVI law, which governs operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Under the new language of the law, Ohio puts much more reliance on ignition interlock devices. These machines monitor the levels of alcohol in a person’s system by requiring the driver of a vehicle blow into the device before the car will start.

Lawmakers insist interlock devices will reduce the amount of drivers on the road that are under the influence of alcohol, but the heavy reliance creates new potential hardships and legal issues that must be addressed.

POTENTIAL PENALTIES FROM AN IGNITION INTERLOCK VIOLATION 

Someone who is required to use an interlock device must blow into the device each time he or she attempts to start the vehicle. If the device detects alcohol, it will send a notification a company tasked with monitoring the interlock device. Ohio Revised Code Section 4510.13(A)(8) details then penalties associated with an interlock violation:

  • The Court may require the violator to submit to continuous alcohol monitoring by way of a device fastened one’s ankle. (Any second violation of the interlock requires mandatory continuous monitoring)
  • The court may double the license suspension originally imposed.
  • A violation may constitute driving under a suspended license, which carries a mandatory jail sentence under the new law.

CAN AN INTERLOCK DEVICE INCORRECTLY REPORT A VIOLATION (A FALSE POSITIVE)?

 As with all technology, it is possible that the machine could produce incorrect information. Two of the main manufacturers and monitoring agencies of interlock devices warn on their respective websites to avoid certain types of food prior to operating a motor vehicle. Some of the things these companies instruct drivers to avoid are:

  • Foods that are prepared with alcohol in the cooking process
  • Baked goods that combine sugar and yeast
  • Breath mints that contain menthol

For these items, interlock companies advise rinsing your mouth thoroughly and waiting several minutes before attempting to blow into the device.

The interlock device creates unintended consequences by limiting the types of foods drivers can consume before driving, and can have substantial legal repercussions for many who have not actually violated the interlock drinking alcohol.

WHAT TO DO IF THE INTERLOCK DEVICE REPORTS A VIOLATION 

The court must give notice to the alleged violator if the court intends to impose penalties as a result of an interlock violation. The alleged violator is entitled to a hearing as to whether the violation was a legitimate violation or not. However, the state must only show that the violation was more probable than not in order to impose penalties as a result of an interlock violation.

Interlock devices vary from case to case and there can be difficulty understanding what defenses may be available to you. It is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable about all possible defenses available to you including whether the machine malfunctioned or if there was a false positive. If you have questions about your Columbus OVI or interlock violation charges, talk to our Columbus defense attorneys at 614-361-2804.

Written by Anthony M. Iori, Riddell Law Associate

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Should You Plead No Contest to an OVI (DUI) Charge? http://www.riddelllaw.com/plead-no-contest-ovi-dui-charge-columbus/ Sat, 01 Apr 2017 15:01:52 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=5968 SHOULD YOU PLEAD NO CONTEST WHEN CHARGED WITH AN OVI IN OHIO? Pleading “no contest” is often misunderstood.  Many people confuse “no contest” with “not guilty” but the two pleas are not at all the same.  In fact, pleading “no contest” is essentially a guilty plea.  If you plead “no contest,” you have no opportunity to […]

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SHOULD YOU PLEAD NO CONTEST WHEN CHARGED WITH AN OVI IN OHIO?

Pleading “no contest” is often misunderstood.  Many people confuse “no contest” with “not guilty” but the two pleas are not at all the same.  In fact, pleading “no contest” is essentially a guilty plea.  If you plead “no contest,” you have no opportunity to explain your version of what happened to the judge. “No contest” means that you are agreeing with the prosecutor about all of the facts in the police report. 

If you are facing an OVI charge, you should definitely talk to an attorney before doing any pleas in court – especially a no contest plea.  OVI charges stay with you forever (they can never be expunged in Ohio) so you want to make sure you are fully aware of what your plea means before you go to court. 

NO CONTEST PLEAS

For more discussion of no contest pleas read this post

A defendant pleads “no contest” in court when he or she will not contest (challenge) the facts underlying a particular crime.  Although a “no contest” plea is technically not an admission of guilt for commission of the crime, the judge will treat a plea of “no contest” as an admission and will almost every time go ahead and find the defendant guilty as charged.  

Generally, a “no contest” plea is beneficial arises in cases where there is also a possible lawsuit for damages by a person injured by the criminal conduct.

