second degree misdemeanor

Facing criminal charges is a daunting prospect for anyone. On top of the risk of fines and jail time, having a criminal record can disrupt your life in a number of other ways. If you face second-degree misdemeanor charges, it is vitally important to understand the potential consequences that follow a conviction.  Potential Penalties for Second-Degree Misdemeanors Ohio law splits misdemeanors into five different categories or levels. Ohio law bases the misdemeanor level on the seriousness of the crime. Minor misdemeanors are the least serious, and first-degree misdemeanors are the most serious. The severity of punishment corresponds with the level of the crime. Above first-degree misdemeanors are fifth-degree misdemeanors.  In Ohio, second-degree misdemeanors include theft, shoplifting, vandalism, and manufacturing or selling drug paraphernalia. Conviction of a second-degree misdemeanor can bring two primary types of punishment in Ohio: a fine and jail time. The maximum incarceration period for a second-degree misdemeanor in Ohio is 90 days. The maximum fine is $750. If convicted of a second-degree felony, the punishment can include one or the other, or both. It is important to note that these are the maximum punishments that a judge can impose.  Mitigating Circumstances and Mitigating Punishments Punishment for a second-degree misdemeanor may end up less severe than the maximum based on mitigating circumstances. Mitigating factors do not mean that a person did not commit a crime. Instead, they lessen the severity of a crime in the eyes of the law and society and thus lessen the imposed punishment’s severity. Mitigating factors include things like: Remorse of a perpetrator; The culpability of the victim; A perpetrator’s clean record; Irregular circumstances surrounding the crime; and Relative necessity. An experienced criminal defense attorney will work closely with you to figure out which mitigating factors they should present to the judge to lessen the severity of a second-degree misdemeanor sentence.  Mitigating punishments may also lessen the severity of the jail time or fine imposed by the courts. Mitigating punishments include things like community service, probation, counseling, drug treatment, or license suspension. In some cases, a judge will impose a mitigating punishment of their own volition. However, in other cases, someone facing criminal charges and their defense attorney can ask for mitigating punishments themselves. A judge will assess the facts of the case and mitigating factors to determine whether circumstances warrant a mitigating punishment. How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help If you face a second-degree misdemeanor charge, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your criminal defense attorney will work closely with you to hear your side of the story and craft a suitable defense for it. On top of the possibility of beating the case in court, your attorney can fight to have your case dismissed, argue for your sentence to be reduced or mitigated, or negotiate a plea bargain to drop the criminal charges to a lower level. An experienced criminal defense attorney is your best bet to beat or lessen the severity of criminal charges. Contact Us If You Are Facing a Second Degree Misdemeanor Charge in Ohio If you face a second-degree misdemeanor charge in Ohio, you may feel like you are against the world. However, you don’t have to be alone in your fight to protect yourself. Gounaris Abboud, LPA’s criminal defense attorneys can help you fight to prove your innocence. With over 50 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, have seen it all and helped countless clients. Our firm is bold in its criminal defense and not afraid to take on the most challenging cases. No matter what the charge is, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, is here to help, so contact us today for a free consultation.

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First-Degree Misdemeanors Ohio

Arrested for a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio? Call 973-222-1515 The United States government is set up to allow each state to create its own criminal law. In most states, including Ohio, most crimes fall into two categories or “grades”—felonies and misdemeanors. While misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, a misdemeanor conviction can still have a significant impact on your life. For example, depending on the offense, a first-time misdemeanor offense can carry the possibility of fines, probation, and even jail time. If you’re ready to start your defense, contact the experienced Ohio criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA today. The Degrees of Ohio Misdemeanors In Ohio, there are five types of misdemeanors. Minor misdemeanors, Fourth-degree misdemeanors, Third-degree misdemeanors, Second-degree misdemeanors, and First-degree misdemeanors. Minor misdemeanors are the least serious, and first-degree misdemeanors are the most serious. Many crimes can be graded in different ways, depending on the facts alleged by the prosecution. For example, domestic violence (Ohio Revised Code section 2919.25), can be a fourth-degree misdemeanor, third-degree misdemeanor, second-degree misdemeanor, or first-degree misdemeanor.  In the case of domestic violence, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor if someone knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical harm to a family or household member. Domestic violence is also a first-degree misdemeanor if you recklessly cause serious physical harm to a family or household member. Other examples of first-degree misdemeanors include: Driving under the influence of drugs; Petty theft of items valued at $1,000 or less; Driving on a suspended license; and Assault. As stated, first-degree misdemeanors are the highest grade of this crime classification and generally carry the stiffest penalties. Punishments for First-Degree Misdemeanors In most cases, if you are convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio, the judge has discretion in how to sentence you. This means the judge will hear arguments from your misdemeanor attorney as well as the prosecution and then determine what the appropriate sentence will be. In some cases, the judge may also allow the victim to present a “victim impact statement.” However, generally, a first-degree misdemeanor conviction carries the following penalties: Up to six months in jail; and Up to a $1,000 fine. Depending on the nature of the offense, a judge may also impose other punishments, including mandatory house arrest, community service, probation, drug testing, or counseling. Typically, these punishments are alternatives to incarceration. For instance, if the judge sentences you to probation with community service and drug testing but you fail to complete the requirements as ordered—the court will likely sentence you to jail time instead. When determining what the appropriate sentence is, a judge will consider several factors: The prosecutor’s recommendation; The impact the crime had on the victim’s life; The level of remorse expressed by the defendant; The defendant’s prior record; and The impact incarceration would have on the defendant’s life. Generally, a first-time misdemeanor charge will not result in a jail sentence. However, in the case of more serious misdemeanors, jail time may be on the table. Additionally, some first-degree misdemeanors carry mandatory minimum sentences. Why Having a Criminal Defense Attorney Is Crucial for Those Facing First-Degree Misdemeanor Charges It is important for anyone facing first-degree misdemeanor charges to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Not only will a criminal law attorney help you determine the best way to defend against the allegations, but they can also advocate on your behalf during plea negotiations and at a sentencing hearing.  For sentencing hearings, attorneys know the types of things judges want to hear and the most effective way to convey this information. For example, many people convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor believe that they should hide their substance abuse issues from the judge because it may involve admitting to past criminal activity. However, often a judge who learns of a defendant’s mental health issues (including substance abuse) may be more inclined to fashion a rehabilitative sentence instead of one that includes jail time. It isn’t that drug use is an “excuse” for a person to commit a crime, but it certainly plays into the overall circumstances that a judge may consider when coming up with a sentence.  That said, it is also essential to present this information in an effective manner that may compel the judge to be lenient. Experienced attorneys know how to do this, and they often even know the judge. Knowing the predisposition of the judge can be quite valuable, and help your attorney fashion an argument that is most likely to get you a positive result. Attorneys may also be able to negotiate an agreement between you and the prosecution for a sentence that you can live with. This avoids the uncertainty of trial and can spare you the stress of not knowing what your future holds. Contact an Experienced Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Today If you were recently arrested for a first-degree misdemeanor, reach out to the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our Ohio criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience representing clients facing all types of crimes, ranging from a first-time misdemeanor offense to serious felony charges. We understand that facing criminal charges is a stressful experience, and we do everything we can to put your mind at ease throughout the process. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 937-222-1515 today. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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commonly used weapons in homicides

