possession of criminal tools

Have you been arrested for “possession of criminal tools”? If so, you might be confused. You are even more likely to be confused if you were arrested for possessing tools such as a hammer, that are legal to possess when not classified as “criminal tools.”  Unfortunately, possessing criminal tools is one of those vaguely-worded offenses like “Loitering” and “No Visible Means of Support,” that are highly subject to police and prosecutor abuse. The term “criminal tools” is so vague that it can refer to anything from a machine gun to a stick of chewing gum blocking a keyhole opening. So how do you know if your charges are legitimate? The best way to know is to consult experienced defense attorneys like those at Gounaris Abboud, LPA.   We can assess the facts of your case and protect your rights every step of the way. The Three Legal Elements of the Crime of Possession of Criminal Tools Every crime consists of one or more elements that the prosecutor must prove to win a conviction. In the case of possession of criminal tools, three legal elements exist:   The “criminal tool” was a “substance, device, instrument, or article;”  That was in your possession or control; and During the time you possessed the “criminal tool” you intended to use it for criminal purposes. Element #1: A Substance, Device, Instrument, or Article Although the definition of this element is quite broad, it would arguably exclude abstract items such as computer malware. The tool must be a tangible object that you can hold in your hand. Element #2: Your Possession or Control “Possession or control” generally means that the item was on your person or property, that you knew it was there, and that you knew what it was. You don’t have to know that it is illegal to possess it. However, circumstances can exist that can make proving control over the tool tricky for prosecutors. For instance, suppose Joe, Jack, and Jeff all share a house together. Now suppose that someone uses a crowbar to break into a neighbor’s house one night. After doing so, the burglar puts the crowbar into the garage that all three housemates share. This can make it tough for the prosecution to prove who had possession, control, or even knowledge of the crowbar. In fact, a fourth party, that doesn’t even live in the house, may have placed it there.  Criminal Intent A prosecutor cannot win a conviction for possessing instruments of crime without establishing criminal intent. You must have specific criminal intent before items in your possession are classified as criminal tools. The prosecution, however, may infer intent from your mere possession of certain items. The prosecutor can shift the burden of proof onto you if you possessed or controlled certain types of items. Possession or control of a “dangerous ordnance” This is possession of something that most people wouldn’t have unless they intended to use it to commit a crime. California maintains a list of dangerous ordnances that includes items such as dynamite, explosive-grade nitroglycerine, and military-issue firearms. Adaptations If you possess items that you specifically adapted for criminal use, this type of item carries a rebuttable presumption of criminal intent. An example would be a taped-up flashlight. Items commonly used in crimes If you possess or control an item commonly used to commit crimes, under certain circumstances, that could indicate criminal intent. For example, if the police find a screwdriver hanging from your belt at night, while you are wearing a facemask and black clothing, they might be able to infer criminal intent. Defenses Several potential defenses are available against a charge of possession of criminal tools:  Merger: The prosecution has already charged you with the underlying offense; Reasonable doubt as to your criminal intent; or The item was never in your possession or control. Numerous other potential defenses are available, depending on the specific facts of your case. Penalties The prosecutor can charge you with either a misdemeanor or a felony version of possession of criminal tools. It all depends on your intent—did you intend to commit a felony or a non-felony? This crime is a fifth-degree felony if you intended to commit a felony, and it is a first-degree misdemeanor if you intended to commit a non-felony.  For a felony, you could face up to 12 months in prison and a $2,500 fine. For a misdemeanor, you could face up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine.  Remember that the foregoing punishments are maximums, not minimums. It’s Time to Start Fighting Back Contact the award-winning criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA  by calling (937) 222-1515 or by contacting us online, so that we can give you a free case analysis. Our offices are located in Dayton and Springboro, Ohio, and we serve clients throughout the state.

