In Ohio, felony sentencing terms vary significantly based on the nature and severity of the crime. Your past criminal history also influences the penalties you face, along with any aggravating factors associated with the alleged crime. This Ohio felony sentencing guideline provides insight into the range of penalties you might face upon conviction. However, because these are basic penalties that you could face, you can’t use this information to accurately determine what your sentence might be. The best way to determine how the Ohio sentencing guidelines could affect your future is to discuss your case in detail with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Overview of Ohio Criminal Felony Classifications Ohio classifies felonies as follows, from least to most severe. Fifth-Degree Felony Examples of crimes that typically fall into this category include: Credit card and check fraud, Breaking and entering, Theft over $1,000, License plate theft, Motor vehicle title fraud, and High-level drug crimes. Fourth-Degree Felony Crimes that may fall into this category include: Elder abuse or neglect, Motor vehicle theft, Felony DUI/OVI, and Aggravated assault. Third-Degree Felony Crimes that fall into the third-degree felony category include: Firearm theft, Perjury, Robbery, Bribery, Involuntary manslaughter, and Reckless manslaughter. Second-Degree Felony Some of the most common offenses categorized as second-degree felonies include: Aggravated arson, Felony assault, and Abduction. First-Degree Felony In Ohio, you will face first-degree felony charges for crimes that include: Aggravated robbery, Kidnapping, Sexual conduct through force (rape), Voluntary manslaughter, and Murder. Unclassified Felony This category is relatively new and the sentencing guidelines can be confusing. Offenses that may fall under this classification include multiple murders and aggravated murder. However, the court can impose this charge for other offenses when aggravating circumstances are involved that make an offense particularly heinous. OHIO FELONY SENTENCING FAQ Ohio Sentencing Chart for Felony Convictions Felony Level Categories for Felony Conviction Include Prison Terms Maximum Fines* Probation Is Post Release Control (PRC) Required? Additional Prison Time F-1 Aggravated robbery,Kidnapping,Sexual conduct through force (rape),Voluntary manslaughter and,Murder Three to 11 years in prison* Up to $20,000 monetary fine No Up to five years post release control (PRC, ie. parole) *Some F-1 offenders face 10 additional years in prison F-2 Aggravated arson,Felony assault and,Abduction Two to 8 years in prison* Up to $15,000 monetary fine No Up to five years post release control (PRC, ie. parole) *Some F-2 offenders face 10 additional years in prison F-3 Firearm theft,Perjury,Robbery,Bribery,Involuntary manslaughter and, Reckless manslaughter Nine months to 3 years in prison* Up to $10,000 monetary fine No Up to three years post release control (PRC, ie. parole) *Some F-3 offenses qualify for 1-5 years in prison F-4 Elder abuse or neglect,Motor vehicle theft,Felony DUI/OVI and,Aggravated assault 6 to 18 months in prison (6 mos. minimum) Up to $5,000 monetary fine Up to five years community control (probation) No No F-5 Credit card and check fraud,Breaking and entering,Theft over $1000,License plate theft,Motor vehicle title fraud and, High-level drug crimes Six to 12 months in prison Up to $2,500 monetary fine Up to five years community control (probation) No No At the time of felony sentencing, Ohio courts allow the jury to make sentencing recommendations in some cases. Ultimately, however, the judge has the final decision about sentencing. These are the sentencing guideline ranges for each type of Ohio felony charge: Fifth-Degree Felony Six to 12 months in prison Up to $2,500 monetary fine Up to five years community control (probation) Fourth-Degree Felony Six to 18 months in prison (6 mos. minimum) Up to $5,000 monetary fine Up to five years community control (probation) Third-Degree Felony Nine months to 3 years in prison* Up to $10,000 monetary fine Up to 3 years post-release control (PRC, i.e., parole) *Some F-3 offenses qualify for 1-5 years in prison Second-Degree Felony Two to 8 years in prison* Up to $15,000 monetary fine Up to 5 years post-release control (PRC, i.e., parole) *Some F-2 offenders face 10 additional years in prison First-Degree Felony Three to 11 years in prison* Up to $20,000 monetary fine Up to five years post-release control (PRC, i.e., parole) *Some F-1 offenders face 10 additional years in prison In addition to the guidelines listed here, you could face a variety of other penalties based on the nature and circumstances of your charges. A felony conviction can cost you your right to vote and your right to own or carry a firearm. You will be left with a permanent criminal record as well, preventing you from getting a good job, renting an apartment, or holding a professional license. OHIO FELONY SENTENCING FAQ Potential Ohio Criminal Defense Strategies Experienced attorneys have many potential defense strategies available for use. The appropriate legal defense in your case will depend on your specific circumstances and your criminal history. Before you agree to accept a plea bargain or provide a statement to police or prosecutors, talk to a lawyer to explore your options. This allows you to make an informed decision about your future. OHIO FELONY SENTENCING FAQ How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You A criminal defense lawyer will help protect your legal rights and fight for your future and your freedom. Your lawyer will evaluate your case, ensure you understand what you’re up against, and help you explore your options. Don’t risk your future by trying to fight this battle on your own. With more than a half-century of combined experience, the attorneys of Gounaris Abboud, LPA, understand the importance of fighting for your future. If you face felony charges, contact us today. We are one of the only Ohio criminal defense law firms to offer a free consultation for anyone facing felony charges. If you have questions about this Ohio felony sentencing chart, or if you would like to discuss your case with one of our Ohio criminal defense attorneys, you can reach us by phone at 937-222-1515 or use our convenient and secure web form to contact us at any time.

