If you face an allegation of brandishing a weapon, you may be unclear regarding the nature of the charge, the possible defenses, penalties if convicted, and whether you need an attorney. These are all relevant concerns because Ohio brandishing law makes brandishing a crime in certain circumstances, and you need a strong defense. Is Brandishing a Firearm Illegal? Brandishing (to swing or wave) a weapon is not necessarily a crime in Ohio. Brandishing law is referenced as an add-on offense. Here is why. The primary statute in this area states that brandishing or displaying a firearm in the course of a felony is an offense. Example: Fighting and threatening can be felonies of battery and communicating threats (menacing). If you brandish a weapon during either of these violations, law enforcement will likely charge you with the initial offense plus a brandishing charge. What Are Defenses to a Brandishing a Weapon Charge? An attorney will need to review all the circumstances of a case to determine the best defense. Though defenses are not universal to every situation, here are some that defenses attorneys often use in Ohio brandishing law alleged violations. Self-Defense Suppose you were in the midst of a confrontation and charged with threatening another. Your lawyer may argue that you brandished your weapon to defend yourself or another, which is allowable by law. Lack of Intent Inherent in brandishing charges is the idea that you are acting in a threatening manner. If you had a weapon out but were joking with a friend, cleaning it, unloading it, putting it away, etc., the lawyer may argue that you did not intend to brandish with any level of threat. Illegal Police Conduct In every criminal case, the law requires that police follow specific guidelines regarding investigations, arrests, interrogations, and more. If they violated those or other laws in the course of your case, your attorney might be able to get your charge dismissed. What Are Possible Penalties for a Conviction of Brandishing a Weapon? In Ohio, brandishing law provides a specific penalty of mandatory years added to a prison sentence. Brandishing or displaying a firearm in the course of a felony offense adds three additional years to the punishment for the initial crime. Other Firearm Charges Ohio statutes identify numerous criminal violations regarding firearms. While most do not specifically reference the term “brandishing,” they often cover having or using a firearm in various circumstances (i.e., firing a weapon, having a gun on school property, providing a gun to a minor, etc.). When you face any firearm charge, you should get a lawyer. How Do I Find a Lawyer for a Brandishing a Weapon Charge? Lawyers can accept any case they feel competent to handle. However, do your due diligence. Choose a lawyer who is: A criminal defense lawyer; Experienced in Ohio brandishing law cases; and Available to you for a free consultation to gauge your comfort level with the lawyer. Finding an attorney with these qualities helps ensure that you have a vigorous defense to fight a brandishing a weapon charge. Gounaris Abboud, LPA: Dedicated Legal Counsel Gounaris Abboud, LPA, is a criminal defense firm, well-versed in Ohio brandishing law. We are ready to defend you in your firearms charge. We offer a free consultation and take on all levels of cases in Dayton and throughout Ohio. Contact us today or give us a call at 937-222-1515.Read More
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When you think of reckless driving, you may imagine teens drag racing late at night on local streets. But this type of incident does not singularly represent reckless driving. Ohio laws broadly define reckless driving, and many responsible citizens find themselves needing legal representation for a charge of reckless driving in Ohio. All drivers need to understand the law surrounding reckless driving. Ohio courts take the charges seriously, and you must as well. What Is Reckless Driving in Ohio? Some specific and essential elements create reckless driving. These are: Operating a vehicle; Willfully and wantonly; and While disregarding the safety of people or property For a conviction, the State must prove all three of these elements. First, they must prove you were driving a motorized vehicle. Next, they have to prove that you purposely drove (in a public or private area) in a reckless way. Finally, they will need to demonstrate that you did or could have injured someone or something by your actions. Make a note of this crucial additional fact: Whether your driving actually injures a person or property is not relevant to this charge. Can You Give Me an Example of Reckless Operation in Ohio? Let’s make a comparison of situations. Say you are driving and have a medical seizure. Your car veers off the road. That would not be reckless driving. Ohio law would not permit criminal charges because you were not intentionally reckless or wanton. On the other hand, if you are late for work, traveling 60 mph in a 25 mph zone, and go past a stop sign without stopping, that could be considered reckless driving in Ohio. You knew you were driving too fast, and you understand that speeding is dangerous. On top of that, no doubt running the stop sign could have led to a severe accident and injury. What Is the Difference Between Reckless Driving in Ohio and Reckless Operation in Ohio? In Ohio, the reckless operation is a term interchangeable with Ohio reckless driving—different terminology but the same offense. You