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  • I found Gounaris and Abboud through good online reviews. Mr. Abboud handled my cases very professionally for two years. He truly takes his cases to heart and cares about his clients. He keeps you informed and has all the answers to all your questions. You really feel safe with Mr. Abboud as your lawyer. I would highly recommend him to anyone needing professional family law representation.

    Patty M.
  • Attorney Nick Gounaris handled my case and he did a wonderful job. I am very pleased with this law firm. I have never been in the situation I found myself in ever before and it was scary and confusing, but Nick and his staff were wonderful with answering my many questions and they were very sympathetic and understanding, always quick to respond when I would call. I am happy with the outcome of my case. If you find yourself in a situation that needs legal help, these are the guys to call!

    Melinda Q.
  • They did absolutely everything possible to help reduce the sentence and charges faced. The fees for their services were worth every cent and superior to any public defendant representation. They both put their hearts into their work and care like nobody else I have ever encountered in the legal system.

    Karis F.

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About Our Firm

Legal knowledge, case results, firm news, and more on our blog.

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Navigating a Violation of Protection Order in Ohio

| Read Time: 3 minutes

A protection order, which is also known as a restraining order, restricts many of the freedoms you take for granted. Protection orders can be difficult to obey because they can prevent you from seeing or even talking to your loved ones. A violation of a protection order further complicates an already difficult time in your life. Knowing what to do if you violate a protective order in Ohio is not easy. Understanding your legal rights is necessary to navigating a violation of a protective order successfully. Speaking with Gouraris Abboud’s protective order violation defense lawyers is your first step toward regaining your freedom. Types of Protective Orders Ohio law recognizes four types of protective orders. Ohio courts have authority to issue: Domestic violence temporary protective orders, Civil protection orders, Criminal protection orders, and Anti-stalking or sexually oriented offense protection orders. Courts issue domestic violence temporary protective orders to prevent further abuse or violence for a limited time until a permanent order issues. Judges also issue criminal protective orders to prevent violence between a person accused of certain crimes and the victim. Domestic relations judges issue civil protective orders during a divorce or other family law matters. Civil protective orders apply to people of the same family or household. Penalties for Violation of a Protection Order in Ohio Prosecutors and judges in Ohio take violations of protection orders seriously. Prosecutors ask for long jail or prison sentences and stiff terms of probation. Also, judges sentence people to long prison terms and strict probation terms for violating a protective order. Ohio law defines violating a protection order as a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction for a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio carries a six-month maximum jail sentence and a fine up to $1,000.  A person who violates a protection order might face felony charges if aggravating factors apply. Violating a protection order is a fifth-degree felony if the person was previously convicted of: Violating a protection order that protects a minor, a criminal protection order, a stalking protection order, a domestic violence protection order, or a temporary order;  Having two or more convictions for menacing, stalking, or trespassing with the same victim as specified in the order; or Having at least one prior conviction for violating a protection order.  Violating a protection order escalates to a third-degree felony if the violation occurred during the commission of a felony.  Possible Defenses Ohio courts have jurisdiction to convict a person if they violate a protection order in Ohio even though another state issued it. However, an Ohio court cannot convict a person for violating a protection order issued by another state if the order does not comply with federal law.  Other defenses depend on the nature of the alleged violation because each situation is unique. Some alleged victims might report an offense that never happened. Still other alleged victims could contact the defendant and report that the accused initiated the contact. Alternatively, the contact between the two parties could be accidental or insignificant.  Arguing that you did not have sufficient notice of the protective order is another viable option in the right case. You could not be held responsible for violating an order if you did not receive proper notice. Should I Hire an Attorney If I Violated a Protection Order? Shouldering the burden of representing yourself is a dangerous proposition.  The prospect of going to jail or prison is high if found guilty of violating a restraining order. Also, the court could order you to complete probation and wear a monitoring device.  There are other implications, as well. Violating a protective order remains on your record and cannot be erased. Additionally, you could experience difficulty finding sufficient housing and exploring educational or career opportunities, and you will not be able to possess a firearm. Meeting with an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney is the most crucial step you can take when deciding to represent yourself. The future consequences significantly outweigh any money you save representing yourself. Contact Us Right Away with Any Questions You Have Gounaris Abboud’s violation of protective order defense lawyers will use their tremendous experience to guide you through this challenging time in your life. Our former prosecutors use their vast courtroom knowledge to develop successful defense strategies. Contact us today at 937-222-1515 for a free consultation.