Read More

In Ohio, expungement is the term for clearing your criminal record and having the court’s records sealed from public view. If you have a criminal record, you might be curious about what crimes cannot be expunged in Ohio. A criminal record can interfere with your ability to get a job, rent a house, or obtain professional licensing. However, having crimes expunged from your record requires undertaking a complex legal process. Upon approval of your motion for expungement, the court issues an order for clearing and sealing the records. Unfortunately, not all crimes are eligible for expungement. To explore having a prior offense removed from your record, talk to an Ohio criminal defense lawyer for help. WHAT CRIMES CANNOT BE EXPUNGED IN OHIO FAQ Which Criminal Records Cannot Be Expunged and Sealed in Ohio? Per the Ohio Revised Code, some types of criminal convictions cannot be expunged. Following is a partial list of records that cannot be expunged and sealed in Ohio: Any first- or second-degree felony, Any violent crime, DUI/OVI, Sexual battery, Rape, Sexual imposition, Gross sexual imposition, Domestic Violence Pornography involving a minor, Obscenity involving a minor, Use of a minor in pornography, Voyeurism, Corruption of a minor, Felonious sexual penetration, and Traffic offense involving bail forfeiture. Other offenses that cannot be expunged if the victim was under the age of 18 include: Promoting prostitution, Compelling prostitution, Public indecency, and Pandering obscenity. Even if your crime is eligible for expungement, you must meet the qualifications as an eligible offender before the court will consider your motion. Those qualifications include: You were not subject to mandatory jail time; You were not convicted of a violent crime with a victim younger than 18; and You were not convicted of a first- or second-degree felony. Finally, to qualify to have your record expunged, you cannot currently face any pending criminal charges. WHAT CRIMES CANNOT BE EXPUNGED IN OHIO FAQ What If My Record Is Not Eligible for Expungement? Recent changes to the Ohio Revised Code have relaxed some of the restrictions for having a criminal record expunged. For example, you can now have one felony and one (separate) misdemeanor or two qualifying misdemeanor convictions expunged from your record. Previously, you could not qualify for expungement if you had an OVI conviction on your record. However, recent updates to the code removed that restriction. Like many areas of the law, however, the codes governing expungement remain open to interpretation. Moreover, our state laws undergo regular revisions and updates. These factors provide Ohio expungement lawyers with many potential opportunities to assist you in getting your record expunged. WHAT CRIMES CANNOT BE EXPUNGED IN OHIO FAQ How Can an Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Help? A criminal defense attorney can review the facts of your case as well as your overall criminal history. Based on what your attorney discovers, he or she can recommend strategies to help you achieve your goals. For example, you might become eligible for expungement of a particular offense once the statutory waiting period expires. An experienced attorney may successfully eliminate the mandatory jail time exclusion in your case. Another example of how a lawyer can help you is by fighting to have any pending charges you face dropped. The process for preparing and filing a motion for expungement presents a variety of complex challenges. An experienced attorney understands how the process works and how to help you fight to achieve your goals of a clean record. Talk to an Attorney Today About Getting Your Ohio Criminal Record Expunged Gounaris Abboud, LPA, assists clients in Dayton and throughout Ohio. We handle all types of criminal defense cases including OVI and DUI defense. Even if you believe you cannot have your record expunged, contact us to review your case with an experienced Ohio expungement attorney. Call us now at 937-222-1515 to learn more.

