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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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Ohio Theft Laws & Petty Theft Laws

| Read Time: 4 minutes

Ohio theft law involves two general questions: Has a theft occurred, and if so, what penalty might apply? Because theft is a crime in Ohio, committing theft can lead to criminal penalties. These can include a fine, jail or prison time, or both. Contact an experienced defense attorney if you face a theft charge in Ohio. A defense attorney can help you understand the charges against you, potential penalties, and defense strategies. Did a Theft Crime Occur Under Ohio Theft Laws? First, it is important to understand what conduct is considered theft under Ohio’s theft law. Ohio theft law makes it a crime to knowingly obtain or exert control over another person’s property or services by unlawful means. Taking another’s property is unlawful when it is: Without the owner’s consent; Beyond the scope of the owner’s permission; By deception; By threat; or By intimidation Also, the Ohio theft law requires that the person take the property or service with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that property or service. For example, it is not theft to take another person’s bicycle without their permission if you intend to return it after a short ride around the block. It is theft, however, to take the bike intending to ride off and never return. If a person unlawfully takes the property of another with the intent to deprive the owner of that property permanently, then that person committed a theft. What Criminal Penalties Apply Under Ohio Theft Laws? If a theft occurred, the next question to ask is, what penalties might apply upon conviction? The penalties that apply depend on the seriousness of the theft. The least serious class of theft is petty theft which is classified as a misdemeanor. More serious theft offenses are felony offenses. Ohio’s theft laws classify theft as petty theft or felony theft based on the value of the property or services stolen. The type of property can also determine the class of the offense. Ohio’s theft laws supply criminal penalties for each type of petty and felony theft offense. In general, the more serious the theft offense, the more severe the penalty. Ohio Petty Theft Laws Ohio theft laws outline when theft qualifies as petty theft. Petty theft occurs when the value of the property stolen is less than $1,000. Ohio petty theft laws make petty theft a misdemeanor offense. Petty theft is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.  Ohio Felony Theft Laws In Ohio, theft is a felony if the value of the property stolen is more than $1,000. Felony theft can be in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree. The least severe penalties apply to fifth-degree felony theft, which is the least serious type of felony theft offense. First-degree felony theft is the most serious type of theft offense, and it carries the most severe punishment. Fifth-Degree Felony Theft Theft is a fifth-degree felony when the value of the stolen property or services is between $1,000 and $7,500. Theft is also a fifth-degree felony when the property taken is: A negotiable instrument, such as a credit card, debit card, or check, or A vehicle license plate or temporary placard, a blank vehicle title form, or a blank driver’s license form. Fifth-degree felony theft is punishable by a fine up to $2,500 and a prison sentence between six and 12 months. Fourth-Degree Felony Theft (Grand Theft) Theft is a fourth-degree felony, also called grand theft, when the value of the property or services have taken between $7,500 and $150,000. Grand theft also results when the stolen property is a: Motor vehicle or Dangerous drug The penalty for grand theft includes a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence between six and 18 months. Third-Degree Felony Theft (Aggravated Theft) Third-degree felony theft is theft of property that is worth more than $150,000 but less than $750,000. The theft is also a third-degree felony offense when the property was stolen is a: Firearm or Anhydrous ammonia. Penalties for third-degree felony theft include a maximum fine of $10,000 and between one and five years in prison. Second-Degree Felony Theft (Aggravated Theft) Second-degree felony theft results when the value of the stolen property is between $750,000 and $1,500,000. Felony theft in the second degree is punishable by a fine up to $15,000 and a minimum prison sentence between two and eight years. First-Degree Felony Theft (Aggravated Theft) When property or services taken are worth more than $1,500,000, the theft is a first-degree felony. Criminal penalties for felony theft of the first degree include a fine up to $20,000 and a minimum prison sentence between three and 11 years. Facing Theft Charges in Ohio? Contact a Defense Lawyer at Gounaris Abboud, LPA If you are facing a theft crime charge, your next step is to seek help from an experienced defense lawyer. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our job is to protect your rights. The theft crimes defense lawyers at Gounaris Abboud can help you understand the charges you face and explain how to present your best defense. To learn more about how the defense lawyers at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can protect you, contact our office today at (937) 222-1515 to schedule a free initial case evaluation.