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Understanding Disorderly Conduct in Ohio

| Read Time: 4 minutes

Disorderly conduct is a significant offense in Ohio. Although the charge is either a minor misdemeanor or a fourth-degree misdemeanor, a conviction carries severe implications for the accused.  Many people only consider the sanctions imposed by a judge when they think about penalties for violating Ohio’s criminal law. But convictions for criminal charges could also have other devastating consequences.  Speaking with a highly qualified Ohio criminal defense attorney from Gounaris Abboud could help you better comprehend your rights and develop a defense plan that minimizes the impact of an Ohio disorderly conduct charge. Disorderly Conduct in Ohio Disorderly conduct is a charge police often use to end a potentially dangerous or tumultuous situation. Ohio’s legislature wrote the disorderly conduct law broadly so that police could use their arrest powers to preserve the peace as circumstances dictate. The difference between protected speech and disorderly conduct is sometimes a narrow margin. A person can exercise their rights to free expression. However, Ohio’s disorderly conduct statute limits freedom of expression when the behavior alarms, annoys, or threatens public order.  Different Types of Disorderly Conduct Ohio law considers a variety of behaviors to be disorderly. Law enforcement officers can charge a person for disorderly conduct for inconveniencing, annoying, or alarming another person by recklessly Threatening harm to another person or property, fighting, or engaging in turbulent behavior; Being unreasonably noisy, uttering an offensive or coarse gesture, or communicating grossly abusive language; Provoking a violent response by insulting, challenging, or taunting another; Blocking roads or access to property; or Creating a situation that could physically harm another person by acting without a lawful or reasonable purpose. The person charged for disorderly conduct in Ohio need not be intoxicated or impaired under these circumstances.  Disorderly Conduct in Ohio While Intoxicated Ohio’s disorderly conduct law also pertains to situations when people are voluntarily intoxicated, which is sometimes called “drunk and disorderly.” The police need not prove the person under arrest for disorderly while intoxicated had a blood alcohol limit of 0.08 or above. Instead, the police have probable cause to arrest if the person appeared intoxicated according to the ordinary person. Police in Ohio could charge drunk and disorderly when: The person is in a public place or with two or more people engaging in conduct that is inconvenient, alarming, or annoying; or  The person created a condition that risks physical harm to others or to property. Operating a vehicle or watercraft under the influence does not violate the disorderly conduct law in Ohio, though you may be subject to other charges for doing so. Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Ohio Ohio disorderly conduct penalties depend on the circumstances of your arrest.  Disorderly conduct is a minor misdemeanor and punishable by a fine of $150 unless aggravating factors apply.  Aggravated disorderly conduct is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. A person convicted of a fourth-degree misdemeanor in Ohio faces up to 30 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $250.  Ohio law defines aggravating factors under the disorderly conduct statute as: Persistent disorderly conduct after receiving a warning to stop the disorderly behavior; Committing the offense in the vicinity of a school or within a school safety zone; Acting disorderly during an emergency such as a fire, disaster, riot, accident, or another emergency while in the presence of police of other emergency personnel performing their duties at the scene; Acting disorderly at an emergency facility such as a hospital in the presence of emergency personnel while the emergency personnel attends to their duties; and Having three convictions of disorderly conduct while intoxicated. Discussing the allegations with a dedicated Ohio criminal defense attorney can help you better understand the charges filed against you. Disorderly Conduct and College Students Acting like a fool while drunk in a dorm room is one thing; doing the same in public is entirely different. College students should be wary about losing total control over their faculties while drinking or in situations where peaceful actions could turn riotous.  A college student found guilty of disorderly conduct could receive a suspension from school, suffer removal from college programs, or face other disciplinary action from their institution. The school’s disciplinary action could reflect poorly on the student when pursuing a professional career or furthering their education. Possible Defenses to Disorderly Conduct Charges Negotiating a favorable disposition of the case might be the best course of action in the circumstances. A skilled criminal defense lawyer knows how to negotiate disorderly conduct from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a minor misdemeanor or negotiate a dismissal altogether. Individuals charged with disorderly conduct have the absolute right to proceed to trial. They could argue the First Amendment protected their actions.  Contact Gounaris Abboud Immediately With Any Question You Have About Disorderly Conduct in Ohio Gounaris Abboud’s criminal defense lawyers understand that you or your loved one is in a tough spot. Speaking with a passionate, dedicated, and experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney about your charges of disorderly conduct in Ohio could give you the confidence you need to make the best decision for you. Our criminal defense attorneys are former prosecutors who use their experience to their clients’ advantage. Call Gounaris Abboud today at 937-222-1515 to learn more. 