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weapons under disability

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to own and carry a firearm, subject to certain limitations. Nevertheless, certain qualifications and limitations prevent millions of Americans from owning a gun. In Ohio, these are referred to as disabling conditions.  Ohio law restricts the possession of a gun when a disabling condition, or disability, exists on the part of the possessor. So what does having weapons while under disability mean? It means the defendant possessed a weapon, despite being prohibited from doing so.  If you received a charge for having weapons while under disability, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, is here to help. Contact our office today for a free consultation.  Ohio Law: Having Weapons Under Disability Ohio law criminalizes having a firearm for individuals who: Are fugitives from justice; Were charged or convicted of a violent felony offense; Were charged or convicted of a felony drug offense that involved illegal drug possession, sale, distribution, or trafficking; Are dependent on drugs or in danger of being dependent on drugs; Are chronic alcoholics; Are mentally incompetent, mentally defective, or mentally ill, as determined by the court; or Were ordered to live at a mental institution by the court. The offense of having a weapon under disability is commonly referred to as “WUD.” Firearm refers to any gun, whether loaded, unloaded, or temporarily inoperable.  Punishment for Weapons Under Disability Charge in Ohio After determining the meaning of WUD, you could be wondering how much jail time you’re facing for a weapons under disability charge in Ohio.  Ohio considers a WUD charge a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony carries potential penalties including: Up to five years in prison; and Up to a $10,000 fine. In addition to criminal penalties, individuals convicted of WUD can face difficulty finding employment and housing due to the felony conviction.  Defenses to Having a Weapon Under Disability Certain legal defenses absolve defendants charged with WUD of liability, resulting in the dismissal of charges or a not guilty verdict. Common defenses to WUD include: The defendant was unaware that the gun was in his or her possession; The defendant was en route to a police station to turn the firearm in; The firearm was used in self-defense; and The firearm was located during an illegal search and seizure.  The existence of any of these legal defenses presents an opportunity for a criminal defense lawyer to argue that you should not face charges.  Contact an Experienced Ohio Criminal Defense Today Weapons charges result in stiff fines and jail time in most circumstances. A weapons charge attorney with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, will review the facts of your case to evaluate the full picture of the charges against you. With more than 50 years of collective experience, our team is more than qualified to defend you against a weapons under disability charge. We know that no two cases are the same, so we take the time to sit down one-on-one with our clients, listen to their situation and desired outcome, and tailor a plan to address those concerns. If you want to discuss your case with one of our criminal defense attorneys, call our office at 937-222-1515.

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ohio knife laws

Individuals seek ways to protect themselves. This can include carrying things such as pepper spray, personal alarms, and even knives. Others use knives as a collectible item or handy tool. However, given the impact a knife injury can have, Ohio knife laws impose restrictions on how they are possessed and used. These laws seek to balance the freedom to possess and carry various types of knives with the justice system’s duty to protect others from the dangers knives can present.  Ohio Revised Code Knife Laws First things first: The revised Ohio knife law effective April of 2021 provides a significant adjustment to knife laws in Ohio. The law now states that the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons does not include knives that are not used as a weapon. “Knives” include: Razors; Automatically opening pocket knives; Folding knives; and  Any knife-type cutting instrument. Senate Bill 140 also repealed a statewide ban on the manufacture and sale of automatically opening pocket or folding knives. Knife as a Weapon Designation In general, when the law addresses an offense involving a “deadly weapon” or “weapon” it does not include any knife in that category. However, here is the exception, and it is a crucial one to know: If an offender uses any knife or cutting instrument as a weapon, law enforcement can then categorize the item as a deadly or concealed weapon. Here is an example. A person is smoking marijuana in a public park, in violation of the law. The police stop the person because of the smoking and pat them down without any struggle. They find a switchblade in their pocket. The switchblade possession will not lead to a charge of possession of a concealed or deadly weapon. On the other hand, if law enforcement apprehended the same individual after they attempted to rob a person and used the knife to threaten the victim, things would change. At that point, as the offender used the knife as a weapon in the robbery, they can be charged with carrying a concealed weapon. So, Ohio knife carry laws provide citizens with the freedom to carry a knife. However, if a citizen uses that item as a weapon, its possession and use can become illegal. There remain, of course, various prohibitions regarding having knives on school grounds and other locations. Attorneys Who Know Ohio Knife Laws If a person is facing Ohio knife carry law violations or other knife-related offenses, they should look for a criminal defense attorney. Knife law violations are criminal offenses, and penalties could include incarceration and fines and lead to the loss of employment. An established law firm with a history of clients who recommend it can put an offender in the best position to fight charges.  The time to seek legal advice is when one fears they may be facing charges or as soon as possible after law enforcement charges them. However, even if a court date is around the corner, experienced attorneys can step in and take over. Gounaris Abboud, LPA Gounaris Abboud, LPA has more than 50 years of collective experience in criminal defense and other areas of law. We handle every level of the case, from the most challenging legal cases in Ohio to everyday smaller matters. To our attorneys, every case is important. Please call us at 937-222-1515 or reach us online to schedule your free consultation today.

