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Significant Changes to Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure

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Every year, amendments are proposed to improve the Ohio Rules of Practice and Procedure. These changes target not only criminal procedure, but civil and juvenile procedure as well. Most years, the proposed amendments are slight, but this year, the Ohio Supreme Court has proposed some substantial changes to the existing rules.

One of the major changes concerns tracking device search warrants. Currently, the laws regarding these types of warrants (Criminal Rule 41) give law enforcement officers three days to complete a search. There is no distinction between search warrant for property and the installation of a tracking device. According to a representative of the Supreme Court, three days is not enough time to install tracking devices accurately and safely

Another amendment concerns binding over misdemeanors when committed in conjunction with felonies. According to the Ohio Supreme Court, "The amendments to Criminal Rule 5 establish a general rule in favor of binding over misdemeanors, except for minor misdemeanors, committed with felonies as a part of the same criminal episode."

Effective Date of Amendments

The amendments to Criminal Rules 41 and 5 filed by the Supreme Court with the General Assembly on January 15, 2014 and refiled on April 30, 2014 shall take effect on July 1, 2014. They govern all proceedings in actions brought after they take effect and also all further proceedings in actions then pending, except to the extent that their application in a particular action pending when the amendments take effect would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the former procedure applies.