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Is Sexting a Crime in Ohio?

| Read Time: 4 minutes

Sexting is a dangerous activity, even if fun or flirtatious. Photos, commentary, video, and other electronically distributed sexual material do not necessarily disappear after selecting the delete button. A digital record remains intact anytime anyone uses the internet or electronic devices to transmit information.  The law often lags behind technology. To date, there are no laws prohibiting sexting in Ohio. Existing laws could fill the gaps to protect children from viewing, creating, and distributing obscene materials.   You must act swiftly if you or a loved one is under investigation for or charged with a crime involving sexting in Ohio. The Ohio sex crimes defense lawyers with Gounaris Abboud are former prosecutors with a wealth of knowledge and experience to defend sexting crimes in Ohio. Sexting Between Consenting Adults Sexting laws for adults in Ohio are virtually non-existent, except for one statute. The Ohio legislature passed the law to protect people from becoming victims of revenge porn. The Ohio law criminalizes distributing images of other people by electronic means without that person’s consent. The law applies to images of anyone aged 18 or older shown nude or in a sexual act. The crime is complete if the subject can be identified. Sexting Involving Minors  Unlike sexting between adults, sexting that involves a minor can have serious consequences. A number of crimes relating to sexting can be committed by both adults and teenagers. Juveniles seldom realize you can get in trouble for sexting. Teenagers notoriously yield to impulses without thinking about the consequences. When in the moment, they would hardly believe that it is illegal to send nudes to each other even if shared by significant others. A teen might also find it hard to believe that receiving a nude photo of another is a crime when they received it by accident. Unfortunately, many teenagers are now realizing distributing private or even unsolicited sext messages could be criminal.  Child Pornography As a society, we are just beginning to appreciate the possible harm that sending nudes might do to the person in the photo. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors at the state and federal levels aggressively pursue purveyors of child pornogrpahy. In Ohio, possession of child pornogrpahy is a felony called pandering obscentiy. Ohio’s pandering obscenity law prohibits creating, publishing, reproducing, or possessing obscene material depicting people under 18. Thus, two 17-year-old teens involved in an intimate relationship who sext could be prosecuted for possession of child pornography in Ohio. Moreover, the law would apply to an adult sending or receiving a photo of a person under 18. Child Endangerment Parents and guardians have a duty to protect minor children in their care. Their duty extends to protecting their minor children from appearing in obscene material, including being depicted in nude photographs. Ohio law punishes parents and guardians who allow the minor children in their care to appear in nude or obscene material. Disseminating Matter Harmful to Juveniles Ohio law provides that no person shall sell, give, or send obscene or harmful materials to a juvenile. Ohio’s legislature wrote the law broadly to cover a wide range of behavior. The law applies to teens sending obscene matter to each other, like intimate photos or videos. The law also applies to anyone 18 or older sending nude photos or sexting with a person younger than 18. Punishments in Ohio Punishments for sexting in Ohio vary depending on the severity of the allegations. Most crimes in Ohio that apply to sexting are felonies. Punishments for felony convictions in Ohio include lengthy prison terms, fines, and probation.  The sentencing judge can impose strict probationary terms to protect victimized children and help reform the offender. Probationary terms might include: Forfeiting cell phones or other electronic devices; Staying away from and having no contact with the alleged victim in the case, even if that person is a friend or significant other; Sex-offender treament or counseling; and Other provisions designed to protect children.  The potential sanctions a court could impose are severe. The collateral consequences of sexting are severe as well. A conviction or delinquency for a sexting crime in Ohio can hinder educational and career advancement and restrict personal freedoms for a felony conviction. Sex Offender Registration Ohio law requires people convicted of certain sex crimes to register with the state’s sex offender registry. An adult convicted or a juvenile adjudicated a delinquent child for a sex crime involving a child must register as a convicted sex offender. A person on the sex offender registry must re-register his or her address every year. Ohio’s sex offender registry will classify the offender. The public has access to information about a convicted sex offender depending on the person’s classification level. Possible Defenses Anyone facing charges relating to sexting in Ohio might not see any way out of the situation. However, a dedicated Ohio criminal defense attorney will evaluate your case to determine any defenses that could help you avoid a conviction or minimize the severity of the punishment. A skilled Ohio criminal defense lawyer with experience defending sexting charges in Ohio could pursue options such as: Filing a motion to suppress evidence illegally seized by police, such as cell phone data and downloads; Arguing temporary or unintentional possession of obscene material depticing a child, especially if you did not solicit the material; Arguing entrapment if you were charged based on a police sting operation; or Negotiating a sentence reduction. The types of defenses argued depend on the individual circumstances of the case. Defenses such as consent do not apply when sexting with a minor. Your Ohio sexting defense lawyer will explain all your options to guide you toward the decision that is best for you. Come to Us With All Your Questions Our Ohio criminal defense lawyers are always available to answer any question you have concerning sexting or any other criminal matter. Call or text Gounaris Abboud today at 937-222-1515 to learn how our aggressive, compassionate, and dedicated criminal defense lawyers could help you preserve your freedom.

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