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what is importuning

The charge of importuning often confuses the accused, as it is a term that is not part of everyday language. The first question many ask in these cases is, What is importuning? If you are facing this charge, you need to know the importuning definition in the Ohio revised code, importuning charge implications, and what you should do if you face an importuning charge. What Does Importuning Mean in Ohio? Understanding the Charge Importuning is a criminal sex offense involving the act of soliciting a minor to engage in sexual activity. The Ohio revised code Title 29 Crimes-Procedure/Chapter 2907 addresses importuning.  An Importuning Charge The law states, in part, that a court can find you guilty of importuning if you: Solicit a person who is less than thirteen years of age to engage in sexual activity; or Solicit another, not the spouse of the offender, to engage in sexual conduct with the offender, when the offender is eighteen years of age or older and four or more years older than the other person. It does not matter whether you knew or had a reckless disregard of the age of the minor (i.e., it is no defense to say that you did not know the age of any of the parties involved). Additional Aspects of the Law There are numerous caveats and additional age restrictions within the law. In addition, the solicitation can be in person or via a telecommunications device, including communication via: Cell phone,  Computer,  Social media, Email, or  Any other communication method. This law intends to protect children from any type of sexual advances by an adult.  The Consequences and Penalties of an Importuning Conviction The importuning definition in our State lists this crime as a felony, a very serious charge. Penalties may include: Permanent sex offender registration, Years in prison, and Thousands of dollars in fines. If the court finds you guilty of violating the Ohio revised code importuning law, you will then have a criminal record. What Should You Do If You Are Facing an Importuning Charge? An importuning conviction can have far-reaching consequences. Therefore, you should immediately seek legal counsel if law enforcement charges you with importuning. Do not discuss the case with anyone, admit guilt, or attempt to make a deal with the police or prosecution without the advice and presence of a lawyer.  As the importuning definition categorizes it as a sex crime, those charged with the crime are often afraid, embarrassed, and fearful of others finding out about the charge. If you are in this category, please be aware that our lawyers provide discreet, nonjudgmental, compassionate interaction with clients. We are legal advocates who focus on defending and protecting the rights of our clients, not condemning them.  Gounaris Abboud, LPA: A Legal Professional Association With over 5 decades of collective experience, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, provides dedicated legal counsel to every client. We are qualified to tackle all criminal matters. Our firm provides personal, trusting attorney-client representation. Please contact our office for a free consultation. Speak to an attorney now by calling 937-222-1515 or using our online texting application or contact form.

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The state of Ohio assesses points against the driving record of drivers who commit certain traffic violations. The Ohio point system aims to deter drivers from committing frequent traffic violations over a short period of time. If you accumulate 12 or more points over a two-year period, you face license suspension. Points and penalties for traffic violations in Ohio are serious charges that can carry steep consequences for drivers. A traffic attorney at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can explain the process for getting points on your license in Ohio and the potential consequences if you accumulate too many.  Points for Various Violations in Ohio Minor traffic violations warrant the assessment of two points against the driver’s driving record. Ohio considers multiple traffic infractions as minor violations resulting in two points, including: Running a stop sign; Running a traffic light; Driving below the speed limit; Failure to yield; Following too closely; Improper turn; and Speeding less than 25mph over the speed limit. Ohio assesses four points against a driver’s driving record for violations considered more serious or dangerous than those warranting two points. Four-point violations include: Speeding more than 25mph over the speed limit; Operating the vehicle in a willful or wanton manner that exhibits disregard for the safety of persons or property; and Reckless driving. Six-point violations in Ohio include: Street racing; Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (OVI); Leaving the scene of an accident; Driving under a suspended license. If a driver accumulates six points on his or her license within a two-year period, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is required to issue a warning letter to the driver, listing the violations and the corresponding number of points for each.  Driver’s License Suspension for Point Violations You could be wondering, how long do points stay on your license in Ohio after you receive traffic violation convictions? In reality, points assessed to your driving record never go away.  However, for purposes of license suspension, points are considered for two years. The two-year period begins on the date of the first conviction. In the event you receive 12 points against your license in a two-year period, your driver’s license is suspended for a period of six months. After the six-month suspension period, you must complete a remedial driving course and pass a driving test to have your license reinstated.  Ohio permits drivers with more than two but less than twelve points to complete a remedial driving instruction course and have two points removed from their record. The remedial driving course can be completed up to five times, but cannot be taken twice within a three-year period.  Consult with a Traffic Lawyer Today An experienced traffic attorney with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can help you understand your driving record and the Ohio points on license system. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a traffic lawyer can argue to have your driving charge reduced to a zero-point violation. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with the one-on-one attention we believe is necessary to establish trust in an attorney-client relationship. Time is of the essence in every legal claim, so contact our team of traffic attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, as soon as possible at 937-222-1515 or online. 