According to the CDC, there were 24,576 homicides in the United States in 2020. Broadly, homicide is defined as the deliberate and unlawful killing of another person. There are many ways people commit murder using objects clearly defined as weapons, everyday objects, or no weapon at all. However, there are three categories of commonly used weapons for homicides: firearms, knives, and body parts, including fists or feet. As you will see, firearms come out on top of the list of most common weapons used for homicides in our country. Murder by Numbers In the United States, as one might imagine, firearms are the leading cause of homicides. Firearms are a vast category encompassing many different types of guns. There are several different types of firearms most often used in homicides. The FBI researched to determine homicides by weapon type within the United States. The data was based on 13,922 out of 16,425 total homicides in the U.S. in 2019. The main focus of the study was to determine which firearms were most frequently used. However, the study did also compare those murder rates to non-firearm homicides. The data revealed that non-firearm weapons made up for about a quarter of all murders in the U.S. This includes knives and bodily weapons such as hands, fists, and feet.  Most Common Murder Weapon Of the leading causes of murders in the U.S., the FBI report unsurprisingly concludes that firearms are at the very top of the list. Out of the 13,922 homicides analyzed, 10,258 were committed using a firearm.  The study dove deeper and further broke that down by firearm type, classifying them into four categories: handguns, rifles, shotguns, and unknown types. While the news and media often spotlight “assault-style rifles,” that is not the most common murder weapon. Handguns were the type of weapon found to be the leading cause of murders. The FBI data further revealed that handguns were used in 45.7% of homicides nationwide. The following is a simple breakdown of the percentage of each type of firearm used in nationwide homicides: Handguns 45.7%; Rifles 2.6%; Shotguns 1.4%; and Firearms (type unknown) 23.9%. Although assault-style rifles are generally the center of attention, it does make sense on a fundamental level why the most common weapons used for homicides are handguns. Handguns are easy to carry because they are lightweight, small, and easily concealable. It stands to reason that handguns would be the gun of choice for homicides, robberies, and gang violence. A pistol is ideal if the perpetrator needs to hide the weapon to avoid being caught. The more diminutive stature of a handgun makes it favorable over a long gun. The need for a small, concealable firearm is especially true in inner cities and heavily populated urban areas.  Ohio Statistics In 2019, there were 521 homicides in Ohio, and 178, or 34.2% of them, were committed using a handgun. During the same time period, 188 homicides were committed using a firearm, while only 26 used a knife or other cutting instrument, and only 25 used bodily weapons.  Knife Deaths in the U.S.  While it is clear the most common type of murder weapon in the United States is a firearm, knives seem to be the second most used weapon of choice. Knife deaths in the U.S. are a problem and occur at a relatively high rate. According to the FBI, knife deaths accounted for 1,476 homicides, or 10.6% of all homicides nationwide. As with handguns, knives are easily concealable and lightweight, making them a popular weapon.  Homicide Rates Are at a High In 2020, the murder rate rose drastically by close to 30%. It is reported that approximately 75% of these murders were committed with a firearm. This data may come as a surprise to some people. According to the CDC, 2020 had the highest homicide rate since 1995. Murder remains a problem in the United States, and it remains to be seen whether the best approach to curtailing increased homicide rates is on the state or federal level. We Can Help If you have been charged with a crime, up to and including homicide, you need an excellent attorney to help protect your rights. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we pride ourselves on offering our clients personal, one-on-one attention. We take each and every case very seriously. Our committed and compassionate lawyers have 50 years of combined experience and an excellent reputation to back up our claims of offering you the most aggressive defense possible. Call 937-222-1515 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.

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Driving Without a Valid Operator’s License in Ohio

Every state within the United States controls driving privileges by requiring anyone operating a motor vehicle to have a valid driver’s license. Further, drivers are required to abide by laws and restrictions when driving. Should a motor vehicle operator break the law one too many times, they may have their driving privileges revoked. This means they no longer have a valid driver’s license and cannot lawfully operate a car. Each state has its own particular requirements and penalties. If you were caught driving without a valid operator’s license in Ohio, there are a few different charges you could face depending on the specific circumstances. The penalties can range from minor fines to license suspension and even incarceration. Reach out to our experienced Ohio attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, to discuss your case and defense. Ohio Law In Ohio, no person is allowed to operate any motor vehicle on a public road or highway or any public or private property used by the public for purposes of vehicular travel or parking unless the person has a valid driver’s license.  Is it Illegal to Drive Without Your License on You? Even if you have a valid license, it is still against the law to drive without having your license in your possession. So you might be wondering, What happens if you get pulled over without your license on you? Drivers are required to have their license on them anytime they are operating a motor vehicle. If the police catch you driving without your license on you, but you have a valid driver’s license, this is still a violation of Ohio law.  Specifically, you may be issued a ticket for driving without proof of license in Ohio. If found guilty, you could face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Expired Drivers’ License If you are convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license in Ohio because your license is expired, you will be charged with a minor misdemeanor and face a fine of $150. No Operator’s License: Ohio Fine and Penalties We are often asked, What happens if you get caught driving without a license but with a permit in Ohio? A learner’s permit is not a driver’s license and does not allow operators to drive carte blanche. There are restrictions during the learning and provisional process that must be followed. Drivers with a temporary instruction permit under the age of 16 must have a parent, guardian, or licensed driving instructor in the passenger seat while driving. If the learner is 16 or older, they are bound by this restriction only between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. Otherwise, they must be accompanied by a driver over the age of 21. In both scenarios, the supervising driver cannot be intoxicated. If you violate these provisions, it could result in an extended probationary period. Penalties It may not be the crime of the century, but driving without a license can result in significant consequences. Two of the most common penalties are fines and further license revocation or suspension. Can you go to jail for driving without a license in Ohio? Depending on the specific offense and your prior driving record, you can potentially face jail time for driving without a license. First Offense Generally, a first offense for driving without a license in Ohio will result in only fines and fees. You may also be sentenced to a community residential sanction, otherwise known as community service. If you are convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license and have never been licensed, your charge would be an unclassified misdemeanor. In addition to a fine of up to $1,000, you could be ordered to complete up to 500 community service hours. Second or Subsequent Offense If you are convicted for second or subsequent driving without a valid driver’s license offense, your charge would be a first-degree misdemeanor. The punishment now increases to up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Three-Year Rule The court may impose a license suspension of up to one year if, within three years of the current offense: The offender previously was convicted of or pleaded guilty to one or more violations of this section, and  The offender’s license has expired for more than six months at the time of the offense.  Under such circumstances, you’d be wise to consult an attorney. Help Is Here At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have more than 50 years of collective experience in criminal defense and motor vehicle violations. Driving without a license in Ohio can have serious consequences and even negatively impact your ability to earn a living. We understand things happen at all hours of the day, not just during business hours. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we are always available 24/7 to take your call. Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our premier attorneys.