Before entering a no contest plea (or a guilty plea), the court must personally address a defendant and inform him or her of the effects of the plea and ensure that the plea is being entered voluntarily. Cleveland v. Catchings-El, 2017-Ohio-189 citing Cleveland Hts. v. Brisbane, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 103459, 2016-Ohio-4564

In Cleveland v. Catchings-El, 2017-Ohio-189, the Defendant was charged with an OVI, and during negotiations, the prosecuting attorney and the Defendant came to an agreement where the Defendant would plead “no contest” to the charge of OVI and would consent to the finding of guilt. During the plea hearing the trial court asked the Defendant if he understood what was happening regarding the plea agreement and the Defendant responded that he did.

But on appeal, the appeals court in Catchings-El found that the Defendant did not understand the effects of the no contest plea and did not understand that he was admitting to the truth of the facts in the complaint since he protested to the court that he “didn’t do a urine sample.”  Therefore, the no contest plea was thrown out and the case was sent back to the trial court. 

CONSULTING WITH LEGAL COUNSEL BEFORE A PLEA OF NO CONTEST

A defendant should always consult with counsel before entering a “no contest” plea. This plea is not an expedited trial and a defendant is given no chance to defend against the charges. Once a person accepts the charges, whether or not he or she is guilty or innocent, the trial court will move to sentencing.

A “no contest” plea is not a statement of guilt or innocence, but it shows that a defendant is not opposed to be charged as though guilty. If you want a chance to defend yourself in court, you should consult with legal counsel before entering into a plea bargain with a prosecuting attorney.

If you have been charged with OVI or any type of related offenses and have questions about defenses related to your legal rights (including possible plea scenarios available to you), talk to one of our Columbus DUI Attorneys about your case at 614-361-2804.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Franklin County OVI Dismissed Where Officer Cited Only Speeding, Slurred Speech and Moderate Odor of Alcohol in Support of Arrest http://www.riddelllaw.com/ovi-dismissed-speeding-odor-alcohol/ Thu, 09 Mar 2017 18:59:01 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=5959 The Franklin County Court of Appeals recently decided an interesting OVI case – State v. Bracken, 2017 Ohio 721.   The only evidence of impairment the officer cited were: Speeding A moderate odor of alcohol and The driver’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy. The court found that these factors alone were NOT enough to establish […]

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The Franklin County Court of Appeals recently decided an interesting OVI case – State v. Bracken, 2017 Ohio 721.  

The only evidence of impairment the officer cited were:

  • Speeding
  • A moderate odor of alcohol and
  • The driver’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy.

The court found that these factors alone were NOT enough to establish probable cause to arrest for OVI.

 Driver Pulled Over for Speeding, Odor of Alcohol, Bloodshot Eyes, Arrested for OVI

In State v. Bracken, 2017 Ohio 721, (Ohio Ct. App. 2017), the driver was pulled over by an Ohio State High way Patrol officer after the officer allegedly witnessed the Defendant speeding.

The officer noted the following facts in support of the OVI arrest:

  • A moderate odor of alcohol (but no more than moderate)
  • The defendant’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy
  • The Defendant’s face was flushed  (The officer acknowledged, however, that he did not shine a light on Bracken’s face to help him to better make such observations.)
  • The driver admitted that he had consumed two beers.

Field sobriety tests 

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus test (“HGN”). The Defendant was viewed by the officer as displaying six clues which indicated alcohol consumption. The video, however, was unclear and didn’t allow the court to evaluate how the HGN test was conducted or its results.
  •  Walk-and-turn test.  The officer said the defendant displayed five of the eight possible clues indicating alcohol consumption to an unacceptable level.  The officer said that  starting the walk and-turn test before being told to start walking as an indication of being impaired.
  • Recite a portion of the alphabet. The defendant allegedly skipped a letter.
  • One-leg stand test.  The officer finally testified that the defendant displayed three of four possible clues indicating an illegal blood alcohol level.  But the video did not support the officer’s conclusions.

The Defendant was placed under arrest for OVI (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs) based on the officer’s view the Defendant was impaired by either drugs or alcohol.

SPEED AS EVIDENCE OF DRUNK DRIVING

If a driver is speeding, then an officer will have had a reasonable basis for pulling a vehicle over based on evidence the vehicle was traveling over the speed limit. State v. Bracken, 2017 Ohio 721, (Ohio Ct. App. 2017)

However, speeding alone will not support arresting a defendant on a charge of OVI, because speed alone, without more evidence, is not considered to be an indication of operating a vehicle under the influence. Supra

OTHER FACTORS THE OFFICER MUST CONSIDER BEFORE MAKING AN ARREST FOR DRUNK DRIVING

Officers also generally make notations of bloodshot or glassy eyes, an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, erratic driving, and the performance of a defendant on field sobriety tests before making the decision to arrest for OVI.

