Ohio Criminal Law

It Is The Anniversary Of The Parking Ticket

August 11th, 2014

parking ticketSeventy nine years ago this month, the Reverend Charles H. North of the Oklahoma Third Pentecostal Holiness Church became the first person to every receive a parking ticket.  The controversial “Park-O-Meter” had been installed in the prior weeks and caused a stir amongst the residents.

According to his grandson Dwight Thurmond the parking citation was issued after his grandfather rooted through his coat for the required nickel.  Finding none, he trudged over to the nearby grocery store to get change. Little did he know he was about to become a historical footnote. When he returned he curiously examined a white piece of paper which had been left on his windshield.  According to the story as related HERE by thenewspaper.com, “[o]n that day he had his daughters in the car (one being my mother) they were to tell any policeman their dad was getting change,” said Thurmond. “They didn’t recognize the man who greeted them as a policeman, and they thought the ticket he placed on the wiper blade was an ad flyer.”  Rev. North became the first person in the United States to ever receive a parking ticket for an expired meter.

Weeks later, in court, he was the first ever person to trot out the “I was just getting change” excuse in court.  It must have been compelling because, according to legend, the citation was dismissed.

Parking ticket attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  Email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more information about your parking ticket check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

The Militarized Police Have Become The Founders’ Worst Nightmare

July 22nd, 2014

militarized police force

 

In a great article for the New American, attorney Joe Wolverton reviews the horrors of militarized police set forth in the Randy Balko book, “Rise of the Warrior Cop.”  I have expressed my admiration for the book as a call for a return to “the law” as it was traditionally understood throughout our history.  The publisher of Balko’s Rise of the Warrior Cop book, explains:

 

The American approach to law enforcement was forged by the experience of revolution. Emerging as they did from the shadow of British rule, the country’s founders would likely have viewed police, as they exist today, as a standing army, and therefore a threat to liberty. Even so, excessive force and disregard for the Bill of Rights have become epidemic in today’s world. According to civil liberties reporter Radley Balko, these are all symptoms of a generation-long shift to increasingly aggressive, militaristic, and arguably unconstitutional policing—one that would have shocked the conscience of America’s founders.

 

Listed below are other quotes attributed in the article.  They set forth a very different law enforcement than the militarized police forces currently patrolling our cities in tanks and armored personnel carriers.  During the Virginia ratifying convention, James Madison described a standing army as the “greatest mischief that can happen.”

 

Fellow delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, George Mason put a finer point on it:

 

No man has a greater regard for the military gentlemen than I have. I admire their intrepidity, perseverance, and valor. But when once a standing army is established in any country, the people lose their liberty. When, against a regular and disciplined army, yeomanry are the only defence [sic], — yeomanry, unskilful and unarmed, — what chance is there for preserving freedom? Give me leave to recur to the page of history, to warn you of your present danger. Recollect the history of most nations of the world. What havoc, desolation, and destruction, have been perpetrated by standing armies!

 

In The Federalist, No. 29, Alexander Hamilton echoes not only Mason’s warning against a standing army, but his solution to the threat, as well.

 

If circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little, if at all, inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. This appears to me the only substitute that can be devised for a standing army, and the best possible security against it, if it should exist.

 

In commenting on Blackstone’s Commentaries, founding era jurist St. George Tucker speaks as if he foresaw our day and the fatal combination of an increasingly militarized police force and the disarmament of civilians:

 

Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any colour or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.

 

In an essay published in the Wall Street Journal last August, Radley Balko presented chilling and convincing evidence of the blurring of the line between cop and soldier:

 

Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment — from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers — American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop — armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

 

Balko rightly connects the menace of the martial police with the decline in liberty and a disintegration of legal boundaries between sheriffs and generals.  The threat of the police becoming a standing army of the sort our forefathers believed to be “inconsistent with liberty” is a reality on our streets.  Understanding the issues of law and policy raised by a militarized police force will inform your understanding of any number of issues we will be struggling with as Americans for the next generation.

 

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more on militarized police issues or to schedule a free DUI consultation contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

 

OVI Checkpoints Are Corrupt

June 25th, 2014

ovi checkpointsOVI Checkpoints are corrupt! That is why I fight against them.

In his book Why People Obey The Law, legal scholar Tom Tyler argues that compliance with the law has less to do with deterrence (fear of penalty) than with the rational decision that complying with the law is in a person’s self-interest. More important to their compliance is the decision that following the law is the right thing to do. Having the biggest impact on their perception of the law is the belief in the legitimacy of the authority. “People who go to traffic court are less concerned with the outcome – even when it is a costly ticket or fine – than with the fairness of the process.” Vanderbilt, Tom. Traffic: why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us), 2008, pp 235. Thus the societal norm that driving within the speed limit and driving without being impaired, is an agreed upon social construct and is enforced best by our agreement that violating these laws is dangerous and deserving of punishment.

We can conclude from the evidence above that when there is less respect for the law and/or the process is deemed to be unfair the most important factor in compliance is compromised. Less effective governance means the law are less effective, which means that people are less likely to follow them. How do we know this? The answer lies in whether or not the enforcement of the law is perceived as corrupt. According to indices compiled by the anti corruption watchdog Transparency International, the higher a country (or law) ranks on the corruption index the less interested in following the law. “Lode Vereeck, a Belgian economist at Hasselt University, has noted that in survey after survey of people’s attitudes toward traffic regulations, Belgians seem resistant; they’re more hostile than their neighbors to things like seat belt laws, lower speed limits, and drunk-driving laws” (thus more likely to drink before driving). Vanderbilt, Id. Compared to the Netherlands (Belgiums nearest neighbor and best basis of comparison) the Belgians see their laws as more corrupt, leading to less adherence to the law and more traffic fatalities. The nations that rank as the least corrupt – such countries as Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Sweden and Singapore – are the safest places in the world to drive. The lesson we draw from the research is that wealth and enforcement affect traffic fatalities less than real or perceived corruption.

