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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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What Is the Murder Statute of Limitations in Ohio?

| Read Time: 4 minutes

You might have seen recent news stories explaining how police have solved murders that are decades old. Ohio police even cracked a cold case murder that happened in 1974! After 45-plus years, you might think someone committed the perfect crime. However, thanks to persistent investigative work and the development of improved forensic testing, law enforcement officers can provide closure to the victim’s family and charge the alleged killer. With so much time passed, you might wonder is there a statute of limitations for murder? The answer may surprise you. The state of Ohio, along with every other state and U.S. territory, has no statute of limitations on murder. That means anyone can face murder charges at any time during their lives, no matter how much time has passed. The same is not true for other criminal charges, however.  If something bad happened in your past, you might not need to know what is the statute of limitations on murder, but you might want to know if Ohio law bars prosecution for other acts due to the passage of time. An experienced and knowledgeable Ohio criminal defense lawyer from Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can explain how Ohio’s statutes of limitations can save you from a wrongful conviction. Contact us right away if you were arrested for a crime or police suspect you committed a crime. We will fight relentlessly to protect your rights and safeguard your freedom. Statute of Limitations for Crimes in Ohio Even though there is no statute of limitations for murder, all other crimes in Ohio must be charged within a specific timeframe. The severity of the crime dictates how long the prosecution has to charge you. If prosecutors miss the deadline to charge you with a crime, then Ohio law bars the case from going forward. Here are the statutes of limitations for crimes in Ohio: Minor misdemeanors: six months. Misdemeanors: two years. Felonies: six years. Major felonies such as manslaughter, kidnapping, money laundering: 20 years. Sexual battery and rape: 25 years. These time limitations also apply to conspiracy, attempts to commit, or complicity in committing a felony, including rape and sexual battery. Exceptions to the Statutes of Limitations You should understand that statutes of limitations are not hard-and-fast rules. The prosecuting attorney may argue that certain periods of time do not count toward the statute of limitations. In Ohio criminal practice, that’s known as “tolling the statute.”  Statutes of limitations toll upon the occurrence of certain events. For example, if a college student gets into a bar fight and commits assault before graduation and then leaves the state after graduation, the time the person is out of state tolls the statute of limitations. However, the clock begins to run again if that person returns to Ohio. In other circumstances, the statute of limitations does not begin to run until someone discovers the crime. One example is identity fraud. Under Ohio law, a person can face charges for up to five years after the victim discovers the crime if the initial statute of limitations expired. Similarly, an offense involving misconduct by a public servant can proceed for the entire time the person is a public servant and up to two years afterward. Why Is There No Murder Statute of Limitations? Murder is the most serious crime a person can commit. The value we place on human life as society demands that we allow investigators to keep searching for clues to solve a murder and bring the accused to trial. Consequently, law enforcement officers and prosecutors devote enormous resources to solving murder cases.  Sometimes the trail goes cold despite investigators’ best efforts. However, investigators will not simply surrender because they couldn’t solve the case quickly. As a general rule, we cannot allow people to get away with murder. That’s why there is no murder statute of limitations. If police can develop enough evidence to charge a person for murder, then that person should face trial for the crime, no matter how much time has passed. Our society will degrade rapidly if we decide that there should be a murder statute of limitations in Ohio, or anywhere else.  Deterrence is another reason why we should not enact a murder statute of limitations. People might be more inclined to plan and commit murder if they knew they would never face charges. Life in prison without parole or the death penalty for murder conviction deters some people from committing murder. Finally, the ends of justice require that the door must always remain open to investigating and charging murder cases. Wrongfully convicting someone of the crime does not suffice. We must ensure that the right person was convicted. Therefore, the passage of time should not protect the guilty or prohibit the innocent from fighting for freedom.  Award-Winning Ohio Criminal Defense Attorneys  At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we stake our reputation on every case we take. Once again, in 2021, we have landed in the Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers and the Top 50 in the Cincinnati Super Lawyers list. While accolades from our peers are nice, we thrive on achieving the best results possible for our clients. Whether your charge is a run-of-the-mill DUI or a complicated murder, we have the experience and skill to help you get the best result possible. We use all our resources to defend your case. Whether it is fighting the case at trial or negotiating a favorable plea, the criminal defense lawyers from Gounaris Abboud, LPA will work with you to get the best result possible. Contact us today online or by calling 937-222-1515 to learn more about our services and commitment to excellence.