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What is a High Tier OVI in Ohio?

| Read Time: 3 minutes

In Ohio, a person is guilty of driving under the influence (OVI) if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. When someone’s blood alcohol content is significantly higher the offense becomes a “high tier” OVI. A “high tier” OVI, carries criminal penalties that are much more severe than the penalties for a typical OVI.  What is a High Test Result Under Ohio’s High Tier OVI Laws? When the police suspect a person of driving under the influence, they may ask that person to submit to a chemical test. This test measures the person’s blood alcohol content. If the test results show that the person has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more, the driver will likely face an OVI charge. If the test results show that the person’s blood alcohol content is equal to or greater than 0.17, the person faces a “high tier” OVI charge.  What test results qualify as a “high” under Ohio drug laws? Ohio law defines the following results as high, depending on the type of test: Breath test: 0.17 or greater Urine test: 0.238 or greater Blood serum or plasma test: 0.204 or greater Ohio considers these results excessively above the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08. For the driver whose test returns a high result enhanced criminal penalties will likely follow if convicted.  Criminal Penalties for a High Tier DUI For a high tier OVI conviction, Ohio law imposes enhanced criminal penalties. The following are potential penalties that could result from a super DUI: Suspended driving privileges.  The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), through an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), will suspend a person’s driving privileges after a test over the legal limit. This means that you may not drive until your driving privileges are reinstated or if the Court grants driving privileges.  Suspended driver’s license. The court may suspend the individual’s license for one to three years following an OVI conviction.  Fines. The fines imposed for an OVI range anywhere from $375 to $1,075.  Ignition interlock device. The court will require that the driver install an ignition interlock device at the driver’s expense if convicted of a “high tier” OVI. Ignition interlock devices prevent the operator from starting the car until they pass a breath test. Some devices require a second breath test at random while the vehicle is in operation. If the court grants the person unlimited driving privileges, the person must install an interlock device. Restricted license plates. If the court allows the person to continue driving, the person will need to display restricted license plates if convicted of a “high tier” OVI. Restricted license plates are bright yellow with red lettering. The plates signal that the driver has limited privileges because of a driving under the influence conviction. Jail time. An individual usually must serve a mandatory 6 six days up to 180 days in jail if convicted of a “high tier” OVI.  For a second “high tier” OVI conviction, the sentence ranges from a mandatory 20 days to six months in jail. The punishment for a third “high tier” OVI conviction is at least 60 days in jail and up to one year. Probation. The court may require up to five years of probation for a “high tier” OVI conviction.  These penalties often affect the individual’s life significantly because of things like increased insurance rates, associated costs and expenses, and limited ability to travel. Because of the potentially severe consequences of a “high tier” OVI you should immediately seek legal representation to help you in your defense.  Contact an Experienced OVI Attorney in Ohio If you are facing OVI charges in Ohio, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our experienced and distinguished defense lawyers will work hard to protect your rights at every stage of your case.  Contact our legal team today for a free case evaluation. Our lawyers can discuss how we can help you develop a strong legal defense and obtain the best possible outcome. 