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voyeurism definition

Like every other state, Ohio law criminalizes certain sexual acts. Typically, sex crimes are those sexual acts that violate the rights of others. Often, the rights violated in sex crimes center around a victim’s right to privacy and personal choice. But you be wondering, Is voyeurism illegal? The answer is yes. In fact, voyeurism is a sex crime that centers, almost entirely, on one’s right to privacy.  There is more to Ohio’s voyeurism rules than the fact that voyeurism is illegal. If you face a voyeurism accusation, contact an Ohio sex crime lawyer as soon as possible. Before calling a lawyer, however, read through this piece for a quick breakdown of Ohio’s voyeurism laws brought to you by the legal team at Gounaris Abboud, LPA.  What Is Voyeurism? Different states use different legal terms to define criminal acts. This applies to voyeurism just like any other crime. Consider this general voyeurism definition. Voyeurism occurs when someone achieves or otherwise seeks sexual gratification by watching others engage in sexual activity. As a criminal act, voyeurism occurs when one seeks sexual gratification or pleasure by watching others participate in sexual activities without their consent or knowledge. Voyeurism also includes seeking sexual gratification by watching someone who is not necessarily engaged in a sexual act but is otherwise in a state of nudity or undress without their knowledge or consent. The victim’s lack of consent or knowledge is critical in differentiating between voyeurism as a crime and voyeurism as a legal sexual act. Ohio Voyeurism Laws In Ohio, there are four varying levels of voyeurism severity. The state prosecutes the least severe offense as a third-degree misdemeanor and the highest as a fifth-degree felony. Each of the various levels has a different definition or list of qualifications. All of the levels of voyeurism share the same basic qualifications. To be a crime, voyeurism involves someone who trespasses or surreptitiously invades the privacy of another, or spies or eavesdrops upon another for the purpose of sexually arousing or gratifying themselves.  Voyeurism as a third-degree misdemeanor occurs when someone invades the privacy of another to spy or eavesdrop on them for purposes of sexual gratification or pleasure. As a second-degree misdemeanor, voyeurism is slightly different. Voyeurism as a second-degree misdemeanor occurs when someone, for the purposes of sexually gratifying or arousing themselves, invades the privacy of another to record, film, or otherwise photograph another person in a state of nudity. First-degree misdemeanor voyeurism occurs when someone tries to invade the privacy of another by photographing or viewing their body or undergarments. As a fifth-degree felony, voyeurism occurs when one engages in the same activity noted in the third-degree misdemeanor but does so with a minor as their target.   Penalties for a Voyeurism Conviction The penalties for an Ohio voyeurism conviction differ from one another based on the severity or degree of the crime. The following bulleted list illustrates the maximum penalty for each level of voyeurism conviction: Third-degree misdemeanor: Up to 60 days incarceration, a fine up to $500, or both; Second-degree misdemeanor: Up to 90 days incarceration, a fine of up to $750, or both; First-degree misdemeanor: Up to 180 days incarceration, a fine of up to $1,000, or both; or Fifth-degree felony: A maximum of six to 12 months incarceration, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. It is important to note that each of these categories represents the maximum punishment. Someone convicted of voyeurism will not always face the maximum punishment. Judges consider numerous factors that can mitigate or aggravate the severity of any punishment they hand down. The best way for someone facing a voyeurism charge to avoid the maximum penalty is to hire an experienced sex crimes lawyer who will litigate aggressively on their behalf. Protect Your Freedom with Ohio’s Premier Sex Crime Lawyers If you are facing a voyeurism charge in Ohio, don’t wait for the legal process to unfold before hiring an attorney. Instead, from the moment you are aware that you are under investigation for a crime like voyeurism, retain the services of an experienced sex crime lawyer. An experienced sex crime attorney will help you preserve your freedom and constitutional rights from the moment you hire them. The attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA know the ins and outs of voyeurism charges in Ohio. They can draw on their vast experience to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case. Preserving our clients’ freedom is our top priority. Let us make your freedom our priority. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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ohio rules of criminal procedure

If you have been charged with a crime in Ohio, you have certain rights that are guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Ohio Constitution. Many of these rights are reflected in the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, which govern how the criminal justice system must treat you. If you don’t know your rights, you could seriously damage your case.  Stages of an Ohio Criminal Prosecution An Ohio criminal prosecution proceeds through several distinct stages. In all cases, the details of how these stages are executed are based on the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure. Following is a breakdown of the stages of an Ohio criminal prosecution. Arrest and Detention An arrest is the first step in a criminal prosecution. The police take you into custody (typically in handcuffs) and read you your Miranda rights (“You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, etc.”). The next step is to take you to the police station for booking. Do not talk to the police, even if you are innocent. The police will photograph you, fingerprint you, and request identifying information such as your name and address. They will also catalog and impound your personal belongings until your release. You should call a family member to notify them of your arrest.  How Long Can You be Held in Jail Before Seeing a Judge? Under the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, the authorities must bring you before a judge for an arraignment “without unnecessary delay.” Most jurists understand this to mean 48 to 72 hours. What Is an Arraignment Hearing? Your arraignment is a hearing in front of a judge, during which time: The judge will explain your constitutional rights and the charges against you;  You will enter a formal plea in response to the charges against you—guilty, not guilty, or no contest; and The judge will either set your bail or refuse bail altogether.  If the judge sets bail and you pay it, they will release you until the trial or sentencing hearing (depending on your plea). If the judge refuses bail, you will remain in jail until your case is resolved. If you plead guilty or no contest, no trial will take place and your case will be over as soon as you are sentenced. The Discovery Phase If you plead not guilty at arraignment, the case proceeds to the discovery phase. During this phase, your lawyer asks the prosecutor for any evidence that the prosecution will use against you. Your lawyer can seek a court order if the prosecution refuses to comply.  Plea Bargaining A plea bargain is a deal between you and the prosecution. Although Ohio prosecutors resolve most of their cases through plea bargaining, you can refuse to bargain if you want to. Two types of plea bargaining are possible: Charge bargaining—this is where the prosecution agrees to recommend leniency to the judge for your agreement to plead guilty to a lesser charge (reckless driving instead of DUI, for example), or to only some of the charges against you; and Sentence bargaining—where you plead guilty to the original charges and the prosecutor promises to recommend a lighter sentence to the judge. Although the judge is under no obligation to accept the terms of a plea bargain that is struck between you and the prosecutor, in practice, they almost always agree. The Preliminary Hearing If the prosecution charged you with a felony, you can demand a preliminary hearing. At the hearing, your attorney will probe for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and argue that the prosecution lacks probable cause to take your case to trial. Unfortunately, this argument usually fails. If so, the judge will set your case for trial. What Is a Pretrial Hearing? In some (but not all) cases, the judge schedules a pre-trial hearing. This is the time for your lawyer to file certain pretrial motions, such as a motion for the suppression of evidence that the police seized illegally. You can also reach a late plea bargain at this stage. Trial At trial, you can call witnesses, cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses, present evidence, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, and present legal and factual arguments. You can demand a jury trial if you prefer one. Ultimately it is the judge, however, who will determine your exact sentence if you are convicted. Appeal Appeals of criminal convictions are difficult and time-consuming. Even if you win, you will not be exonerated immediately. Instead, the court typically schedules a new trial for you. Only if you win the second time around will you walk free. Let’s Fight Back Together With an aggressive and relentless style, the award-winning criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA.,  have won acquittals and dismissals for a multitude of criminal defense clients. Call us at (937) 222-1515 or contact us online for a free case analysis. We maintain offices in Dayton and Springboro, Ohio, and we serve clients throughout the state of Ohio.

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criminal-traffic-violations

Are traffic violations criminal offenses? The short answer is that sometimes they are and sometimes they aren’t. Obviously, offenses like vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter are criminal traffic violations. Almost as obviously, violations like running a stop sign are not crimes, at least for first offenders. Between those two extremes, however, the criminal status of a traffic violation may be unclear. Ohio Traffic Violations: The Points System Ohio operates a point system to discipline drivers for poor driving. Each driver is allotted 12 points every two years. If the driver commits a traffic violation, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles will deduct a certain number of points depending on the nature of the offense. In no case, even vehicular manslaughter, are more than six points deducted for a single offense. Even in cases where the underlying offense is a crime, accumulating points on your driver’s license is not itself a crime.  If you accumulate 12 or more points within two years, Ohio will suspend your driver’s license. Although there are ways of avoiding suspension (e.g., traffic school), you do commit a crime by driving on a suspended driver’s license. This is the main way that ordinary moving violations such as running a red light can result in criminal liability. What Traffic Violations Are Criminal Offenses? A great number of traffic violations are also criminal offenses. Too many, in fact, to list here. But here is a list of some of the most commonly committed criminal traffic violations. Aggravated Vehicular Homicide Aggravated Vehicular Homicide occurs when you cause the death of someone due to reckless or intoxicated driving. Reckless driving is something more than mere negligent driving. Aggravated vehicular homicide is a felony that typically carries significant prison time. Driving Under Suspension  Driving Under Suspension or in Violation of License Restriction is a very common offense. Ohio might suspend your driver’s license for traffic violations, for example, or for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. It might also restrict your driving privileges to driving to and from work, for example. Ohio can charge you with a misdemeanor criminal offense for violating these limitations. Failure to Stop After an Accident Failure to Stop After an Accident on Public Roads or Highways is colloquially known as “leaving the scene of an accident” or, if you caused the accident, “hit and run.” Ohio can charge you with a first-degree misdemeanor, a fifth-degree felony, or a third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances. The prosecutor will hit you hard with this one if you caused the accident, injured someone, and drove away. Willful or Wanton Disregard Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of the Safety of Persons or Property is colloquially known as reckless driving. What makes it “reckless” (rather than merely negligent or careless) is your deliberate disregard of the safety or property of others. Depending on the circumstances Ohio can charge you with a minor misdemeanor, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, or a third-degree misdemeanor for this offense. Racing Street Racing is a fairly self-explanatory offense. A police officer doesn’t have to wait for an accident to occur to arrest you for street racing. Street racing is a first-degree misdemeanor. Vehicular Homicide Vehicular Homicide occurs when you cause the death of another person through negligent driving. Ohio can charge vehicular homicide as a first-degree misdemeanor or a fourth-degree felony. If convicted of this crime you might face a mandatory prison term. Additionally, if you cause someone’s death by driving while intoxicated, the state can charge you with aggravated vehicular homicide that carries even stiffer penalties.  Vehicular Manslaughter Vehicular Manslaughter occurs when you cause the death of another person while operating your vehicle in a manner that amounts to a violation of a municipal ordinance or minor, misdemeanor traffic violation. Ohio can charge you with a first-degree or second-degree misdemeanor for this infraction. Failure to Comply Failure to Comply with Order or Signal of a Police Officer, known colloquially as fleeing and eluding, occurs when you drive with the intent to evade the pursuit of a police officer after they signal you to pull over. Ohio can charge you with a first-degree misdemeanor, a fourth-degree felony, or a third-degree felony for this infraction. Let Us Stand By Your Side Traffic violations become more than a nuisance when they turn into criminal offenses. If this happens, you can call upon the services of the award-winning criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA. We have won acquittals and dismissals for a great number of criminal defense clients, and favorable plea bargains for many more. Call us at (937) 222-1515 or contact us online for a free case analysis. We have offices in Dayton and Springboro, Ohio, and we serve clients from all over Ohio.

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statute of limitations on forgery signature