In Bracken, the Defendant had no trace of slurred speech, and the police cruiser video showed he was able to perform his field sobriety tests in accordance with the instructions.  After viewing the video, the court found that the field sobriety tests did not indicate impairment.  The only indicators the officer relied on were the fact that the Defendant was speeding, a moderate odor of alcohol, and bloodshot eyes.

The Court went on to state it agreed with the trial court in that the officer’s observations were not enough to support a finding of guilty for OVI.

OVI and Alcohol related offenses vary from case to case and there can be difficulty understanding what defenses may be available to you. It is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable about all possible defenses available to you. If you have questions about your Columbus alcohol related criminal charges, talk to our defense attorneys at 614-361-2804.

 

 

 

 

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When Can Police Pull You Over On Your Bicycle? http://www.riddelllaw.com/when-can-police-stop-bicycle-rider/ Sun, 05 Mar 2017 18:41:24 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=5954   WHEN CAN POLICE STOP A BICYCLE RIDER? The Ohio Court of Appeals recently held in State v. Swift, 2016-Ohio-8191 that police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime or traffic violation has occurred before stopping a bicycle rider.  Bicycle riders have the same constitutional rights as any driver on the road.  In Swift, the […]

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WHEN CAN POLICE STOP A BICYCLE RIDER?

The Ohio Court of Appeals recently held in State v. Swift, 2016-Ohio-8191 that police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime or traffic violation has occurred before stopping a bicycle rider.  Bicycle riders have the same constitutional rights as any driver on the road. 

In Swift, the Defendant was effectively and unlawfully seized when he was stopped on the street while riding his bicycle. The Court went on to say a reasonable person in the Defendant’s position would not have felt free to leave without obeying the officers’ instructions, and the officers had neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify the stop.

POLICE STOP BICYCLE RIDER FOR NO REASON

In Swift, the Defendant was riding his bicycle when officers pulled along side of him and asked him to stop so they could “talk to [the Defendant] real quick”.  

An officer got out of the police cruiser and asked if he could pat the Defendant down. The Defendant said “sure”.  The officers asked if the bicycle rider had any drugs or weapons and he said “no”.  

During the pat down, the Defendant said he “had some weed on him”. The officer handcuffed him, took the marijuana and found other drugs on the bicycle rider as well.  He was placed under arrest for possession of drugs.

The Defendant testified that he had not wanted to stop when the officers pulled up next to him and made him stop. The defendant also said he did not consent to the pat down. 

FOURTH AMENDEMENT REQUIRES REASONABLE SUSPICION 

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968). Under Terry, police officers may briefly stop and temporarily detain individuals in order to investigate possible criminal activity if the officers have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that criminal activity is occurring, including a minor traffic violation.

Reasonable, articulable suspicion is a lower standard than probable cause and requires a showing considerably less than “preponderance of the evidence.” State v. Fears, 8th Dist. Cuyahoga No. 94997, 2011-Ohio-930 “A traffic violation gives an officer a reasonable articulable suspicion justifying a traffic stop, and the traffic stop may also give the officer the ability to investigate suspected drug activity. State v. Wilcox, 177 Ohio App.3d 609, 2008-Ohio-3856, 895 N.E.2d 597

STOPPING A BICYCLE VS. STOPPING A CAR OTHER VEHICLE

“A stop of a person on a bicycle is governed by the same standards as any other traffic stop: an officer must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the operator has engaged in criminal activity, including a minor traffic violation.” State v. Swift, 2016-Ohio-8191 citing State v. Brown, 2d Dist. Montgomery No. 25204, 2012-Ohio-5532

The Court in Swift stated that when police officers in a police cruiser pass by any type of vehicle (including a bicycle) and then quickly catch up with the vehicle, drive along side it and “request or demand that the driver stop and pull over to talk, no reasonable person would believe that he was free to ignore the police and continue on his way down the street.” The Court stated the officers approached the Defendant “for no apparent reason.”

BICYCLE RIDERS HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AS SOMEONE IN A CAR

Officers must have a reasonable articulable suspicion or criminal activity before they may stop an individual. A person on a bike should be afforded the same protections as someone in a car. Just because someone is traveling in a more recreational vehicle, does not mean that he has forfeited any of his constitutional rights.

If you believe you have been stopped unfairly and been charged with a crime, and have questions about defenses related to your legal rights, talk to one of our Columbus Criminal Defense Attorneys about your case at 614-361-2804.

 

 

 

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Can You Be Arrested for OVI Based on a Random License Plate Check? http://www.riddelllaw.com/ovi-random-license-plate-check/ Thu, 02 Mar 2017 18:12:03 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=5948 CAN AN OFFICER ARREST YOU FOR OVI BASED ON A RANDOM LICENSE PLATE CHECK? A random license plate check happens when a police officer runs the license plate number of a vehicle to check for license suspensions, expired tags, or warrants.  But is this allowed?  Is stopping someone based on a random license plate check […]

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CAN AN OFFICER ARREST YOU FOR OVI BASED ON A RANDOM LICENSE PLATE CHECK?

A random license plate check happens when a police officer runs the license plate number of a vehicle to check for license suspensions, expired tags, or warrants.  But is this allowed?  Is stopping someone based on a random license plate check constitutional?

EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY IN A VEHICLE

Because cars, drivers and passengers are in plain view of officers (and anyone else) while on the road, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that privacy rights while in a car are less than if the driver were in a home. See Cardwell v. Lewis, 417 U.S. 583, 590, 94 S. Ct. 2464, 41 L. Ed. 2d 325, 60 (1974).

Ohio courts have also held that there is no expectation of privacy in a license plate number displayed publicly on a car.  See Rocky River v. Saleh, 139 Ohio App. 3d 313, 743 N.E.2d 944 (8th Dist. Cuyahoga County 2000).

RANDOM LICENSE CHECK ENOUGH FOR A VALID TRAFFIC STOP

Therefore, an officer is permitted to run a random license plate check on any vehicle on a public road.

If the computer check shows a warrant, suspended license, or expired tags, the police then have reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a criminal or traffic offense. 

In Rocky River v. Saleh, 139 Ohio App. 3d 313, 743 N.E.2d 944 (8th Dist. Cuyahoga County 2000) the Court held that running someone’s license plate number doesn’t interrupt the driver’s travel and doesn’t constitute a “stop.” 

In Rocky River, the computer check of Defendant’s license plates showed that the owner of the vehicle had a suspended driver’s license. The mobile data terminal also provided the officer with the physical characteristics of the Defendant.  The court found it was reasonable for the officer to infer that the driver of the vehicle was the owner. In addition, the officer observed that the driver of the vehicle matched the physical characteristics of the registered owner with the suspended license.  Thus, the court found the stop was valid. 

It is important to have legal representation that can analyze every aspect of your case, and provide detailed explanations of legal defenses available to you, including whether an officer had grounds to stop your vehicle or not. If you have been charged with an OVI, or other traffic or alcohol related offenses, and have questions about defenses related to your legal rights, talk to one of our Columbus OVI attorneys about your case at 614-361-2804.

Written by Anthony Iori, Esq., Riddell Law Associate

 

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Ohio’s New Expanded Concealed Carry Law http://www.riddelllaw.com/ohios-new-expanded-concealed-carry-law/ Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:46:54 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=5945   At the close of 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law (S.B. 199) that greatly expands the provisions of Ohio’s Concealed Carry legislation. The language of the expansion to the law now allows for employees to store their licensed handguns in vehicles owned by their employers. The new law also addresses […]

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At the close of 2016, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law (S.B. 199) that greatly expands the provisions of Ohio’s Concealed Carry legislation. The language of the expansion to the law now allows for employees to store their licensed handguns in vehicles owned by their employers.

The new law also addresses employer liability for any firearm related incidents arising out of the new expansion. The new concealed carry law also increased the number of previously prohibited places a holder of a license may bring their handgun. Finally, the new law eliminated the need for active duty military members to obtain a license before carrying a concealed handgun.

Firearms in Employee Vehicles

Under the new law, employers may no longer prohibit employees with valid concealed handgun licenses from transporting or storing a firearm on employer property so long as the following conditions are met:

  • Each firearm remains inside the employee’s vehicle, while the employee is present, or each firearm is locked within the trunk, glove box, or other closed compartment; and
  • The vehicle is an authorized location.

Employer Liability

Senate Bill 199 also includes specific language explaining that employers will not be held liable for damages (such as injuries) resulting from an employee’s storage or transportation of a firearm, unless the employer asked the employee to commit an act that caused any damage.

 

PREVIOUSLY PROHIBITED PLACES WHERE CONCEALED CARRY IS NOW PERMITTED

The new law has also increased the number of places where a person may bring a concealed carry handgun or allows for certain organizations and institutions to determine for themselves whether to allow for concealed handguns to be permitted on the premises.

  • Concealed firearms are now allowed in day care centers. Note, however, that private daycares and other businesses may post a sign prohibiting weapons. It is a misdemeanor (criminal trespass) to bring a weapon into these posted businesses. 
  • Aircraft and public areas of airport terminals before security checkpoints. Note, however, that an airport may post a sign prohibiting weapons in its terminals. It is a misdemeanor (criminal trespass) to bring a weapon into these posted areas. 
  • Public and private colleges and universities now have the option to allow concealed carry firearms on campus.
  • State and political subdivisions now have the ability to enact laws that would allow concealed carry firearms in certain government facilities.

ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PROVISION

Finally, the new allows for active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces to forgo a concealed carry license in order to carry a firearm if the member is carrying valid military identification and has documentation of successful completion of specified firearms training.

The new law will go into effect in Ohio on March 21, 2017

 

 

 

 

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Ohio’s New OVI “Look Back” Period http://www.riddelllaw.com/ohios-new-ovi-look-back-period/ Tue, 31 Jan 2017 15:46:03 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=5921 Governor Kasich recently signed into law House Bill 388, also known as “Annie’s Law,” that greatly alters the law in Ohio as it relates to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OVI). Included in the new legislation is language that will extend the amount of time in the “look back” provision […]

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Governor Kasich recently signed into law House Bill 388, also known as “Annie’s Law,” that greatly alters the law in Ohio as it relates to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OVI). Included in the new legislation is language that will extend the amount of time in the “look back” provision of the law.

A “look back” period is the length of time that a prior OVI conviction or plea of guilty will be factored into an offender’s punishment. In Ohio, this period is currently 6 years. This means that any prior conviction or plea of guilty to an OVI occurring within 6 years of the current OVI conviction is be considered a “first” OVI offense under state law. The court will then view the case pending before it as a second OVI and impose increased penalties as required by law.

Annie’s law extends the 6-year “look back” period established under the old language of the law for purposes of OVI’s and the laws governing many OVI-related offenses. The new law increases the amount of time the state of Ohio may look into a defendant’s past driving record from 6 years to a 10 year “look back ‘ period. 

If charged under the Ohio state code, the court will consider offenses committed within the new time period. As a result of this change, a court may now consider offenses committed up to 10 years prior.

Not only will Annie’s law increase the amount of time a court may look back into a defendant’s driving record for previous OVIs, but also increases the length of suspension a judge must impose if a defendant is found guilty of a second or third OVI that occurred within the increased “look back” period.

Under the old law, if a defendant had previously been found guilty of an OVI within 6 years of a prior OVI, the maximum license suspension a judge could impose would be 5 years. Now, under Annie’s Law, any prior OVI’s within 10 years could result in a license suspension of 7 years. Similarly, under the old law, a third OVI in 6 years could lead to a 10 year suspension, but Annie’s law increases the suspension to a max of 12 years for any third OVI in 10 years.

Alcohol related offenses vary from case to case and there can be difficulty understanding what defenses may be available to you. Though a prior conviction may fall in the new “look back” period, an attorney who has researched Annie’s Law may be able to help lessen the penalties you are facing. It is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable about all possible defenses available to you. If you have questions about your Columbus alcohol related criminal charges, talk to our defense attorneys at 614-361-2804. 

Source: Ferguson, A. M. (2017). LSC Analysis of House Bill 388. Ohio Legislative Service Commission, 1-14. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from www.legislature.ohio.gov/.

Written by Anthony Iori, Esq., Riddell Law Associate Attorney

 

 

 

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New OVI Penalties Under Annie’s Law http://www.riddelllaw.com/new-ovi-penalties-annies-law/ Thu, 26 Jan 2017 18:39:32 +0000 http://www.riddelllaw.com/?p=5897 On January 4, 2017, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 388, also known as “Annie’s Law,” into law. This OVI new law will drastically alter OVI (drunk driving) law and penalties in Ohio. Before the law goes into effect in April 6, it is important to take note of the new OVI penalties under the law. […]

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On January 4, 2017, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 388, also known as “Annie’s Law,” into law. This OVI new law will drastically alter OVI (drunk driving) law and penalties in Ohio.

Before the law goes into effect in April 6, it is important to take note of the new OVI penalties under the law.

For example, Annie’s law will greatly expand the use of Ignition Interlock in Ohio. Ignition Interlock, or IID, is a system attached to your car that monitors the alcohol content of the driver. With an IID, the driver blows into the interlock receiver and if the IID detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start.

IID (IGNITION INTERLOCK) PENALTIES UNDER ANNIE’S LAW

If you have been charged with OVI, the judge can order that you may have unlimited driving privileges on the condition that you install an ignition interlock device in your car.

If you have been ordered to have an ignition interlock (IID) on your car, though, the new law establishes additional penalties if any of the following violations happen:

  • You drive a car that does not have an ignition interlock
  • You circumvent or tamper with the IID.
  • The IID detects an amount of alcohol that prevents the car from starting.

This Table explains the penalties for those who commit an IID violation.

Penalties for Committing an Ignition Interlock Violation

 First time, second time or underage OVI offenderThird or subsequent OVI offender
First IID violationPermissive continuous alcohol monitoringMandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 40 days
Second IID violationMandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 40 daysMandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 60 days
Third or subsequent IID violationMandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 60 daysMandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 60 days
Any IID violationCourt may double the period of suspension (and the time during which the person must drive with an IID), but the total suspension can't exceed the length the court was originally authorized to imposeCourt may double the period of suspension (and the time during which the person must drive with an IID), but the total suspension can't exceed the length the court was originally authorized to impose

EXTENDED SUSPENSION FOR INTERLOCK VIOLATIONS WITHIN 60 DAYS OF THE END OF THE SUSPENSION

If an interlock violation occurs within 60 days of the end of the suspension, the court is required to extend the suspension and the interlock requirement.  The suspension cannot end until 60 days after the violation.  

In other words, if your suspension is over on April 1 and you blow over or otherwise commit an interlock violation on March 1, your suspension and interlock requirement would be extended until May 1 (to allow for 60 days post-violation). 

VIOLATIONS FOR SOMEONE ELSE BLOWING INTO THE INTERLOCK DEVICE

Annie’s Law greatly expands the penalties for those who are granted driving privileges with an interlock device, but have someone else blow into the machine.  The penalty for having someone else blow for you is a first-degree misdemeanor.  

OVI LOOK-BACK PERIOD 

Under old Ohio law, the state mandated look-back period was 6 years. For an OVI under the state code, the court will consider offenses that happened during the look-back period when considering enhancing the penalties of the OVI offense. Though some jurisdictions elected to extend the look-back period on their own, under Annie’s Law the State of Ohio has increased the look-back period to 10 years.

 

LENGTH OF AN OVI SUSPENSION

Annie’s Law will modify the permissive range of a driver’s license suspension for a first, second, or third OVI. The following table illustrates the changes in OVI suspensions under Annie’s Law.

Driver's License Suspensions for OVI Offenses (Source: Ohio Legislative Service Commission: LSC Analysis of H.B. 388)

 Before April 6, 2017After April 6, 2017
First OVI Offense6 months to 3 years1 to 3 years, but the court can reduce the suspension by up to half if the offender gets unlimited driving privileges with interlock
Second OVI Offense1 to 5 years1 to 7 years
Third OVI Offense2 to 10 years2 to 12 years

 

RESTRICTED LICENSE PLATES

Under Annie’s law, second-time OVI offenders who do not commit a “high test” offense no longer have to get restricted yellow plates.  However, the following second-time OVI offenders will still have to obtain yellow plates:  

  • Second time OVI offender (prior within 10 years) who is convicted of a “high test” OVI offense, which means the person blew a .17 or higher (or comparable blood/urine)
  • Second time OVI offender who refused to submit to a chemical test after being arrested and the offender had previously committed an OVI or underage OVI offense within 20 years.

Given the many upcoming changes to Ohio OVI law, it is important to have legal representation that can analyze every aspect of the law, and provide detailed explanations of legal defenses available to you, including how Annie’s Law may apply to your case.

If you have been charged with an OVI, or other traffic or alcohol related offenses, and have questions about defenses related to your legal rights, talk to one of our Columbus OVI attorneys about your case at 614-361-2804.

 

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