Second District Court of Appeals Holds that Suppression of Defendant’s Statements to Police was Proper

On May 19, 2017, the Second District Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court’s ruling suppressing statements made to a detective at the Huber Heights Police Department.

In the case of State v. Villegas, 2017-Ohio-2887, Villegas was arrested outside a Huber Heights shopping center, having been found in possession of dozens of counterfeit or cloned credit cards in his vehicle. Villegas was taken to the Huber Heights Police Department, where he was placed in a holding cell. Villegas was later taken to an interview room in the detective section of the police department, where a detective read Villegas his Miranda rights using a pre-interview form. Villegas declined to speak to the detective, and he did not initial or sign the form. The detective asked no additional questions, and Villegas did not request an attorney. Villegas was then escorted back to the holding cell.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]


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?

[Read more…]


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.

[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…]

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 (// 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…]

Ohio Supreme Court Holds that Prior Juvenile Adjudications are not Prior “Convictions” for Subsequent Adult Offenses

Ohio Revised Code section 2901.08(A) states:

If a person is alleged to have committed an offense and if the person previously has been adjudicated a delinquent child or juvenile traffic offender for a violation of a law or ordinance, except as provided in division (B) of this section, the adjudication as a delinquent child or as a juvenile traffic offender is a conviction for a violation of the law or ordinance for purposes of determining the offense with which the person should be charged and, if the person is convicted of or pleads guilty to an offense, the sentence to be imposed upon the person relative to the conviction or guilty plea. [Read more…]

Ohio Supreme Court Holds that a Person is not subject to Criminal Prosecution in a Child Support Arrearage-Only Case

On December 23, 2016, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an important decision in the case of State v. Pittman, Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-8314 involving the non-payment of a child support arrearage, thereby settling a dispute among various appellate courts.

In that case, Pittman was ordered to pay child support for his two children in 1988.  In 2006, the Family Court issued a judgment finding the children to be emancipated, as they had turned 18 years old and were no longer in high school.  As a result, the order of current child support terminated.  However, over the period between 1988 and 2006, Pittman fell behind in his child support obligation by approximately $34,000.  This $34,000 arrearage was addressed by ordering Pittman to pay approximately $237 per month until the arrearage was satisfied.  Pittman failed to make the $237 monthly arrearage payment as ordered.  [Read more…]