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Attorney General Offers Training on Evaluating Witnesses and Their Testimony

The Attorney General’s Professional Development Program will host a special training for prosecutors and law enforcement — Evaluating Witnesses and their Testimony — from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 8, at the State Fire Marshal’s Academy, 8895 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg.


Meeting high ethical standards takes forethought, determination

 “The ethics of excellence are grounded in action — what you actually do, rather than what you say you believe. Talk, as the saying goes, is cheap.”
    Price Prichett,
Business advisor, speaker, author


Seremeth v. Board of County Commissioners — Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia), March 12, 2012

Question: Does the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) apply to criminal investigations?
Quick answer: Yes. If you don’t provide the suspect with reasonable accommodations for his disability, you may be civilly liable.


United States v. McCraney — Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee), March 21, 2012

Question: Can a peace officer search a suspect’s car incident to an arrest?
Quick answer: It depends. If the arrested suspect was secured and not within reaching distance of the car’s interior, then you cannot justify a warrantless search of the car under the search incident to arrest exception.


United States v. Hampton — Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin), March 27, 2012

Question: Must peace officers ask clarifying questions when a suspect hedges on whether he wants an attorney present for questioning? 
Quick answer: No. If the suspect is ambiguous in requesting an attorney, officers are not constitutionally required to further clarify the suspect’s request and do not have to end questioning.


U.S. v. Cowan — Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota), March 23, 2012

Question: An officer found a key fob in a suspect’s pocket and used the fob’s remote panic alert to identify the suspect’s vehicle in a parking lot. Was a warrant required?
Quick answer: No. If there is reasonable suspicion for a pat-down, an officer can remove keys if there is probable cause to believe they were incriminating evidence. And using the keys to locate a vehicle falls into the automobile exception when it is likely to lead to incriminating evidence.


State v. Holmes — Fifth District Court of Appeals (Ashland, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Guernsey, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Richland, Stark, and Tuscarawas counties)

Question: Can a peace officer pat down someone walking through a parking lot in a high-crime area when the person appears to be avoiding the officer?
Quick answer: No, not without reasonable, individualized suspicion that the person is involved in criminal activity.


State v. Henderson — Sixth District Court of Appeals (Erie, Fulton, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams, and Wood counties), March 30, 2012

Question: Does a single-photo lineup violate a suspect’s constitutional due process?
Quick answer: No, not if the lineup is used to confirm the identity of an already known suspect.


State v. Johnson — Eighth District Court of Appeals (Cuyahoga County), March 29, 2012

Question: Can a police dispatch call provide the probable cause needed to justify a warrantless entry of a home?
Quick answer: Yes, if the call reveals that exigent circumstances exist.


State v. Eal — Tenth District Court of Appeals (Franklin County), March 29, 2012

Question: (1) When you get a warrant for child pornography, do you need to attach images? (2) Does a search warrant for digital evidence become stale when there are months between the alleged crime and the warrant’s issue date?
Quick answer: (1) No. However, you should be as specific as possible in describing the content of the images so it is clear they are contraband. (2) No. Digital evidence tends to be persistently kept, so a search warrant can be issued months after a transaction.