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Can You Order Marijuana Products Via the Mail in Ohio?

| Read Time: 4 minutes

We can get nearly anything we want these days by looking it up online and having it shipped to us. Especially since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had meals, groceries, and a whole host of other goods delivered right to our door. It seems like there are very few things left that we cannot order online and get in the mail.   Mail order marijuana is a different story. Federal law prohibits sending marijuana through the mail. As a result, you can face substantial penalties for shipping marijuana by mail to yourself or anyone else. Additionally, Ohio state law prohibits possession of any amount of marijuana even if you bought it from a legal distributor in another state, including edibles and any product containing THC. If you face criminal charges for buying or sending marijuana by mail, then you need a tough, dedicated defense lawyer who knows how to win. The Ohio drug crime lawyers from Gounaris Abboud, LPA., have built a solid reputation for winning tough drug cases in state and federal courts. You can count on them to deliver the best result possible for you.  Can You Mail Marijuana? At this time, 18 states and the District of Columbia have relaxed their stance on recreational marijuana consumption. Additionally, another 18 states passed medical marijuana legislation allowing dispensaries to distribute marijuana to people who have a valid prescription. Ohio does not permit the recreational use of marijuana.  You can travel to a state that legalized the sale of recreational marijuana products and purchase them in person, even if you live in Ohio. However, you will have to consume them in the state where you bought them because you cannot legally bring them home. As stated, Ohio law prohibits bringing marijuana into the state, even if you bought it legally in another state. If you try to do so, you could face criminal penalties. The penalties for marijuana possession vary depending on the weight of the drug under Ohio law. The range of penalties for marijuana possession include: Less than 100g is a minor misdemeanor; Between 100g and 200g is a fourth-degree misdemeanor; Between 200g and 1,000g is a fifth-degree felony; Between 1,000g and 5,000g is a third-degree felony; Between 5,000g to 20,000g is a third-degree felony with the presumption of incarceration; Between 20,000 and 40,000 is a second-degree felony punishable by incarceration for five, six, or seven years; and More than 40,000g is a second-degree felony punishable by an eight-year mandatory minimum prison sentence.  You could also face a drug trafficking charge for selling or shipping marijuana, even if you bought it legally in another state. Can I Buy Mail Order Marijuana Online with Worldwide Shipping? The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which often enlists the help of state and local law enforcement officers, keeps a close eye on the mail for drug shipments. Agents monitor the mail for suspicious packages and perhaps even use tips from informants to intercept mail order marijuana shipments. The DEA watches drug shipments sent by people using the USPS as well as private carriers like UPS and FedEx. When law enforcement agents get a tip that a package might contain marijuana, they may get a search warrant to open the package or have a drug-dog “hit” on the shipment. The agents will track the package to its destination. At that time, they might choose to take down the person receiving the package immediately upon delivery or get a search warrant. Usually, the agents will arrest the person who received the shipment and try to build a case against that person while trying to find out who sent it. That’s why it’s dangerous to use a marijuana mail order delivery service. Similarly, you are taking a tremendous risk if you ship marijuana even though you bought it legally. Like state law, the penalties you can face in federal court increase dramatically as the amount of marijuana increases.  What Should I Do If Police Suspect I Bought Mail Order Marijuana? Federal agents know how to pressure people into talking. Remember that you never have to answer any questions police—including federal agents—ask you. If they want to talk to you, then you should ask for a lawyer right away. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can decide if it’s in your best interest to talk to law enforcement. It’s always best to remain silent until you’ve had a chance to obtain legal advice. Federal authorities are always looking to land the bigger fish. They may try to get you to give up your supplier. Even if you invoke your rights to remain silent, federal prosecutors might give you a proffer letter. This is a tactic they frequently use to get people to provide evidence against others. But you should not try to take on the federal government alone. In this situation, you need a lawyer who has extensive experience representing people facing federal drug crimes. Without one, you could accidentally incriminate yourself in a drug conspiracy that sends you to federal prison.  Get Help with Your Mail Order Marijuana Charges Today! You are not automatically guilty because the police claim you received or shipped a package containing marijuana. You have valuable rights, and the experienced drug crimes lawyers with Gounaris Abboud, LPA., will fight to protect them. The drug crimes lawyers with Gounaris Abboud, LPA., have received numerous accolades over the last decade. Owing to their unparalleled representation, legal skills, and documented track record of results, Gounaris Abboud, LPA., has earned a reputation for excellence. Contact us online or by calling 937-222-1515 today to learn what they can do for you. 