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Ohio Drug Possession Laws

| Read Time: 5 minutes

What You Should Know About Ohio Drug Possession Laws Ohio drug possession laws is codified by Ohio Revised Code Section 2925.11 and it indicates that the definition of possession of controlled substances as “knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance”. Ohio drug laws classify controlled substances into five “schedules.” These schedules range from the most serious (Schedule I) to the least serious (Schedule V). Possession of more serious drugs carry more severe penalties, while the penalties for possessing less serious drugs are not as harsh. Criminal penalties for possessing a controlled substance can include prison sentences, fines, or both. Ohio Drug Laws on Controlled Substances Ohio drug laws follow federal classifications of controlled substances into five “schedules”: Schedule I. Schedule I drugs are those that have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical uses. Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, and marijuana.   Although now the Ohio Legislature has enacted laws providing for medical use of marijuana with an approved license. Schedule II. Schedule II drugs are drugs with a high potential for abuse but with limited accepted medical uses. These drugs are considered dangerous and can lead to severe mental and physical dependence. Cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and fentanyl are some examples of Schedule II drugs. Schedule III. Schedule III drugs are drugs with a moderate to low potential for abuse or dependence and have accepted medical uses. Ketamine and anabolic steroids are examples of Schedule III drugs.  Schedule IV. Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse or dependence. These drugs also have known medical uses. For example, Xanax, Valium, and Ambien are Schedule IV drugs. Schedule V. Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse and the most common medical uses. Antidiarrheal and cough suppressants are examples of Schedule V drugs. Whether a drug is a Schedule I or II controlled substance or a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance is important for criminal charges, penalties, and sentencing. Ohio Penalties for Possessing Controlled Substances Penalties for possession of controlled substances depend on factors such as the type and the amount of the substance. For example, possession is more severely punished when it involves possession of Schedule I and Schedule II controlled substances.  The penalties for possessing a controlled substance also depend on how much of the substance the accused possessed. Some controlled substances, including marijuana, LSD, heroin, and cocaine, are measured by weight. Other controlled substances are measured by what Ohio drug laws call a bulk amount. Each controlled substance is assigned a bulk amount by statute. Penalties depend on whether the defendant possessed less or more than the bulk amount. Note that possession is not a crime if the person has a valid prescription for the controlled substance. Many controlled substances, particularly Schedule III, IV, and V controlled substances, have accepted medical uses. Possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription, however, can lead to misdemeanor or felony possession charges. Possession of Controlled Substances in Ohio Possession of most Schedule I or II controlled substances is aggravated possession of drugs under Ohio drug laws. However, possession of some Schedule I and II drugs will not result in aggravated possession charges. These drugs include, for example, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and LSD. Aggravated possession of drugs is a felony but can vary in degree based on the amount in possession: Less than bulk amount is a fifth-degree felony. Bulk amount or more, but less than five times the bulk amount, is a third-degree felony. Five times the bulk amount or more, but less than 50 times the bulk amount, is a second-degree felony. 50 times the bulk amount or more, but less than 100 times the bulk amount, is a first-degree felony. 100 times the bulk amount or more is a first-degree felony. A person in possession of a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance may be charged with possession of drugs under Ohio drug possession laws. Possession of drugs can result in a first-degree misdemeanor charge or a felony of the fifth, fourth, second, or first degree depending on how much of the substance was in the defendant’s possession. Less than bulk amount is a first-degree misdemeanor. Bulk amount or more, but less than five times the bulk amount, is a fourth-degree felony. Five times the bulk amount or more, but less than 50 times the bulk amount, is a third-degree felony. Fifty times the bulk amount or more is a second-degree felony. Regardless of the schedule of the controlled substance, the offense (as determined by bulk amount or weight) ordinarily carries the same penalty. Sentences for Violating Ohio Drug Possession Laws Ohio law supplies suggested sentencing, but the penalties can vary depending on the particular facts and circumstances of each case: A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail. A fifth-degree felony carries a maximum fine of $2,500 and between six and 12 months in prison. A fourth-degree felony may result in a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence between six and 18 months. A third-degree felony is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and between one to five years in prison. A second-degree felony may result in a fine of up to $15,000 and a prison sentence of between two and eight years. A first-degree felony may involve a maximum $20,000 fine and between three and 11 years in prison. If the quantity is extremly large, a person may be labled as a major drug offender (MDO) and the penalty would include a mandatory minimum sentence of 11 years. The sentences listed here are the penalties suggested by Ohio law. Sentences imposed in a possession case may deviate from these guidelines. Because criminal sentencing depends on the circumstances, speak with an experienced attorney about the specifics of your case. Contact an Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney If you have been arrested or are under investigation for possession of a controlled substance, turn to the defense...

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