Ohio Supreme Court finds the Warrantless Search of Student’s Unattended Book Bag did not violate the Fourth Amendment

On May 11, 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a decision in State v. Polk, reversing the decisions of the Franklin Court of Common Pleas and the Tenth District Court of Appeals.  The facts are as follows: A school bus driver found a book bag that was left on the bus.  The driver removed the bag from the bus and turned it over to the school safety officer.  The school had an unwritten policy to search unattended book bags to identify the owners and to ensure that there was no contraband contained in the book bags.  [Read more…]

Second District Court of Appeals Holds Canine Sniff Invalid

On May 5, 2017, the Second District Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the Darke County Common Pleas Court’s ruling suppressing evidence obtained from a canine sniff of a suspect’s vehicle during a traffic stop.

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Fifth District Court of Appeals Holds that Consent Search Invalid

On March 22, 2017, the Fifth District Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the Perry County Common Pleas Court’s ruling suppressing evidence obtained from the consent to search a suspect’s purse.

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Most of us are sympathetic if we see someone involved in an emergency situation.  If we witnessed a car crash where people appeared to be injured, we would not hesitate to phone for help.  If we saw someone fall off a ladder, we would call 911.  But have you ever considered whether you’d be the type of person who might try to take some action to save a victim from some peril he was in?

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You may be thinking that your debts are out of control, and that perhaps you should be looking into filing a bankruptcy. On the other hand, you are concerned that if you do file a bankruptcy, then your credit rating will take a big hit. How a bankruptcy would affect your credit score is a valid issue to consider, and is actually one of the most common concerns people have when considering how to deal with their debts.

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6 Urgent Questions Answered About Civil Demand Letters

This issue comes up quite frequently.  A person gets caught shoplifting from a store.  He is detained by loss prevention officers.  The stolen property is recovered.  He is served with a trespass notice, barring him from returning to the store.  In some cases, the police are not contacted.  The person goes home angry with himself, but relieved that he does not have a criminal case to worry about.  In other cases, the police are contacted and criminal charges are filed.  The person goes to court, gets the case resolved.  The person pays fines, court costs, and restitution for any items that were damaged or not recovered and thinks that the case is finally over and that he can put this incident behind him. [Read more…]

Ohio Legislature Seeks to Stop Extortion Mugshot Websites

On March 15, 2017, the Ohio House passed House Bill 6 (by a vote of 88-4) which is intended to prohibit private mugshot or criminal record websites that require the payment of a fee from an individual in order to have his/her mugshot or criminal records from the site. On March 16, 2017, the Bill was introduced to the Ohio Senate for its consideration. Horwitz & Horwitz, LLC applauds the efforts of the Ohio Legislature in protecting the rights of Ohio citizens. [Read more…]


The employment situation in Ohio was pretty bleak for the past few years. You may have found yourself out of a job with no replacement in sight and mounting bills that had to be paid. Or you may have employment that is seasonable, such as landscaping or construction, and have to rely on unemployment compensation to cover the periods when you’re not able to do your work. For whatever reason, you applied to the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services (OBES), and were awarded a weekly benefit amount. [Read more…]

Tenth District Court of Appeals Upholds Trial Court’s Decision Invalidating OVI Arrest

On February 28, 2017, the Tenth District Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the Franklin County Municipal Court’s ruling suppressing evidence and invalidating an OVI arrest, due to the lack of probable cause.

In the case of State v. Bracken, 2017-Ohio-721, the Tenth District issued a rather brief decision explaining its reasoning.  The relevant portions state as follows: [Read more…]

Ohio Supreme Court Reconsiders Its Previous Decision and Holds that the Level of Offense for Cocaine Possession is Determined by the Total Weight of the Drug Involved, Including Filler Materials

On March 6, 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court did an “about face”, a “180”, a “flip-flop”, or whatever you want to call it, and vacated its landmark decision issued on December 23, 2016, in the case of State v. Gonzales. As you may recall, I wrote a blog post (//horwitzlawsite.com/ohio-supreme-court-holds-cocaine-cases-state-must-prove-weight-actual-cocaine-excluding-weight-filler-materials/) regarding this important decision. The December 2017 decision required the State in cocaine possession cases to prove the weight of actual cocaine in determining the level of the offense, independent of any filler materials. It acknowledged that modern technology now makes “purity analysis” possible. All seemed just in the world, as people possessing a small amount of actual cocaine mixed in with a large amount of filler material, would be prosecuted based upon the actual amount of illegal substance they possessed. [Read more…]