If you have signed another person’s name without their knowledge or permission, you may be worried about the possible legal ramifications. You may be wondering what forgery is, whether it is a crime, and, if so, what the statute of limitations on forgery signature crimes is. In this article, we will address those matters and more as we look at the ins and outs of forgery laws in Ohio. Is Forgery of a Signature a Crime? Yes! Forgery laws in Ohio are part of the  Ohio Code of Crimes and Procedures. In these statutes, the judicial system makes it clear that it is a violation of Ohio forgery laws to fabricate or create any writing or portion of a writing. This includes executing or altering a signature. More specifically, the Theft and Fraud Criminal Code states that it is illegal to: Forge any writing of another without the other person’s authority; Forge any writing so that it purports to be genuine when it is not; or Be engaged in issuing, publishing, using, transferring, delivering, displaying, or sending any writing that the person knows to have been forged. Forging, selling, or distributing identification cards (fake IDs) also violates forgery laws in Ohio. Consequences for violating Ohio forgery laws can include fines in the thousands of dollars and prison time. Statute of Limitations on Forgery of a Signature The statute of limitations is the time frame during which law enforcement may bring a case against you after the commission of the crime. The general time limits in Ohio are: Six years for felonies, Two years for misdemeanors, and Six months for minor misdemeanors. While the above is accurate for most cases, there are a few variations, including some crimes involving forgery. For instance, if the forgery offense consists of a breach of fiduciary duty or misconduct by a public servant, law enforcement may have more time to address the crime. It is always critical to have a highly respected attorney review your situation and determine the statute of limitations.  What You Should Do If You Are Facing Forgery Charges If there is any possibility that law enforcement will charge you with forgery or if they already have charged you, you should immediately contact an attorney. Forgery of a signature can create a legal problem that puts your freedom at risk. Therefore, mounting a solid defense right away is crucial. Contact a criminal defense legal team at once, and let them protect and defend you. Look for a reputable firm that will provide a free case analysis. Ohio forgery laws lend themselves to prosecution and punishment. Now that you know the answer to your question of is signature forgery a crime and that forgery is a serious crime, you must react accordingly. Hire a lawyer you can trust who will support and defend you. Gounaris Abboud, LPA: Ready to Work on Your Case Gounaris Abboud, LPA, has more than 50 years of collective experience. Our firm provides high-quality, dedicated legal counsel to our clients. When you need outstanding criminal defense in Ohio, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, should be your first and only call. Call us now at 937-222-1515 or reach out online for a free case analysis.

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probation-violation-ohio

Choosing an Experienced Ohio Probation Defense Attorney Could Help You Achieve the Best Possible Outcome for Your Case Ohio courts refer to probation as “community control.” Community control means that a judge allowed you to live in the community after a conviction for a criminal offense instead of going to jail. Typically, the court will impose sanctions or restrictions on your liberty while you serve your time on probation. Failing to meet your conditions leads to severe probation violation consequences in Ohio. If you face a probation violation in Ohio, you should speak with a lawyer who has substantial experience defending probation violations. As we will explain, a judge has significant power over you while you are in a community control program. Aligning yourself with a law firm that has a reputation for fighting for its clients and winning the toughest fights might be your best chance to avoid incarceration. What Are the Possible Probation Violation Consequences in Ohio? Probation is a valuable tool in American courts. Not every offender deserves jail as punishment for every crime, and many people benefit from their time on community control. People get help to overcome the challenges that lead them into the criminal justice system with probation. Probation is essentially a contract. The terms of the agreement are simple: the judge promises not to put you in jail or prison if you abide by probation terms. Your probation ends when you complete the requirements the judge imposed or you violate your probation. What Does the Court Consider a Probation Violation in Ohio? Breaking any of the terms of your community control is a probation violation. Some people face probation violation consequences in Ohio because they did not complete a program or failed a drug test. Some courts refer to these violations as “technical violations.” Others have a probation violation in Ohio because they face new criminal charges. Your probation officer can ask for a warrant to arrest you if you violate probation. The judge may order you held in jail until the final probation hearing. You might not be able to post bond if the judge determines that is necessary. Three Possible Outcomes for an Ohio Probation Violation You have the right to a hearing before the judge revokes your probation. You can present evidence that could help you at the hearing, and you have the right to cross-examine witnesses. These valuable due process protections ensure that a court does not revoke your probation unlawfully. Having an aggressive Ohio probation violation defense lawyer will safeguard your rights to a fair hearing. After a hearing, the judge has three options: Enter a finding of “no violation”; Find you in violation of probation and reprobate or extend probation—sometimes judges will add more conditions to your community control; or Find you in violation of your probation, revoke your probation, and sentence you to prison or jail. The judge has broad discretion when it comes to probation violation hearings. You stand a better chance of convincing the judge that you should remain on probation instead of going to jail with a dedicated defense lawyer skilled in representing people with a probation violation in Ohio. How Can a Gounaris Abboud Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You Avoid Probation Violation Consequences in Ohio? Contact an Ohio probation violation defense lawyer from Gounaris Abboud as soon as you learn that you violated community control. You stand the best chance to correct the violation before landing in jail. Our firm will work with your probation officer to rectify any issues so that you can continue on your path to rehabilitation. If police allege you committed a new crime, we will aggressively fight the new case and your probation violation.  Contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA, today at 937-222-1515 to speak with our award-winning criminal defense attorneys recognized as Super Lawyers in Ohio for the last decade.  

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