When you face criminal charges, you need the best lawyer you can get. The founders enshrined the right to an attorney in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution because it is critical for defendants to have legal counsel. If you were arrested, you should have received a Miranda warning informing you of your right to an attorney. As part of that warning, the officer probably said, “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.” This means that you have three choices for representation when facing criminal charges: Defend yourself without the assistance of an attorney, Ask for a court-appointed attorney, or Hire a criminal defense lawyer. While you can’t guarantee a successful outcome with any of these choices, hiring a criminal defense lawyer usually gives you the best legal representation. Defending yourself is a risky move because you may not understand the complexities of criminal law. Accepting a public defender seems like a good option, but these attorneys are often burdened with excessive workloads. Hiring an attorney can feel like a complicated challenge because there are so many lawyers out there. If you have the resources to hire a criminal defense lawyer, you may wonder, How do I choose a criminal defense attorney near me? Four Tips for Choosing a Criminal Defense Lawyer Here, we’ll share four tips that should make your criminal defense lawyer search easier. Closer Isn’t Always Better You may be tempted to choose a lawyer close to your home. You want to know, Is there a criminal defense lawyer near me? This is certainly a convenient option, but a close lawyer isn’t always best. Be willing to drive a little to find experienced legal representation. Ask for References Do you know anyone else who faced criminal charges? Ask that person if they had a good attorney. If you know an attorney who practices a different area of law—like divorces or real estate—ask them for a criminal defense attorney recommendation. Run an Attorney Search Online Find attorney reviews online on sites like Avvo, Facebook, or Google. Experienced attorneys may have hundreds of reviews posted online. Read through other clients’ feedback to feel more confident about your attorney choice. Consult Your Local or State Bar Association’s Attorney Directory The Ohio State Bar Association offers an attorney directory and even lets you sort results by specialty. Also, if you would like to understand more about the law surrounding your criminal charge, this site is full of legal information. Were you recently charged with a crime? If you were recently charged with a crime text us the details Text Us on Mobile For a Free Case Analysis Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer Once you find a potential attorney, you’ll want to schedule a consultation. This meeting allows you to share your experience with the attorney and receive legal direction. The attorney can offer potential strategies, and you can ask questions. When you speak to an attorney, be sure to ask them these questions: How long have you been practicing? Do you offer free consultations? Have you handled cases like mine? How do your fees work? If you decide to hire the criminal defense lawyer, you’ll sign a contract so your attorney can start your defense. Choosing the Right Attorney Is Crucial When you face criminal charges, your freedom is on the line. You need to pay careful attention to each step you take after you’re charged. Every interaction you have with the police could put your defense at risk. An attorney can advise you on what to say and not say when speaking to the police. You need a criminal defense lawyer with the knowledge to present your best defense. An experienced attorney will use every legal strategy available to set you free. You’ll want to find a law firm with a successful record and plenty of passion for their work. You’ll find all of these qualifications and more at Gounaris Abboud, LPA. Our Ohio criminal defense attorneys have a combined 50 years of legal experience. We offer confident, aggressive criminal defense as we attempt to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Get an Opinion on Your Case Today Stop worrying about how to defend yourself against criminal charges, and take action. Schedule a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA. We’ll review your case, answer your questions, and get started on your best defense. Call our knowledgeable law firm today at 937-222-1515 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.Read More
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Automobiles make getting around much easier than in the dusty days of the horse and buggy. However, cars can also be dangerous. The average car weighs about 3,000 pounds and can travel at speeds over 100 miles per hour. You may face criminal charges if you harm someone with your car. Vehicular assault charges could lead to potentially serious penalties and lasting consequences. Have you been charged with vehicular assault? If so, you need a knowledgeable Ohio attorney to fight for your freedom. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our skilled attorneys defend clients against vehicular assault charges. Here, we’ll share more information on vehicular assault in Ohio. What Is Vehicular Assault? Vehicular assault involves seriously harming someone while recklessly driving a vehicle. In Ohio, vehicular assault is a felony offense that carries harsh penalties. Factors such as harming someone with a vehicle while intoxicated heighten the charge to aggravated vehicular assault. What Are the Charges for Vehicular Assault? Ohio vehicular assault charges come in two forms: vehicular assault and aggravated vehicular assault. Vehicular Assault in Ohio You may face vehicular assault charges if you: Seriously harm someone while recklessly operating a vehicle, or Seriously harm someone while speeding in a construction zone. Reckless operation of a vehicle means that you intentionally drove in a way that you knew posed a danger to others. Examples of reckless driving might include excessive speeding or swerving in and out of traffic. If you are convicted of vehicular assault in Ohio, you face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. If this is a repeat offense, vehicular assault comes with a mandatory prison sentence. Aggravated Vehicular Assault in Ohio You may face aggravated vehicular assault charges if you: Seriously harm someone with a vehicle while driving under the influence, or Unsafely operate an aircraft and cause serious harm. Aggravated vehicular assault sentencing can increase penalties significantly. An aggravated vehicular assault conviction includes a prison sentence of one to five years and a license suspension of up to ten years. Penalties increase for repeat offenders. What Are the Defenses to Vehicular Assault in Ohio? As a criminal defendant, you don’t have to prove anything. The prosecutor has the burden of proof and must prove each element of vehicular assault beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are accused of vehicular assault or aggravated vehicular assault in Ohio, you need a skilled attorney to negotiate for a lesser charge. Your attorney’s job is to cast doubt on at least one element of the prosecutor’s case. Here are some common defenses we use in vehicular assault cases: You weren’t the person who was driving, You weren’t driving recklessly, There weren’t signs indicating a construction zone, You didn’t cause the accident, No one was seriously harmed by your vehicle, or Your breathalyzer or blood tests were inaccurate. When you meet with our Ohio vehicular assault attorneys, we will review your accident experience and formulate your best defense. How Our Lawyers Can Help You may feel stress and anxiety when you face vehicular assault charges. These worries are understandable because your freedom is on the line. Since vehicular assault is a serious charge, you should hire an experienced vehicular assault attorney. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our vehicular assault defense attorneys have a combined 50 years of legal experience. We offer dedicated, compassionate legal services, working to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Contact us online or call us today at 937-222-1515 to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable attorneys.Read More
The crime of sexual imposition, as defined by Ohio state law, can occur in a variety of scenarios. Some examples of acts that could fall under the definition of this offense include drugging someone’s drink to eliminate their ability to resist sexual contact or initiating sexual contact while someone is under the influence of surgical anesthesia. Although this crime typically carries misdemeanor charges, gross sexual imposition is a felony in most cases. Either way, a conviction can have a significantly negative effect on your life. You face prison time, fines, and the requirement to register as a sex offender. Fortunately, the law typically requires evidence beyond a victim’s accusation to get a conviction. If you are facing charges for this offense, contact an Ohio sex crimes lawyer as soon as possible for help. What Is Sexual Imposition in Ohio? The crimes of sexual imposition and gross sexual imposition, as defined by Ohio law, can be confusing and difficult to understand. The basis of either charge is sexual contact, which the statute defines as, “any touching of an erogenous zone of another, including without limitation the thigh, genitals, buttock, pubic region, or, if the person is a female, a breast, for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying either person.” Additionally, for either charge, the State must show that Sexual contact occurred with someone who is not the offender’s spouse; The offender caused someone else (non-spouse) to have sexual contact with the offender; or The offender caused two or more other people to have sexual contact. Whether the person is charged with sexual imposition or gross sexual imposition depends on the extent of the contact and the egregiousness of the conduct. Sexual Imposition A person can be charged with sexual imposition in the following scenarios:: The offender knows that the sexual contact is offensive to the other person; The offender knows that the other person’s judgment or ability is significantly impaired; The offender knows that the other person is unaware that sexual contact is occurring; The other person is 13 to 15 years old, whether or not the offender knows the age of the person, and the offender is at least age 18 and four or more years older than the victim; or The offender is a mental health professional, the other person is a mental health client or patient of the offender, and the offender induces the other person to submit by falsely representing that the sexual contact is necessary for mental health treatment purposes. A first offense of sexual imposition is a third-degree misdemeanor. Subsequent offenses are first-degree misdemeanors. Gross Sexual Imposition The crime of gross sexual imposition, occurs in the following scenarios: The offender purposely compels the other person to submit by force or threat of force; The offender impairs the other person with drugs, controlled substances, or intoxicants using deception, threat, force, or deception; The offender knows that the other person is impaired by intoxicants, including those used for medical or dental treatment; The other person is less than 13 year old; or The other person has a mental or physical impairment or cannot resist due to advanced age. An offender may also face a gross sexual imposition charge for knowingly touching the genitalia of anyone less than 12 years old “with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.” What Are the Penalties for Ohio Sexual Imposition? One of the most common questions we hear from our clients is, Is sexual imposition a felony in Ohio? In most cases, sexual imposition carries a misdemeanor charge. However, gross sexual imposition is automatically either a third- or fourth-degree felony. Depending on the nature of the charges, a conviction may carry mandatory prison time. Even if you aren’t sentenced to time behind bars, you face an equivalent term of supervised probation. You could face a third-degree felony charge if: The accuser was under age 13 when sexual contact occurred, or The offender used an intoxicant to prevent the accuser from resisting sexual contact. Upon conviction for a third-degree felony, you could face from one to five years in prison. A fourth-degree felony conviction qualifies for a potential of six to 18 months behind bars or on probation. Depending on the nature of the charges, you could also face a monetary fine of up to $10,000. What Does It Mean If I Am Charged with Sexual Imposition? In addition to fines and potential prison time, you must register as a sex offender. The duration of registration requirements ranges from 10 years to life, with periodic in-person verification requirements. You will also have a permanent criminal record. A sex crimes conviction could cost you your reputation, your job, your apartment, and the custody of your children. The prosecutor might offer you a plea agreement and waive jail or prison time in exchange for your guilty plea. Even if you don’t have to spend time behind bars, however, the significant implications of sex offender registry and a permanent sex crime record could haunt you for the rest of your life. A criminal defense attorney can evaluate the details of your case and explain your options. We Stand Ready to Defend You Against Sexual Imposition Charges The criminal defense attorneys of Gounaris Abboud, LPA, understand that bad things can happen to good people. We will help you evaluate all potential defense strategy options. Before you make any decisions that could affect your future, talk to one of our experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyers. Call us at 937-222-1515 now to schedule a free case evaluation or contact us online for help.Read More