The premise of my argument herein is that OVI checkpoints and speed/red-light cameras are perceived as corrupt by the vast majority of citizens. Our reliance on speed cameras and the attendant unfairness of the enforcement lessens the citizens adherence to the law. The perceived unfairness of a sobriety checkpoint lessens and diminishes the drunk driving law. The research suggests that following the law because it is fair and the right thing to do are more important than checkpoints and cameras. Which raises the question to law enforcement and to the political elite. If fairness is diminished at the cost of lives, are you doing a disservice by continuing the “corrupt” practices. At some level you are making the decision between money for your department/city over the potential loss of life due to possible disrespect for the law. I would argue (anecdotally) that respect for all law enforcement is diminished when they are perceived to be sanctioning unfair enforcement. The courts are lowered in esteem when they are seen as unfair or “rigged” against the average citizen.

The reason that I put forth this argument is because I have spent my life dedicated to our system of justice. I believe in our courts and in (the overwhelming majority of) law enforcement officials. I cannot go by silently and see the things I gave my life to broken. I do not want our children to grow up in a world where the rule of law is scoffed at as a naive concept. If my children (or yours) go into law enforcement I do not want their lives put in danger because they are seen as “other” rather than the agents of service and protection. This issues goes to the very core of what we are and what we want our communities to be. We can and should do better because “we are all in this together.”

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and fighting OVI checkpoints.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

To learn more about OVI checkpoints, speed cameras and red light cameras check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

A Trial Attorney’s Creed.

June 18th, 2014
trial attorney's creedA Trial Attorney’s Creed!

When someone asks, “How can you defend drunk drivers?” I respond with this quote from Don Quioxte.  I think it is the perfect creed for a trial attorney.

“It is not the responsibility of knights errant to discover whether the afflicted, the enchained and the oppressed whom they encounter on the road are reduced to these circumstances and suffer this distress for their vices, or for their virtues: the knight’s sole responsibility is to succor them as people in need, having eyes only for their sufferings, not for their misdeeds.” 
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Trial attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio and fighting Ohio red light cameras.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more on Trial Attorney Charles Rowland check these city-specific sites at the following links:
FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Do You Offer Free DUI Consultation?

April 14th, 2014

free dui consultationWe offer a free DUI consultation because the most important decision you will make in defending your case will be hiring the right DUI attorney.  Here is a common sense guide to making the most of your time.

You should walk out of your free DUI consultation confident in the knowledge that you have spoken to someone who has real experience defending DUI cases.  Ask the following and, if you don’t get straight answers, get up and leave: Have you ever tried a DUI case to a jury?  Have you ever tried a felony DUI case?  Have you ever tried a “test” case (a case where the person blew into a breath machine)?  Have you ever tried a “refusal” case (a case where the person refused to blow into a breath test machine)?  Have you ever tried a DUI case in federal court?   Have you ever argued cases involving dentures?  Have you ever argued a case involving AMBIEN sleep medication?  Have you ever represented doctors? Dentists? Pilots? Paramedics? Athletes? Military Personnel?  How many DUI Motions to Suppress have you done?  Have you ever done a motion or trial in the court where I will appear?

Have the attorney explain in detail what each step in the DUI court process will be like.  Have your attorney explain what he or she will be doing at each stage and what will be required of you at each stage.  This is also a good way of determining what level of communication you can expect from your attorney and how your attorney approaches the problems in your case.  Have the attorney explain what possible defenses he or she will raise.  Ask how the attorney what his or her philosophy is regarding pre-trial hearings.  Ask what his or her negotiation philosophy is based upon, what books they have read about negotiation and how they will approach the negotiation in your case.  Ask how the decision to go forward on a motion to suppress will be made.  If the attorney won’t (or can’t) explain things easily to you, why should you expect them to communicate well with a jury.

Here are some common-sense questions to determine what you will be charged for:

  • Will you be charged a flat fee or will you pay a retainer fee and have an open-ended bill?
  • Will your attorney be incentivized to keep the case going on longer?
  • Will your attorney be incentivized to take any plea just to end the case?
  • Will you be charged copy fees, filing fees, paralegal fees, or any other fees on top of your bill?
  • Will you be billed monthly, weekly or all at once?
  • Does the fee include the costs of a trial?
  • Does the fee include the costs of an appeal?
  • Does the fee include representation on case-related issues after the case is over (driver’s license issues)?

Do not hire an attorney that promises outcomes or implies that they are the only lawyer who could handle your case.  You know better!  All that ethical counsel can promise is their best effort at defending you.  Some lawyers, through hard work, may be in a better position to recognize issues in your DUI case.   No lawyer will win all their cases, but you can’t win issues you don’t know exist.  Hire the person who is best situated to be your guide. As the old cowboys used to say, “he’ll do to ride the river with.”  Like all relationships, you will know when it is right. Rely on your judgment and experience and trust your instincts.  You will know whether or not you have made a good decision.

We hope this article will help you make the most of your free DUI consultation.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

To schedule a free DUI consultation contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville