Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Douglas Riddell
1,404 followers -
Highly Rated Ohio Criminal & Traffic Defense Attorney.
Highly Rated Ohio Criminal & Traffic Defense Attorney.

1,404 followers
About
Douglas's posts

Post has attachment
This case – State v. Dowty, 2016-Ohio-4719 – involved a driver who was parked in a Walgreens parking lot. She drove from her parking spot to the exit and didn’t turn on her signal while the car was moving.

She turned it on briefly when she was stopped just before turning. An officer pulled her over and cited her for failure to signal for 100 feet before turning. Upon stopping the car, the driver admitted to having drugs in the car.

On appeal, an Ohio Court of Appeals found that the officer was wrong. The 100 foot turn signal law doesn’t apply in a private parking lot. So no traffic violation occurred and the officer thus had no constitutional reason for pulling her over.

As a result, all evidence of drugs, admissions made by the driver and all other evidence discovered after he pulled her over were thrown out.

Post has attachment
An Ohio Court of Appeals has recently ruled that it will not consider a margin of error as reason to dismiss an OVI case unless conviction “created such a manifest miscarriage of justice that the conviction must be reversed and a new trial ordered.”
http://www.riddelllaw.com/margin-of-error-urine-test-ovi/

Post has attachment
We get this question a lot:  

Police never read me Miranda rights or they read them to me after I was already in the police car or already at the station arrested for OVI.  If they didn’t read me my rights, can I get my OVI case dismissed or reduced?

The answer, like many questions in the law, is:  It depends.  

It depends on the facts of your case and what happened leading up to your arrest.  

To make matters worse, the state of the law in Ohio on this issue is somewhat in flux. Specifically, Ohio courts are split on whether or not the police can make you sit in the front of the cruiser and ask questions about how much you had to drink without first reading Miranda warnings.

Post has attachment
Can Police Make Someone on a Bicycle Stop at a DUI Checkpoint in Ohio?

Post has shared content
In some OVI cases, officers will ask a suspect – or get a warrant – for a blood draw to test blood alcohol levels.   These blood draw cases are somewhat unique in that there are very specific rules under Ohio law that must be followed in drawing, testing and storing the blood sample.

If the officer or phlebotomist fails to substantially comply with Ohio law in drawing and testing the blood sample, the blood results may be excluded from evidence at trial.

That is what happened here.  Because the state could not show that the phlebotomist that drew the defendant’s blood followed all of proper procedures, the blood test results were thrown out. 

Post has shared content
In some OVI cases, officers will ask a suspect – or get a warrant – for a blood draw to test blood alcohol levels.   These blood draw cases are somewhat unique in that there are very specific rules under Ohio law that must be followed in drawing, testing and storing the blood sample.

If the officer or phlebotomist fails to substantially comply with Ohio law in drawing and testing the blood sample, the blood results may be excluded from evidence at trial.

That is what happened here.  Because the state could not show that the phlebotomist that drew the defendant’s blood followed all of proper procedures, the blood test results were thrown out. 

Post has shared content
One recent Ohio case highlights the importance of cruiser video evidence in traffic-related stops.  In this case, a car was pulled over for crossing the fog line.  Once pulled over, the officer said he smelled marijuana coming from the car.  He asked the driver to step out and then testified that he smelled marijuana coming from the driver’s person.  He searched the driver – including his pockets – and found 1.066 Oxycodone pills in a baggie in the driver’s pants pocket.

At the motion to suppress, the court found that the search of the driver’s pants pockets was illegal.  The officer’s testimony that he smelled marijuana coming from the driver was not credible based on the court’s review of the cruiser video evidence and the fact that no marijuana was found in the car or on the driver’s person.  The video evidence also showed strong winds at the time of the stop.

As a result, the drug charges were dismissed. 

Post has shared content
We have discussed anonymous tips in prior posts.  An anonymous caller tips the police to a potential drunk driver, often resulting in an OVI charge.  Looking closely at those anonymous calls, however, can be a critical part of defending against an OVI charge.  If the caller is anonymous, does not describe any actual criminal activity, is unreliable and/or the tip is not corroborated by police, the stop could be unconstitutional and the case thrown out.

One recent Ohio case demonstrates the importance of looking closely at the anonymous tip in an OVI case.

Post has shared content
Recently, the Ohio Supreme Court decided a groundbreaking case in the area of OVI law.  In Cincinnati v. Ilg, Slip Opinion No. 2014-Ohio-4258,  the Ohio Supreme Court clarified that a defendant does have the right to challenge “the accuracy, competence, admissibility, relevance, authenticity, or credibility of specific test results or whether the specific machine used to test the accused operated properly at the time of the test.”  

This includes a right to request relevant documents from the City and from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to support the defendant’s claim that the machine used to test him failed to operate properly. 

Where, as here, the City and the ODH failed to comply with a court order to produce records relevant to the defendant’s breathalyzer machine, the trial court may -as here – exclude the breath test results as a discovery sanction. 

Post has shared content
One of the first potential defenses to an OVI stop is: Was the reason for the stop lawful?  

In order to pull a car over, a police officer must have “reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation has occurred or was occurring.”  Even if the traffic violation is very minor (i.e., failure to use a turn signal when changing lanes), the stop is considered lawful even where the officer had some ulterior motive for making the stop. 

But there must be a traffic violation.  Where, as in this case, there was no valid reason for the stop (no traffic violation) – the entire OVI stop may be thrown out of court.
Wait while more posts are being loaded