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Possession of Child Pornography: Ohio Laws and Penalties

| Read Time: 3 minutes

Child pornography laws at the state and federal levels are strict. A conviction in an Ohio state court or federal court for possession of child porn could land you in prison for a long time. You may even have to register as a sex offender.  Remember that a charge does not automatically mean that you are guilty. Having a bold and courageous criminal defense attorney from Gounaris Abboud, LPA can give you the edge you need to avoid a conviction and keep you out of jail.  Gounaris Abboud, LPA’s Ohio defense lawyers have over 50 years of combined legal experience fighting for the rights of their clients and delivering unmatched results.  What Are the Ohio Revised Code’s Child Pornography Laws? Chapter 2907 of the Ohio Revised Code contains the state’s child porn laws. Under chapter 2907, it is a crime to create, reproduce, sell, deliver, exhibit, possess, buy, control, or publish obscene matter depicting a child, a child engaged in sexual activity, or displaying a minor in the nude. The severity of possession of child pornography charges ranges from a fifth-degree felony to a second-degree felony.  The particular facts of your case will determine the possible range of incarceration and other penalties you face. The possible period of incarceration you face for a conviction of possessing child porn ranges from one year to as many as eight. However, the prosecution could look to extend your time in prison if you have prior convictions for possession of child porn. Additionally, you could face charges like human trafficking or child endangerment.   What Are the Federal Child Pornography Laws? Although the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects free speech, it does not protect the possession, distribution, or creation of child pornography. Therefore, you could face a federal crime if you possess child pornography. However, the federal authorities cannot prosecute you unless they have evidence to believe the child porn entered the stream of commerce or somehow crossed state lines. It’s not too hard for them to prove that an image moved through interstate commerce. Usually, they have evidence that the accused used the internet to transfer or create an image.  The federal laws which prohibit child pornography and the exploitation of children carry severe penalties. The minimum sentence you could serve out of federal court is five years, and the maximum is 20 years. However, aggravating circumstances can increase the time you serve. For example, you could have a sentence for each image in your possession and the judge could add the sentences together.  Is Sexting Considered Child Porn? Neither Ohio law nor federal law distinguishes sexting from other child pornography crimes. Therefore, minors sending text messages containing nude images to each other may be a crime even if the minors “consented.” Similarly, adults and minors who share explicit images can face child porn charges.  Registration as a Sex Offender for Possession of Child Pornography Ohio requires every person convicted of a sex offense to register as a sex offender. The state classifies each offender as either a Tier I, Tier II, or Tier III sex offender. In Ohio, the possession of child porn tier level is based on the conduct leading to a person’s conviction, their prior criminal record, and other information. A person who disputes their classification can appeal the decision. Winning the appeal may help you maintain some privacy instead of having your picture posted on a sheriff’s website. Notwithstanding, winning your appeal does not alleviate your legal obligation to register and report as required.  You may face other collateral consequences as a result of your conviction. You could lose your employment, your right to vote, your right to possess a firearm, and many other rights. Why Is Gounaris Abboud, LPA the Right Law Firm for You? With over 50 years of combined legal experience, the criminal defense attorneys from Gounaris Abboud, LPA can provide the help you need when your life hangs in the balance. We exhaust all efforts to ensure our clients get the best defense available to them. We earn our clients’ trust through our dedication to providing high-quality legal services. The results speak for themselves. Our peers have also recognized our firm for our dedication to our clients and excellence in the Ohio legal profession. Some of our accolades include recognition as Ohio Super Lawyers. We are members of the Top 100 trial lawyers in the country. We also have a coveted—but rare—10/10 AVVO rating.  Talk to an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer from Gounaris Abboud, LPA Today Contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA today at 937-222-1515 or submit our free case consultation form to learn more about how we can help you. We will work with you one-on-one to ensure we meet all your needs. With Gounaris Abboud, LPA by your side, you can be confident you’re getting the best defense possible.

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