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Stalking and Sexually Oriented Offense Protection orders

Ohio offers victims of sexually oriented offenses or stalking the ability to obtain a protection order that prevents the alleged offender from taking specific actions, such as: Contacting the alleged victim, Threatening the alleged victim, Going to the alleged victim’s home or workplace, or Physically assaulting the alleged victim. If you are facing a protection order in Dayton, Ohio, reach out to Gounaris Abboud, LPA as soon as possible.  Different Types of Protection Order in Dayton, Ohio A judge can grant a temporary protection order (TPO), which lasts for only a short period until the court can hold a hearing on a full order. The judge can grant a TPO following allegations: Domestic violence, Aggravated assault, Felonious assault,  Menacing by stalking, or Aggravated trespass. Violation of a TPO is a criminal offense.  A civil protection order issued under Ohio Revised Code Section 3113.31 applies only to domestic violence situations. That means the alleged act of violence must have occurred toward the accused’s household or family member. A civil protection order can remain in effect from six months to five years. If the alleged victim is not a family or household member, the victim can request a criminal protection order if the accused faces charges for any of the following criminal offenses: Felonious assault, Aggravated assault, Assault, Aggravated menacing, Menacing by stalking,  Menacing, or Aggravated trespass. The criminal protection order can apply to the alleged victim, as well as their family members, if they are in danger. Stalking or Sexually Oriented Offense Protection Orders in Ohio Stalking or sexually oriented offense protection orders (SSOOPO) are different from customary protection orders in Ohio. To file for an SSOOPO against someone 18 or older, the alleged victim has to file their petition in the court of common pleas in the county they live in.  There is no cost to file the petition for an SSOOPO, get the order issued, or enforce the order. Additionally, law enforcement will serve the order free of charge. If the petitioner can show that the suspect engaged in conduct that would cause a reasonable person to believe that their health, welfare, or safety were at risk and that the suspect presents a continuing danger to them, the judge can order electronic monitoring. When someone files for an SSOOPO, the court will hold an ex parte hearing with the accuser and collect information about the circumstances. The judge will then decide whether to issue a temporary protection order until the full hearing occurs. The judge will schedule the full hearing within seven to ten days after the petition is filed. At the full hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to present their side of the case. After the hearing, the judge will decide whether to grant a final protection order, which can last up to five years. Civil Stalking Protection Order in Ohio A victim can apply for a civil stalking protection order in Ohio against anyone who has committed the crime of stalking or menacing by stalking. Menacing by stalking occurs when a person knowingly engages in a “pattern of conduct” that makes the victim believe the stalker will hurt them physically or causes them mental distress. Mental distress typically means any condition that would require counseling or therapy. Examples of stalking behavior include things like: Tracking the victim’s location with GPS or cell phone applications, Trespassing in the victim’s home or workplace, Threatening the victim or their family, Scrupulously monitoring the victim’s social media, and Following the victim home repeatedly. To constitute a “pattern of conduct,” the alleged victim needs to demonstrate at least two actions or incidents of concern by the suspect. Ohio Sexually Oriented Protection Order . A sexually oriented offense occurs when someone commits or attempts to commit: Rape, Sexual battery,  Unlawful sexual contact with a minor,  Gross sexual imposition, Importuning, Voyeurism, Prostitution, Pandering obscenity, or Menacing by stalking with sexual motivation. An arrest is not required for a sexually oriented offense protection order. Instead, the petitioner must show that the suspect committed one of the sexually oriented offenses listed above. Violating a Protection Order Violating a protection order is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree in Ohio. A first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio carries a maximum penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If the named party violates a protection order while committing a felony, the violation is a felony in the third degree. A third-degree felony in Ohio carries a maximum penalty of sixty months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Should I Hire an Attorney for a Protection Order in Ohio? When the court grants a protection order, they will do so after hearing evidence from both parties to the order. During the hearing, you can dispute the petitioner’s allegations against you and offer your own statement. Having an attorney to represent you during the hearing can prove a valuable benefit to your case.  Protection orders often arise in high-stress, complicated situations and can impact your life in many negative ways. Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can provide the information you need to navigate this process and fight a protection order in Ohio. Contact our office today to discuss your case.

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unlawful sexual conduct with a minor

No person who is eighteen years of age or older shall engage in sexual conduct with another, who is not the spouse of the offender when the offender knows the other person is thirteen years of age or older but less than sixteen years of age or the offender is reckless in that regard. Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.04, if the offender is ten (10) years or more years older than the other person, unlawful sexual conduct with a minor is a felony of the third degree.     Age of Consent In Ohio, the age of consent is 16 years old. This means anyone over the age of 16 may have sexual intercourse with anyone else who is also at least 16 years old. It even goes so far as to allow a 16-year-old to engage in sexual intercourse with a 40-year-old as long as it is consensual and the older individual is not in a position of authority (e.g., the 16-year-old’s teacher or priest).  Any marriage involving a 16 or 17-year-old girl requires parental consent, but only judicial consent is required if the teenager is a boy. Further, child pornography laws always apply even with incestuous relationships. Even though there may be consent between a 16-year-old and a 30-year-old, the 30-year-old cannot film or photograph the 16-year-old in any state of nudity. Sex Crimes As with any sexual relationship or conduct between adults, it must be consensual. However, there are circumstances that involve individuals who do not have the capacity to provide consent. For instance, the other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age, and the offender knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the other person’s ability to resist or consent is substantially impaired because of a mental or physical condition or because of advanced age. Sexual Battery When a parent or parental figure has sexual intercourse with their child, it is considered sexual battery, which is a third-degree felony in Ohio. A conviction carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, fines of up to $10,000, and sex offender registration. If the child is under 13, then the sexual battery charge becomes a second-degree felony. A conviction is punishable by up to eight years in prison, up to a $15,000 fine, and sex offender registration. Statutory Rape In Ohio, an individual who is 18 or older cannot engage in sexual conduct with a 13 to 16-year-old who is not their spouse. If the offender is less than 4 years older than the victim, it is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, or both. If the offender is between 4 and 9 years older than the victim, it is a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison, up to $5,000 in fines, or both. If the offender is 10 or more years older than the victim, it is a third-degree felony punishable by up to 36 months in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, or both. If you have been accused of an incest-related sex crime of any magnitude, contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA, to discuss your case and possible defenses. Ohio Criminal Defense Attorneys At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our goal is always to provide the best possible outcome for our clients. We have over 50 years of combined experience, and we pride ourselves on providing excellent legal counsel to all who come to us for help. Our award-winning criminal defense attorneys will provide you with aggressive and reliable representation for your case from start to finish. If you have been accused of an incest crime, contact us today to get started on your defense.

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social network and sex crimes

The explosion of social networking, online dating, and smartphone apps in recent years has brought along with it a new onslaught of sex crimes. While most interactions on social media are harmless banter between family, friends, and even strangers, some interactions have a darker side. If you have been accused of an online sex crime, you need to seek the immediate guidance of a skilled online sex crime lawyer.  Apps such as Tinder, OnlyFans, Bumble, and Plenty of Fish all have one thing in common: sex. The purpose of these apps might be to unite individuals looking for a relationship, to just have fun, or to simply promote sexy pictures. And most users go onto these platforms with good intentions. However, there will always be users who harbor nefarious intentions.  Unfortunately, even when your intentions are good, you may find yourself on the wrong side of an accusation.  If you have been accused of a sex crime that stemmed from social networking, you should seek the immediate assistance of an online sex crime attorney. Even a mere allegation can damage your reputation and wreak havoc on your life. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our experienced online sex crime lawyer can help you defend your name and freedom. Sex Crimes Online Sex crimes online are taken just as seriously as sex crimes that happen in the real world. Social networking makes it possible for individuals to do or say things they might not otherwise be inclined to do. It is also an arena that allows people to post pictures or videos of themselves with the intention of attracting a date or partner. The nature of these photos and forward actions can sometimes make it confusing for law enforcement to determine what is consensual and what is not. Misbehavior on one of these apps could lead to these common charges: Unlawful sexual contact with a minor, Pandering obscenity, Importuning or solicitation of an adult, Solicitation of a minor, Importuning or solicitation of illegal sexual materials, Possession of child pornography, Gross sexual imposition, Sexual battery, and Public indecency. A sex crime online can lead to significant, life-altering consequences. Often, what begins online evolves into a physical altercation.  Unlawful Sexual Contact With Minor What often begins as chatting online through social media or an app can lead to a physical meeting. Unlawful sexual contact with a minor is one such instance. Before meeting up with an individual you are chatting with over the internet, it is crucial to know the identity of this person and that it is, in fact, a consenting adult.  In Ohio, the mere showing of intent to have contact with an underage individual is a crime.  Pandering Obscenity Pandering obscenity is a cybercrime you can be charged with if you aren’t careful when engaging in online activity.  In Ohio, you can be charged with pandering obscenity if you are accused of creating, reproducing, publishing, buying, selling, advertising for sale, publicly distributing, or publicly displaying any obscene material. And if the material involves a minor, the charge is even more serious. A person can even be charged with this crime for merely possessing such material. Pandering obscenity involves knowing the nature of the pictures or performance depicted in the material. If an individual panders obscenity involving a minor, they may face very serious charges of possession and distribution of child pornography. This is why it is so crucial to understand the age of consent and be sure you are conversing and engaging with adults. Solicitation Importuning, otherwise known as a solicitation, is when an individual solicits illegal sexual materials over the internet. Solicitation can take many forms through chat rooms, messaging, and sharing files.  Sex Offender Registry A conviction for any of these sex crimes will most certainly result in mandatory sex offender registration. The degree and severity of the crime will determine how long the court may require you to remain on the sex offender registry. Any length of time on the sex offender registry can be extremely damaging to your reputation. It can prohibit you from finding and maintaining gainful employment or securing a mortgage. Don’t risk your reputation; hire a knowledgeable online sex crime attorney the minute you are accused of a crime.   How Do I Avoid Trouble with Social Networking? Unfornatutely, there is no advice or tip that can guarantee you are never charged with a sex crime from using social media or a dating app. However, you can take certain precautions to protect yourself from unwanted allegations. Only use dating apps intended for adults. Confirm the individual on the other side of the phone or computer is, in fact, an adult. Once that person verbally confirms they are an adult, do a little digging for yourself and check their Facebook and social media presence for signs they may actually be underage. For example, if the person claims they are an adult but does not have a driver’s license or work experience—it can be a red flag.  If all else fails, trust your gut. If it seems like the person might be a minor, it is better to err on the side of caution. Social Networking and Sex Crime Defense Attorneys At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have dedicated our career to helping individuals facing the toughest situations. You will always receive one-on-one attention from our attorneys. If you have been accused of a sex crime online, you need sharp representation. Some of our lawyers are former prosecutors. This experience provides them with unique insight and perspective into defending clients accused of a crime. Meet with us today to discuss a tailor-made defense for your case. We are here to take your call.

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who investigates federal crimes

The federal government authorizes multiple agencies to investigate several areas of federal crime.  An enormous quantity of federal crimes exist. Thus, one agency would get overwhelmed if it were responsible for investigating every single allegation of wrongdoing. Instead, various agencies head federal crime investigations for offenses within their expertise. For example, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigates allegations of tax fraud, tax evasion, and other violations of federal tax codes. If you tasked a group of IRS federal crime investigators with finding a suspected drug smuggler, they would likely not know where to start.  Even if you are under investigation by a federal agency, you still have the right to effective legal counsel. Federal criminal charges can result in steep fines, a stiff prison sentence, and a significant stint on probation. Contact one of our federal criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA today to represent you. Which Agencies Investigate Federal Crimes? As stated above, several agencies investigate allegations of federal law violations. The various federal agencies hold responsibility for different types of crimes. Federal Bureau of Investigation If you watch law enforcement dramas on television, you have likely heard of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI essentially acts as the police for the federal government, making up the largest federal law enforcement agency. It is tasked with investigating a broad range of crimes, including: Drug trafficking, Financial wrongdoing, Kidnapping, Counterterrorism, and Criminals who cross state lines. Additionally, the FBI frequently assists local law enforcement with their investigations, providing lots of additional resources and expertise when needed. Drug Enforcement Agency The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) carries responsibility for investigating and enforcing federal drug laws. The DEA primarily focuses on large-scale drug operations that transport the products across state lines or deal in international drug trafficking. In many cases, the DEA and FBI partner with local agencies to take down large drug trafficking rings and prevent smuggling. The DEA also seizes and forfeits any assets that are derived from, traceable to, or intended to be used for drug trafficking. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is often not as recognizable as some other federal agencies that make appearances across nighttime television programs. However, ATF is responsible for some of the largest investigations. ATF specializes in the enforcement of federal weapons charges, which can include anything from firearms trafficking to the illegal use and storage of explosives. The ATF also investigates arson, bombings, and acts of terrorism. Securities and Exchange Commission The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates and enforces federal securities laws to protect investors and improve transparency in the investing process. The SEC oversees participants involved in securities markets and brings civil enforcement actions against parties accused of crimes like insider trading, fraud, or false and misleading statements to investors.  Many of the crimes investigated by the SEC are referred to as white collar crimes. In some cases, the FBI assists the SEC in its investigation of white collar criminal activity. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for enforcing immigration laws as well as investigating criminal and terrorist activity of foreign nationals that reside within the United States. ICE was formed after 9/11 and is the primary investigative and law enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Fish and Wildlife Service The law enforcement division of the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) investigates crimes involving wildlife, regulates wildlife trade, helps conserve wildlife resources, and educates everyday Americans about wildlife protection laws. This is who investigates crimes like poaching or hunting an endangered animal. U.S. Postal Inspection Service The Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) enforces the laws that defend the United States mail system from illegal or dangerous uses. The Postal Inspection Service also supports and protects the USPS and its employees, infrastructure, and customers in whatever ways it can.  Does It Matter Who Investigates Federal Crimes? Regardless of which agency investigates the federal crime, the accused party still has the same constitutional rights. It might seem scarier to go into an interview with an FBI agent as opposed to a local police officer. However, the FBI agent has to respect your constitutional rights the same way. Regardless of whether you are facing allegations at the federal or state level, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. Are You the Subject of a Federal Crime Investigation? Contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA Today Our team of federal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA has over 50 years of combined experience representing individuals with criminal accusations against them. If you or a loved one is facing allegations that you committed a federal offense, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can. Even in the most challenging cases, we pride ourselves on offering aggressive and courageous advocacy for our clients. Contact our office at 937-222-1515, so we can start reviewing your case.

