Author: Benjamin Luftman

Ohio Supreme Court ruled that trafficking charge applies even without drugs

09.06.2010 in Criminal Law, Misc, News

In a 6-0 ruling, The Supreme Court of Ohio decided yesterday that drug dealers still face major penalties even if the drugs that were meant to be sold were never found.

“The earlier decision said a detectable amount of the controlled substance must be present in the drugs that are offered for sale before a court can impose the stiffer penalty for major drug offenders.”

The facts in the opinion state that “During a sting operation, petitioner Oliver Lucien Garr told a police informant that he would sell him two kilograms of cocaine. Garr and the informant met in a parking lot with the understanding that Garr would deliver the cocaine to the informant, but due to a disagreement over payment they did not complete the sale. Garr never produced any cocaine, and the state never recovered any substance offered for sale in connection with the events. Police arrested Garr several months later.”

Garr argued that there was no “detectable amount of a controlled substance” and referenced State v. Chandler. The trial court rejected his argument and imposed a mandatory ten-year prison sentence concluding that Chandler does not apply to offer-to-sell trafficking cases such as Garr’s.

In the news: Columbus Dispatch article and The Supreme Court of Ohio summary

Ohio Supreme Court facing attacks only one week after decision

09.06.2010 in DUI & Traffic Defense, News

Two Ohio lawmakers are working on bills to overturn the decision made last week that cops are able to cite drivers without a radar gun.

“State Rep. Robert Hagan, a Democrat from Youngstown, and state Sen. Tim Grendell, a Republican from suburban Cleveland, are working on bills that would require officers to use radar detectors or other technology to verify a vehicle’s speed before issuing a ticket.”

Information from: The Plain Dealer and Cincinnati.com

Court rules that police officer can cite for estimated speeding

02.06.2010 in DUI & Traffic Defense, Misc, News

According to a 5-1 decision, the Ohio Supreme Court made a ruling that a trained police officer can cite you for a speeding ticket by visual estimation alone.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruling stated “A police officer’s unaided visual estimation of a vehicle’s speed is sufficient evidence to support a conviction for speeding…if the officer is trained” Although, the 27-year-old Akron area resident took the case to trial and fought the ticket, he lost at the highest level after the Supreme Court ruled in the officer’s favor.

See what Columbus drivers are saying about this ruling: Columbus Dispatch comments

Watch out for the new radar gun in town – TruCAM

12.05.2010 in DUI & Traffic Defense, Misc, News

If you have received a speeding ticket, make sure to check your ticket thoroughly to verify that the initial stop wasn’t based on a TruCAM speed violation. Laser Technologies, Inc. has created the LTI 20-20 TruCAM™ to be the most advanced digital video camera/laser ever designed.

Laser Technologies states that “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a video tells the whole story.”

This new radar gun has yet to hit the shelves in most of the U.S. and as far as we know Columbus Police Department has the only TruCam east of Colorado. According to Laser Technologies, this laser speed gun will automatically record a video motion clip for any vehicle exceeding or equal to the preset value, making it almost impossible for a defendant to claim an officer has mistakenly clocked another vehicle. In addition, the TruCAM is also capable of measuring the speed, traveling time and distance between any two vehicles for “assured clear distance” violations.

To our knowledge, not a single court in the country has made a finding regarding the accuracy and reliability of the TruCAM. For TruCAM results to be admitted into evidence, a court has to take judicial notice of its accuracy and reliability by either relying on a previously reported case in the jurisdiction where the court made the finding or by hearing expert testimony from Laser Technology, Inc. Either way, until a judge takes judicial notice, everyone who has been pulled over and received a ticket should check the ticket to make sure the stop wasn’t based on a TruCAM result.

Product brochure:

TruCamBrochure-1