Have you or a loved one been charged with a felony in Ohio? If so, you’ll want to know what to expect from your preliminary hearing. When a defendant is charged with a felony in Ohio, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled in the local municipal court. According to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), a preliminary hearing determines if there is probable cause to hold the defendant. This hearing also determines if the criminal case should move forward in the legal process. Here, our criminal defense team answers questions about what to expect at a preliminary hearing in Ohio. Ohio Preliminary Hearing: Understanding the Basics What is a Preliminary Hearing? A preliminary hearing is a type of screening procedure. At the hearing, there will be a review of the prosecution’s evidence to ensure that there is reasonable cause to hold a defendant in jail or apply bond conditions. What is the Timeline for a Preliminary Hearing? When a preliminary hearing is used instead of a grand jury, it will occur right after an arrest. Prosecutors must hold a preliminary hearing within ten days if the defendant is being held in custody or within fifteen days if the defendant was released from custody. To protect your rights, consult with an experienced Dayton, OH criminal defense lawyer before your preliminary hearing. What Actually Happens at a Preliminary Hearing in Ohio? A preliminary hearing proceeds in the same way as a trial. First, the prosecution has an opportunity to lay out its evidence. For the defendant, this is a critical first look at the prosecution’s case. Under Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code § 2937.12), the prosecution must prove probable cause. If they fail to do so, they defendant can petition for discharge after the hearing. How Should I Prepare for a Preliminary Hearing? If you have a preliminary hearing in Ohio, seek representation from an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will be able to build a proper defense strategy for the trial. Get Help From Our Dayton, OH Criminal Defense Attorneys Right Away At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our Ohio criminal defense lawyers are strong advocates for our clients. If you or your loved one was charged with a crime, we are here to help. To set up a free, no-obligation analysis of your case, please contact our law firm today. With offices located in Dayton and Springboro, we represent defendants throughout the region.

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difference between federal and state crimes

Facing criminal charges causes a lot of anxiety. After being charged with an offense, you need an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney on your side. How do you know how to find the best lawyer for your case when you don’t understand your charges? What’s the difference between federal and state crimes? There are both common questions that we’ll answer for you below Learning More About the Difference Between Federal and State Crimes Understanding the difference between state and federal felony charges can be confusing. Many crimes can be charged either as state or felony offenses. State and federal courts often have concurrent jurisdiction for a crime, meaning that state or federal authorities can arrest and prosecute someone. Ohio state criminal offenses have different elements of the crime than federal charges. State convictions may also carry different penalties under Ohio law than federal convictions. State Felony vs. Federal Felony Charges in Ohio What are federal charges? When can a person expect to face federal charges instead of state charges? There are many situations where a crime may be a federal offense rather than a state offense. The following are the most common reasons that a person faces federal charges instead of state charges under Ohio law: Crime occurs on federal property; Crime involves interstate connections, or movement across state borders (i.e., from Ohio into Pennsylvania); Crime involves a federal government agency or investigation by a federal government agency such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF); or Crime is part of a larger operation or investigation by a federal agency or an investigation that involves individuals in more than one state. Examples of Federal Crimes vs. State Crimes Examples of types of crimes that are charged as federal crimes include: Weapons charges; White-collar financial crimes; Computer crimes; Internet sex crimes; Organized crime; and Drug trafficking. Examples of crimes that are charged under state law rather than federal law include: Homicide; Robbery; Burglary; Assault and battery; Drug possession (small amounts); and Theft offenses. In some situations, crimes that are usually charged under state law can be charged as federal offenses. For example, if a robbery or burglary charge is related to a large-scale criminal organization that has been operating across state lines, the charges will be federal. Seek Advice from an Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney If you have questions about criminal charges in Ohio or need help building a defense, our Ohio criminal defense attorney is here to help. Contact Gounaris Abboud to get started on your defense today.

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A criminal record can have a detrimental impact on both your present circumstances and your future opportunities. Any past charges and convictions listed on your criminal record have the potential to damage your social relationships and limit your employment and educational opportunities. Fortunately, as of October 29, 2018, Ohio is expanding its expungement laws under ORC § 2953.32. An expungement serves as a legal pardon that seals away specific charges and convictions from your criminal record. While the record still exists, you can legally claim the sealed offense never occurred. Your criminal history won’t even show up on background checks unless you’re applying for a government position or a caregiving role. According to ORC § 2953.32, you may be able to permanently expunge certain nonviolent and nonsexual misdemeanors and/or felonies. Per the new law, you may be able to: Expunge up to five fourth and fifth-degree felonies Expunge unlimited misdemeanors However, the following exceptions may limit your expungement options: Your convictions can’t be violent or sexually-oriented felonies Your misdemeanor offenses can’t be violence-related You can’t have any first, second, or third-degree felonies This is very exciting news for people with criminal records and criminal defense attorneys! Anyone with prior convictions related to theft and drugs can now have a second chance at life without being haunted by the deeds of their past. However, if your record isn’t eligible under the new law, you can still benefit from older expungement laws. It’s important to discuss your case with a seasoned criminal defense attorney to learn which options best benefit your circumstances. Schedule a Consultation At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we are thrilled for the many opportunities this new law provides our fellow Ohioans. If you have any questions about ORC § 2953.32, your eligibility, or the expungement process, contact our Dayton criminal defense attorneys today. Call Gounaris Abboud, LPA at 937-222-1515 to schedule a consultation.

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Assault charges can vary greatly, depending on the circumstance of the crime and the harm inflicted on the supposed victim. If you are accused of assault, it is important that you act fast and find out what you can about the charges laid against you, and seek competent legal counsel to begin building a solid defense. An assault conviction could lead to jail or prison time, probation, community service, costly fines, a criminal record, and other penalties that could severely impact your life. But, what exactly can you do to protect yourself from assault charges? When faced with criminal charges, even for violent crimes like assault, there are a number of ways your attorney might build your defense. 1. Prove Self-Defense Considered one of the most common types of defense against assault charges, claiming the defendant’s actions were in self-defense is one way in which he or she could seek the dismissal of all charges. To prove the accused acted in self-defense, he or she must have had the threat of unlawful harm against them, an honest fear of that harm being inflicted, and there must have been no chance of escaping the situation. Also, they accused must not have provoked or harmed the other person involved. Similarly to self-defense, to prove the defendant acted in defense of others he or she must have had a genuine fear of harm to another person, or group of people, to justify the resulting actions. 2. Defense of Property There are also laws in place to protect those accused of assault if they were defending their home or property. The force used must be considered reasonable in comparison to the threat, which is open to the interpretation of the court. This defense is usually used when a homeowner defends his or her property against invasion or theft but can be applied to other situations as well. 3. Prove Consent Another way to defend against assault charges is to prove the supposed victim consented to the acts in question. If the act was consented to, it is not legally considered assault. Some courts are more strict with this defense than others, sometimes considering any act seen as harmful to be a violation of public policy. 4. Prove Innocence If the accused is innocent, his or her case could be defended through the use of an alibi. If the defendant was elsewhere when the crime was committed, this would most likely prove innocence. A criminal defense attorney may also be able to prove innocence by showing any reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused. 5. Plea Bargain In certain circumstances, a plea bargain proves to be the best course of action, especially when other options could result in heftier penalties. When the stakes are particularly high and other defense options are unavailable to you, it is sometimes best for the defense attorney to discuss alternatives with the prosecution, where the two may be able to agree to lesser charges with a lighter sentence if the accused pleads guilty. While all of these defensive strategies can be strong in their own right, each case is different and should be evaluated by an experienced legal professional. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA our criminal defense attorneys will review the circumstances of your case and come up with the best course of action to effectively defend your case and protect your future. To get started,contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA for a free case evaluation.

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Sobriety checkpoints are a tool commonly used by law enforcement in an attempt to spot individuals who are driving under the influence (DUI). As with any police encounter, it is critical to understand your rights in order to stay safe. If you make the wrong move at a checkpoint, you could end up in trouble with the law, even if you have done nothing wrong. Below, we outline what to do and what not to do in the event that you find yourself stopped at a DUI checkpoint. What Not to Do During a DUI Stop Do not consent to a vehicle search: Unless the police possess probable cause or a warrant, they require your consent to perform a search of you or your vehicle. In the case of a routine traffic stop, drivers are typically not singled out and thus it is extremely unlikely that police will have the legal foundation to conduct a search. Telling a police officer “no” may be uncomfortable or may even feel unlawful but you are well within your rights to do so. Do not take a field sobriety test: If the officer has reason to believe that you have been drinking, you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test. The three tests commonly administered are the one leg stand test, the walk and turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. What law enforcement may not want you to know is that all three tests are optional and you cannot be punished for the refusal to participate. Sobriety tests are not meant for a driver to prove their innocence. Do not take the breathalyzer: A breathalyzer given before an arrest is another example of a police action that requires your consent. While it is possible that denying this test may raise an officer’s suspicion, if he or she is planning to arrest you, there may be little you can do to stop it. Participation only serves to give the police evidence to build a case against you. It is important to note that the chemical tests given after an arrest are a separate animal. Refusal of a chemical test at the police station can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. What to Do During a DUI Stop Limit what you say: If an officer pulls you over at a DUI stop, it is likely that he or she will ask questions about what you have been doing. Remember, law enforcement may be looking for signs of driver intoxication and any information you give them may be used against you. It can be best to limit what you say or to remain silent. If the police continue their line of questioning, you can state that you are exercising your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Be polite: While you do not have to answer every question a police officer asks, it can be helpful to remain courteous. At the very least, by remaining calm and collected, you can show the officer that you have nothing to hide. Furthermore, it can reduce any chance that your behavior will be interpreted as resistant or aggressive. At a DUI stop, cars are typically chosen randomly and police may want to check in with you and move on to the next person in line. Remaining calm can help the process to move along quickly. Comply with basic requests: While you do not have to perform field sobriety tests or answer detailed questions about your business, you should cooperate with basic requests. For example, if an officer asks you to provide identifying information, you should do so. However, when law enforcement asks to take actions such as a search of your vehicle, you can withhold your consent. Contact an attorney: In the event that you are accused of DUI or another crime as the result of a sobriety checkpoint, do not waste any time in securing legal representation. A knowledgeable attorney will know your rights and can advise you on your legal options for overcoming any charges you face. You have the right to an attorney and you do not have to deal with the police without your lawyer present. Get the DUI Defense You Deserve! While following the tips above can help you to stay on the right side of the law, if you are charged with driving under the influence, it is vital to take legal action immediately. You may have only several days in which to contest a license suspension and our Dayton DUI attorney can help you to protect your driving privileges. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have substantial experience helping clients to defend their rights and have been named to the list of Top 100 DUI Attorneys in Ohio for our legal ability. Get the aggressive defense you need and contact our firm today. Call 937-222-1515 and request a FREE case evaluation to learn about your legal options

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assault in ohio

Battery VS Assault: What Is The Difference Between Assault And Battery In the state of Ohio, assault and battery are two separate offenses that oftentimes go hand in hand. Ohio assault laws defines assault as the act of causing or attempting to cause harm to another person or unborn child, while battery involves negligently or intentionally causing bodily harm or offensive physical contact. Assault can either be considered simple, negligent or aggravated. While simple and negligent assault are charged as misdemeanors, aggravated assault can be a felony offense if committed against a protected party such as a police officer, firefighter, teacher, or another public servant. Related: How to Defend Against Assault Charges Ohio Assault Laws – Types Of Assault Charges in Ohio Simple Assault Simple assault, oftentimes plainly referred to as just “assault,” is a first-degree misdemeanor offense in Ohio and can carry penalties up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Simple assault involves knowingly or recklessly causing harm to another person or their unborn child. Under this definition, a person does not need to have the intent to harm in order to be found guilty. Negligent Assault A person can be charged with negligent assault In the event that a person should cause physical harm to another person through the negligent handling of a deadly weapon. Negligent assault is a third-degree misdemeanor, carrying up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500. Negligent assault is oftentimes charged in relation to hunting accidents or accidental shootings. Felony Assault In serious cases where a person causes or attempts to harm another person with the use of a deadly weapon or firearm, they may be charged with felony assault – the most serious type of assault. Felony assault in Ohio can carry the following consequences: For a first degree felony, up to eleven years in prison and fines up to $20,000. For a first degree felony committed against a police officer, up to eleven years in prison, fines up to $20,000, and a mandatory minimum sentence of at least three years in prison. For a second degree felony, up to eight years in prison and fines up to $15,000. Similarly, aggravated assault is charged when a person commits an assault in a fit of rage after being provoked by the victim. Aggravated assault is often charged as a fourth degree felony, though it can be escalated to a second-degree felony if committed against a police officer. A conviction of aggravated assault can carry up to six years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Is Pushing Someone Assault In Ohio? Pushing in associated with assault can vary from state to state. Some states consider physical attack an assault, which would include slapping or even slightly pushing or shoving another person. This could be regarded as a simple assault. Other states consider assault to be any sort of action that threatens another person, such as threatening to push or punch someone. Under Ohio assault laws, pushing or shoving someone would be considered a simple assault. Related: Case Results: Assault and Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed Charged with Assault? Contact Us If you have been accused of any type of assault, a skilled Dayton criminal defense attorney from Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can protect your rights in court and provide the aggressive defense you need during this time. Having earned an Ohio Super Lawyers® inclusion and a ranking on The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 list for our excellence, we have what it takes to fight and win on your behalf. Find out more about what our award-winning lawyers can do for you during a free consultation.

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In recent months, and even in recent years, there has been much media attention on gun laws all across the country. Despite the news feeds and stories about firearms, their responsible handling, and their potential dangers, clarity on actual gun laws is difficult to find. In order to help our clients make sense of pertinent firearm laws and any weapons charges they might be facing, our Dayton criminal defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud have compiled some of the basic information that should be known by everyone in Ohio here in this blog. Please give it a read if you want to know Ohio State’s gun possession, permit, and carry laws. If you need legal representation, you are encouraged to contact us without delay to set up your free case evaluation as soon as possible. Ohio Gun Laws 101 Ohio State legislation currently (circa March 2016) does not require a permit to purchase a rifle, shotgun, or handgun, nor does it require mandatory registration for any such firearm. Owners also do not require licensing, and only handguns require a permit to carry openly in public. If you want to carry a concealed weapon of any kind, either on your person or in your automobile, you will need a specific concealed weapon permit. In order to qualify for a concealed weapon permit, you must be: 21 years of age or older. A legal United States resident. Live in Ohio State for at least 45 days. Live in your specific Ohio State county for at least 30 days. Able to complete a firearm safety and training course. Able to prove you read a firearms safety manual provided by local sheriff departments. In order to be eligible for your concealed weapon permit, you must also not be: A fugitive of the law. Convicted of or facing felony charges. Convicted of or facing misdemeanor charges involving violence or drugs. Convicted of resisting arrest within the last 10 years. Considered mentally dangerous. Subject to a current order of protection or restraint. Ohio State will also recognize an official concealed carry license or permit from any other state in the union. If you are convicted of carrying a concealed firearm with no valid permit, you could face: $1,000 fine Six months in jail Firearm safety retraining If you still have questions about firearm laws in Ohio, or if need help with a legal issue relevant to a weapon you own or control, call 937-222-1515 to connect with our Dayton weapons charges lawyers.

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T.M. is a 25-year-old male with no prior criminal history. On or about January 9, 2014, he was stopped and arrested for possession of heroin. In Ohio, a possession of heroin charge is a felony of the fifth degree, which is punishable up to 12 months imprisonment and a $2,500 fine if convicted. On behalf of T.M, Attorney Antony Abboud filed a Motion for Intervention in Lieu (ILC), pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code Section 2951.041. T.M was given a mandated drug assessment by the courts, who ultimately decided that he was a good candidate for ILC. On April 1, T.M was granted ILC and all proceedings in his case were ordered stayed. Once T.M successfully completes the standard court drug program, all of his charges related to the possession of heroin, including his arrest record, will get expunged and sealed from his record. If you have been charged with a similar offense, get in touch with our firm.

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D.H. was under the supervision of the Ohio Adult Parole Authority after serving three years in a state penitentiary for a conviction of Aggravated Robbery. On or about March 25, 2014, D.H. was charged with a parole violation on the basis that he possessed a firearm. If he was found to be in violation of his parole, D.H. could have served a sanction of up to 270 days of incarceration. On March 13, 2014, D.H. was in a vehicle that was pulled over by police officers who searched the vehicle and found a loaded firearm. D.H. was not allowed to be around firearms. As a result, D.H. was immediately arrested and was given a parole violation sanction and was transported to the Correction Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, where he awaited his hearing. D.H. hired Attorney Antony Abboud who attended his parole violation hearing at the Correction Reception Center on April 8, 2014. Attorney Abboud was able to convince the hearing officer that D.H. did not commit a violation because he did not have knowledge that there was a firearm in the vehicle. As a result, he was found not guilty of the violation and was released from prison.

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Our client was served with a Petition for a Stalking Protection Order in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. Our client was accused of making threats of harm with a sexual motivation against the Petitioner. Our client was planning to appear at the hearing without counsel, hoping that the Petitioner would not actually follow through with the hearing. Fortunately, our client thought better of appearing at the hearing alone and decided to hire our firm to defend against these allegations. The Petitioner showed up to the hearing with several witnesses. After a hearing lasting several hours, the Court dismissed the Petition for a Stalking Protection Order. It is very easy for a person to file for Protection Order. It can be very difficult to defend against one. If a Petition for a Protection Order has been filed against you, you have rights. Contact our firm for a free consultation.

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