Sunday, November 13, 2011

Two-minute "hearing" was too short (11 13 2011)

Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.52 "requires a trial court to hold a hearing before deciding an application for sealing a criminal record." A Franklin County trial judge held a two-minute hearing in which the trial judge listened to himself talk and listened to the prosecutor talk before denying the defendant’s application. The Tenth District Court of Appeals reversed the judgment of the trial court and remanded the case "with instructions to conduct a hearing as required by R.C. 2953.52, weigh the interests of the parties, make the necessary findings, and express those findings on the record in some manner." State v. Esson, 2011-Ohio-5770.

Contact me if you need a Dayton criminal defense lawyer for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site www.robertalanbrenner.com and filling in the "contact me" form.  Visit www.ohiocriminaltriallawyer.com if you need an experienced Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer to represent you in the trial court.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The use of "dealer plates" is legal (11 12 11)

An auto dealer can use a "dealer plate" on a vehicle when the vehicle is "being utilized by dealer" pursuant to R.C. 4503.30(A). A Dayton Police Officer stopped a vehicle simply because it was 8:30 at night, it appeared to be occupied only by the driver, and it had a "dealer plate" on the back of the vehicle. The Second District Court of Appeals ruled that the officer’s stop of the vehicle "was not supported by a reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity." Sure the officer smelled marijuana when he approached the vehicle and eventually found drugs that resulted in a charge for a fifth degree felony, but an officer’s conduct is restricted by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Stopping a can that has a dealer plate and one occupant who is driving the car at 8:30 PM is unreasonable. State v. Williams, 2011-Ohio-5807.

Contact me if you need a Dayton Criminal Lawyer for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site www.robertalanbrenner.com and filling in the "contact me" form. Visit www.ohiocriminaltriallawyer.com if you need an experienced Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer to represent you in the trial court.



Sunday, November 6, 2011

Are you "seized" by police if they light you up?

Police who stopped a Cuyahoga County man did not have the "articulable, reasonable suspicion that [he] was engaged in criminal activity" required by the Fourth Amendment. So the prosecution argued that the police were just engaging the man in a "consensual encounter" when they pulled up to him and lit up their red and blue flashing lights. The Eighth District Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County decided "[w]hile there may be limited circumstances where the activation of police lights may not rise to the level of a stop ... we find that in most situations, as here, that is not the case." The Court wrote "[w]hen a police officer pulls behind or beside a parked vehicle and activates his or her flashing lights, it is clearly a seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The person inside the vehicle understands that he or she is not free to simply pull away." Read the decision in State v. Tyrone Lynch, 2011-Ohio-5502.

Contact me if you need an Ohio criminal defense lawyer for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site www.robertalanbrenner.com and filling in the "contact me" form.  Visit www.ohiocriminaltriallawyer.com if you need an experienced Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer to represent you in the trial court.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cuyahoga County Conviction was Against the Manifest Weight of the Evidence (11 3 2011)

It is rare to find a conviction reversed because it is “against the manifest weight of the evidence.”  That is because a conviction should be reversed on this basis “in only the rare case in which the evidence weighs heavily against the conviction.”  When this happens, the jury has “clearly lost its way” in convicting the defendant.

The Eighth District Court of Appeals for Cuyahoga County just reversed a conviction that was against the manifest weight of the evidence.  The Court found “[t]he record lacks consistent, credible evidence to support the jury’s verdict that appellant was guilty of aggravated robbery and aggravated murder.”  Only two witnesses linked the defendant to the crime scene, neither of them saw the appellant with a gun that night, and nobody saw the defendant/appellant shoot the victim.

To get the conviction, the prosecutor relied on speculation by one of the two witnesses who linked the defendant to the crime scene.  The prosecutor also misled the jury by arguing that a  witness testified to things she never said on the witness stand.  The Court found that the prosecutor “crossed a line” and deprived the defendant of a fair trial.  State v. Williams, 2011-Ohio-5483.

Contact me if you need a Dayton Criminal Defense Attorney for your appeal or other post-conviction matter by going to my Web site www.robertalanbrenner.com and filling in the “contact me” form.  Visit www.ohiocriminaltriallawyer.com if you need an experienced Dayton Criminal Defense Lawyer to represent you in the trial court.
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