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miranda rights

If you have watched a television show about police officers or crime, you have likely heard of Miranda rights. However, most people do not know when Miranda rights actually come into play and what happens if law enforcement violates them. Unfortunately, a Miranda rights violation is not an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card. In some situations, a Miranda violation can result in getting pieces of evidence excluded from trial. While this may not result in an automatic dismissal, it can make your defense stronger and leave more room to negotiate a favorable plea agreement.  If you have concerns over whether law enforcement officials violated your Miranda rights, contact a criminal defense lawyer with Gounaris Abboud, LPA as soon as possible. We can review the circumstances of your case and help determine whether your Miranda rights were violated.   What Are Miranda Rights? As the basis for Miranda rights, the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees accused criminal defendants the right to an attorney, and the Fifth Amendment guarantees the right to be free from self-incrimination. Once law enforcement officials have you in custody and plan to interrogate you for suspected criminal misconduct, they must advise you of these rights before they proceed. Most police officers will read the same Miranda rights script: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me? Some versions of this script might vary from place to place. However, they all give you the same information. Slight variations of the same information do not generally constitute a violation of your Miranda rights. When Do Miranda Rights Become Relevant? Some people believe that a police officer must read your Miranda rights as soon as they make contact with you. However, this is not the case. Miranda rights do not come into play until officers conduct an in-custody interrogation.  For example, if you are arrested at the scene of an alleged crime and transported to the police station, the officers do not have to read your Miranda rights during the entirety of that period as long as they do not ask you any questions. If they later interrogate you about the crime you were arrested for, then they are required to read your Miranda rights first. If you make voluntary statements during the transport without prompting, those statements will be used against you in court.  Alternatively, if you voluntarily come in for an interview with police, they likely do not need to read your Miranda rights. However, if you are not free to leave the interview upon your own request, that is considered “in custody” for purposes of Miranda.  How Do I Invoke My Miranda Rights? After authorities read your Miranda rights, you can simply state that you do not wish to speak without an attorney present to invoke your rights. You should explicitly state that you are invoking your rights instead of relying on nonverbal communication like shaking your head. If you verbally state that you want an attorney, the interrogation should stop until you get a chance to consult with one. If you invoke your Miranda rights but later ask to talk to authorities, you can waive your rights. That means anything you say is admissible in court. Sometimes authorities will try to convince you to waive your Miranda rights by feigning a potential deal if you speak to them. Remember, the authorities are not on your side and are interested only in proving your guilt. Consult with an attorney before you waive your Miranda rights. What If My Miranda Rights Are Violated? If you invoke your Miranda rights and a police officer continues to interrogate you, your subsequent confessions are inadmissible in court. However, any prior evidence collected against you can still be used for the prosecution’s case. For example, police officers do not collect a lot of information by means of interrogation from the suspected driver at the time of a DUI arrest. Instead, law enforcement uses tools like breath or blood tests to determine the alcohol concentration in one’s blood. As a result, an excluded confession in a DUI case will likely not result in the dismissal of your case. Alternatively, if the prosecution’s entire case rests on a confession that was obtained in violation of your Miranda rights, that could lead to a case dismissal. The legal issues that surround Miranda rights violations often require an in-depth understanding of criminal defense law. Contact an attorney at Gounaris Abboud, LPA today so we can discuss your case. If You Have Other Questions About Miranda Rights, Contact Gounaris Abboud Today Many people treat Miranda rights violations as a cut-and-dried legal issue that can result in a quick, easy dismissal. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. Understanding the nuances of Miranda rights can take years, even decades. Luckily, our team at Gounaris Abboud, LPA has over 50 years of collective experience fighting for those facing criminal accusations. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with aggressive and reliable legal representation.  Do not make the mistake of trying to handle your own legal defense. Our team has decades of experience navigating the criminal justice process. Let us put that experience to work for you. Contact our office today at 937-222-1515, so we can start reviewing your case.

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gun restoration ohio

Have you been convicted of a felony in Ohio and have lost your right to own and carry a firearm?  The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution provides the right of the people to “keep and bear arms.”  However, a felony conviction can take that right away.  If you are interested in restoring your right to own and bear arms, then contact the Ohio criminal defense lawyers from Gounaris Abboud, LPA. Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys have the skills you need to work with you to restore your gun rights.   How Does an Ohio Resident Lose Their Gun Rights? A person can lose their 2nd Amendment right to own and bear arms in a number of ways, including: Committing a felony; If you’re found to be drug or alcohol dependent, or in danger of becoming drug or alcohol dependent;  Determined by a Court to be mentally incompetent; Are subject to certain restraining orders. How Does an Ohio Citizen Restore Their Gun Rights? If you’ve lost your right to own and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment because of a felony conviction, there is a mechanism under Ohio law to restore those rights.  A person must first have completed their sentence, including being discharged from probation, parole and not be under any court supervision; A person must be a “fit subject” for relief by leading a law-abiding life;; A person must NOT have had any new convictions since the conviction that led to the loss of their gun rights. If all of these factors have been met, then it is important to contact the Ohio criminal defense lawyers from Gounaris Abboud, LPA.  Our lawyers are knowledgeable and can assist you in filing the necessary paperwork.  Even after filing, you will have to convince a court that you are not a danger to the community, and you deserve the right to own and bear arms.   Get the Help You Need to Help Restore Your Gun Rights If you have more questions or need help in working to restore your gun rights, call Gounaris Abboud, LPA, right away at 937-222-1515. Our award-winning and reputable criminal defense lawyers can work with you to help restore your 2nd Amendment rights. We have more than 50 years of combined experience, and we enjoy a great professional reputation in the legal community. We’ve won numerous recognitions and awards, including being named in the Ohio Super Lawyers List, making the Top 100 Trial Lawyers List from the National Trial Lawyers Association, and we enjoy an excellent 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO. So don’t hesitate. Contact us today for more information.

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