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Riddell Law LLC
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Is There a Grace Period After An Accident Before You Have to Call the Police to Avoid a Hit and Run Charge?

The 24-hour “grace period” rule only applies to accidents that happen on public or private property that is NOT a public road or highway. In other words, if you are in an accident on public road or highway, there is no 24-hour grace period. On a public road, you are required to stop immediately and provide your information to the other driver.

On private roads, private property, or public property that isn’t a public road, there is a 24-hour grace period.

See link for more detailed discussion

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We get calls from time to time from people seeking to expunge their OVI, speeding or other traffic offense from their Ohio record.  Unfortunately, under Ohio law, traffic offenses cannot be expunged. 
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A recent Ohio case examines the community caretaker / emergency exception to the warrant requirement.

In this case, an officer said he heard someone yelling in a car and the driver “gesturing wildly.” He pulled him over saying he believed an assault might be occurring and ultimately charged him with OVI. Turns about the guy was just arguing with his wife on the phone - which the wife confirmed.  

The driver challenged the stop arguing that yelling does not fall within Ohio's “community caretaker / emergency” exception to the warrant requirement.  The court agreed, the stop was found unconstitutional and the OVI dismissed. 

The case discusses the history of the community caretaker exception - involving an officer pulling over a car because he believed the driver was lost.  This was of course found to be incompatible with the Fourth Amendment.  
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Discussion of recent Upper Arlington court of appeals case in which all field sobriety tests were thrown out due to improper instruction or lack of evidence. 

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Proposed H.B. 469 (Annie's Law) is currently under consideration by the Ohio General Assembly.  The bill would amend Ohio’s OVI law as it applies to first-time offenders charged with an OVI.

Under the proposed law, any first-time offender whose driver’s license has been suspended may file for driving privileges with a certified interlock device during the suspension.
Riddell Law LLC
Riddell Law LLC
riddelllaw.com
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In a recent case out of Grandview Heights, the Ohio Court of Appeals held that asking for identification from someone on the street is not a seizure. The police don’t need to have reasonable suspicion or anything more than a hunch in order to ask someone for their ID.

But when, as the Grandview police did here, the police ask for identification, then take the ID back to the cruiser and run a warrants check, constitional rights are implicated. If the police do a warrants check on nothing more than a hunch, the stop is unconstitutional and any drugs or other illegal discoveries after that are inadmissible in court.  State v. Westover, 2014-Ohio-1959.

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The Columbus Dispatch today has an article discussing Ohio’s revised “move over” law.
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The "operation" element of an OVI in Ohio is critical.  If the State does not put on evidence of actual operation, there can be no OVI conviction.  The case discussed in this post is a great example.  Here, the officer that testified in the case showed up after the driver was already out of the car.  Without testimony of observation of actual vehicle movement, the OVI conviction was overturned. 
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If you have been stopped, questioned and arrested or cited by the police, one of the first questions you should ask is whether the initial stop was constitutionally valid.  Generally, there are three types of interactions with police — each requiring different levels of suspicion by the police before they can stop or question you.

Which one of these does your case fall into?
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In the Fall, there is a substantial increase in street crime after the end of Daylight Savings Time, especially when it comes to robbery.  The experts guess that it may be due to the darkness during the early evening hour when it was light before.  The increase in crime is only for crimes that occur outdoors - fewer eyewitnesses, etc. 
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