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Old 06-04-2012, 00:05   #13
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Originally Posted by matthew.s View Post
Is there a law that says you have to look at those "Rules of Conduct" ... are you not at fault for not being aware of the policy of the property owners? ... if you go into a new place, and you don't glace at the small print on the inconspicuous sign, are you at fault for having not looked at the rules of the establishment? ... sneak the sign up on me after a period where they didn't have one.
You keep asking for determinations like there's a hard and fast answer. What you have to keep in mind is that the law is administered by individuals. Human, imperfect, biased individuals. There is great latitude in how these things are determined. You're very much at the mercy of the individual decisions of police, prosecutors, judges and jury. Unless you have very deep pockets, it probably won't be feasible for you to appeal a decision you don't like, and you're unlikely to be successful if you do, unless the prosecutor or judge committed a grievous procedural error, or something of similar severity.

You DON'T want to get in the situation where you have to defend your actions before a court, because so much is out of your hands at that point. It doesn't really matter what the absolute perfect, technical determination of your behavior is -- people you don't know and who don't really care about you will make the determination, and their own biases and predispositions and whether they got up on the wrong side of the bed that morning will figure into their decisions, and you'll have to live with it.

You can swear up and down that you didn't see the sign, and argue the the sign wasn't at all conspicuous, but if the officer on the scene is unforgiving, the prosecutor is out to get you, the judge is unsympathetic and the jury isn't convinced you're telling the truth, or believes the arresting officer and business owner over you (and they have great credibility), it might not matter. I'm just saying worst case scenario, here, but when you're putting your fate in the hands of strangers, that's what you have to expect.

ETA: I'd say the prosecutor is going to argue that you've been granted a great privilege by being given a concealed carry permit. You've taken Ohio-approved CCW training, and you should be held to a high standard of behavior regarding being aware and conscientious about the places you are and are not allowed to carry. He'll say you should be presumed to know to check for a notice before you enter a business and that you not seeing the notice represents negligence on your part, not the business owner's for not making the sign "big enough" for you. What? You want it in 10 foot flashing lights? That's the attitude you should expect to get from the prosecutor.

And, if the business owner says "The sign is plenty big enough, it's easy to see!" and if the arresting officer says "I could see the sign just fine," you are royally screwed. Even if it wasn't easy to see. The business owner doesn't like CCW in the first place, so he's not going to be a friendly witness, and some police don't like CCWs, or just have pretty rigid views about the rules, and their testimony will carry a ton of weight at the trial.
"A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all." -- Justice Antonin Scalia, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. v. HELLER, June 26, 2008

Last edited by cloudbuster; 06-04-2012 at 00:15..
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