can find the specific statute in the Ohio Criminal Code. What Should I Do If the Police Charge Me with Violating Ohio Reckless Operation Laws? Once the State charges you with reckless operation, Ohio courts get involved. You have one singular and crucial step to take: Get a lawyer. If convicted of this charge, you may face myriad outcomes. Depending on whether it is your first offense, and based on the judge’s discretion, if convicted your sentence may include: A suspended driver license, Probation, Time in jail, and Hundreds of dollars in fines. Some people minimize their charges of reckless driving. Ohio courts do not. You should have a lawyer safeguard your rights, fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced, and advocate for you in court if it comes to that. Gounaris Abboud, LPA: The Dedicated Lawyers You Deserve With offices throughout Ohio, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, has a long history of providing exceptional legal defense services. We pride ourselves on offering one-on-one attention to every single client. You can reach us by calling 937-222-1515 or by visiting our website. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we are available for a free case analysis. Please reach out to us for your legal needs.Read More
The occurrence of hit-and-run accidents reached an all-time high within the last couple of years. According to the Automobile Association of America (AAA), in 2018, more than one hit-and-run crash occurs every minute on U.S. roads.Also, AAA also estimated that an average of 682,000 hit-and-run crashes occurred each year since 2006. Like the laws of every other state in the U.S., Ohio law requires people to stop at an accident scene. The numbers referenced above clearly show that many people do not. Failing to stop after a car crash in Ohio is a serious crime that has long-lasting consequences. If you are under investigation for involvement in a hit-and-run or you face hit-and-run charges in Ohio, you need an experienced and dedicated Ohio criminal defense attorney to work for you. Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Ohio Ohio’s motor vehicle law creates a legal duty for every motorist involved in an accident on a public street or highway to stop and identify themselves. The law requires all persons to stop immediately at the crash scene. At a minimum, the driver must give a name and residential address if they own the car. If they do not own the vehicle, then they must provide the owner’s information as well. Ohio law requires the driver to provide identification to particular individuals involved in the collision. Those people include: Any injured parties, The responding police officers, and The person who is responsible for any other vehicle involved in the crash. A motorist must remain at the accident scene until a police officer arrives if the injured person is not in a condition to take down the operator’s information. Finally, the person who hits an unattended vehicle or another’s property must leave the information in a conspicuous place either inside or attached to the damaged vehicle. Leaving the scene of an accident in Ohio that did not happen on a public way or public highway is also a crime. However, the driver involved in a crash that caused damages or injuries has 24 hours to report the incident to the law enforcement authorities. Leaving the Scene of an Accident Ohio Penalties Leaving the scene of an accident is generally a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio carries a maximum 180-day jail sentence and a fine of no more than $1,000. The penalties become more severe as the seriousness of the crime increases. A person accused of hit and run in Ohio that caused a serious personal injury faces a fifth-degree felony charge. A fifth-degree felony charge carries the possibility of a prison sentence between six months and one year, along with a fine of no more than $2,500. Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death is the most serious hit-and-run crime in Ohio. Possible penalties include a prison sentence between one and five years, along with a fine of $10,000. Collateral Consequences of Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Ohio In addition to criminal sanctions, the person convicted in Ohio of leaving the scene of an accident faces a class-five driver license suspension. A class-five suspension lasts from six months to three years. Also, Ohio will assess six points on the operator’s license. Accumulating 12 points in two years is grounds for a Class D suspension of up to six months. Ohio Hit-and-Run Defense Ohio hit-and-run law requires the prosecution to prove that the driver knew that an accident occurred beyond a reasonable doubt. Disputing the knowledge element of the charge could be a successful trial defense. Additionally, moving to suppress seized evidence or statements because the police violated the rights of the accused can bolster a strong defense strategy. Seek Immediate Legal Representation for a Hit-and-Run Police often doggedly pursue people who leave the scenes of accidents, especially those involving death or severe injury. Therefore, you must contact an aggressive and knowledgeable defense lawyer immediately for help protecting your rights. Remember that you have the right to refuse to speak with the police. Call Gounaris Abboud, LPA, at 937-222-1515 for assistance. We will use our tremendous experience and unparalleled knowledge to defend your freedom.Read More