Read More
ohio drug laws controlled substances

What You Should Know About Ohio Drug Possession Laws Ohio drug possession laws are codified by Ohio Revised Code Section 2925.11 and define possession of controlled substances as “knowingly obtaining, possessing, or using a controlled substance”. Ohio drug laws classify controlled substances into five “schedules.” These schedules range from the most serious (Schedule I) to the least serious (Schedule V). Possession of more serious drugs carries more severe penalties, while the penalties for possessing less serious drugs are not as harsh. Ohio law provides different “bulk amounts” for each type of drug. These are benchmarks used to measure the appropriate penalty based on the quantity of the drug. Criminal penalties for possessing a controlled substance can include prison sentences, fines, or both. If you have been arrested for a drug possession crime in Ohio, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer today. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer gives you the best chance to reduce or eliminate your criminal charges. Recent Case Result: Drug Crime Reduced to Disorderly Conduct Ohio Drug Laws on Controlled Substances Ohio drug laws follow federal classifications of controlled substances into five “schedules”: Schedule I. Schedule I drugs are those that have a high potential for abuse and have no accepted medical uses. Examples of Schedule I drugs include heroin, LSD, and marijuana. But the Ohio Legislature has now enacted laws providing for medical use of marijuana with an approved license. Schedule II. Schedule II drugs are drugs with a high potential for abuse but with limited accepted medical uses. These drugs are considered dangerous and can lead to severe mental and physical dependence. Cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, and fentanyl are some examples of Schedule II drugs. Schedule III. Schedule III drugs are drugs with a moderate to low potential for abuse or dependence and have accepted medical uses. Ketamine and anabolic steroids are examples of Schedule III drugs.  Schedule IV. Schedule IV drugs have a low potential for abuse or dependence. These drugs also have known medical uses. For example, Xanax, Valium, and Ambien are Schedule IV drugs. Schedule V. Schedule V drugs have the least potential for abuse and the most common medical uses. Antidiarrheal and cough suppressants are examples of Schedule V drugs. Whether a drug is a Schedule I or II controlled substance or a Schedule III, IV, or V controlled substance is important for criminal charges, penalties, and sentencing. Related: Client with Possession of Heroin Charge Gets Diversion Program Ohio Penalties for Possessing Controlled Substances Penalties for possession of controlled substances depend on factors such as the type and the amount of the substance. For example, possession is more severely punished when it involves possession of Schedule I and Schedule II controlled substances.  The penalties for possessing a controlled substance also depend on how much of the substance the accused possessed. Some controlled substances, including marijuana, LSD, heroin, and cocaine, are measured by weight. Other controlled substances are measured by what Ohio drug laws call a bulk amount. Each controlled substance is assigned a bulk amount by statute. Penalties depend on whether the defendant possessed less or more than the bulk amount. Note that possession is not a crime if the person has a valid prescription for the controlled substance. Many controlled substances, particularly Schedule III, IV, and V controlled substances, have accepted medical uses. Possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription, however, can lead to misdemeanor or felony possession charges. Possession and Aggravated Possession of Controlled Substances in Ohio Ohio law differentiates possession and aggravated possession of controlled substances based on the type of drug you possessed. Schedule I and II Controlled Substances Possession of most Schedule I or II controlled substances is aggravated possession of drugs under Ohio drug laws. However, possession of some Schedule I and II drugs will not result in aggravated possession charges. Marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and LSD Schedule I and II drugs that are excepted from aggravated possession charges include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and LSD. Each drug carries its own penalties. Marijuana Possession of marijuana in Ohio is penalized as follows: Less than 100 grams is a minor misdemeanor; Greater than or equal to 100 grams but less than 200 grams is a fourth degree misdemeanor; Greater than or equal to 200 grams but less than 1,000 grams is a fifth degree felony; Greater than or equal to 1,000 grams but less than 20,000 grams is a third degree felony; and Greater than or equal to 20,000 grams is a second degree felony. If you’re charged with marijuana possession in Ohio, contact a criminal defense lawyer today. Heroin Possession of heroin in Ohio is penalized as follows: Less than 10 unit doses or less than one gram is a fifth degree felony; Greater than or equal to 10 unit doses but less than 50 unit doses or greater than or equal to one gram but less than five grams is a fourth degree felony; Greater than or equal to 50 unit doses but less than 100 unit doses or greater than or equal to five grams but less than 10 grams is a third degree felony; Greater than or equal to 100 unit doses but less than 500 unit doses or greater than or equal to 10 grams but less than 50 grams is a second degree felony; Greater than or equal to 500 unit doses but less than 1,000 unit doses or greater than or equal to 50 grams but less than 100 grams is a first degree felony; and Greater than or equal to 1,000 unit doses or greater than or equal to 100 grams is a first degree felony plus major drug offender status. If you’re charged with heroin possession in Ohio, contact a criminal defense lawyer today. Cocaine Possession of both powder and crack cocaine in Ohio is penalized as follows: Less than five grams is a fifth degree felony; Greater than or equal to five grams but less than 10 grams is a fourth degree felony; Greater than or equal to 10...

Read More
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 define 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.  Charged With Assault or Battery in Dayton? Text Us the Details If you have been recently charged with an assault or battery charge and feel that there is more to the story that is not being heard, we want to hear about it. You can text us the details of your case and all the details about the assault or battery charge will remain completely confidential during our free case evaluation. Just because you were charged does not mean you are guilty, and we will provide the best defense against your assault or battery charge. 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 ASSAULT CHARGES OHIO FAQ Ohio Assault Laws – Types Of Assault Charges in Ohio ASSAULT CHARGES OHIO FAQ 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. ASSAULT CHARGES OHIO FAQ 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. ASSAULT CHARGES OHIO FAQ 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 ASSAULT CHARGES OHIO FAQ 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.

Read More
High-Tier-OVI-in-Ohio

In Ohio, a person is guilty of driving under the influence (OVI) if they operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. When someone’s blood alcohol content is significantly higher the offense becomes a “high tier” OVI. A “high tier” OVI, carries criminal penalties that are much more severe than the penalties for a typical OVI.  What is a High Test Result Under Ohio’s High Tier OVI Laws? When the police suspect a person of driving under the influence, they may ask that person to submit to a chemical test. This test measures the person’s blood alcohol content. If the test results show that the person has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more, the driver will likely face an OVI charge. If the test results show that the person’s blood alcohol content is equal to or greater than 0.17, the person faces a “high tier” OVI charge.  What test results qualify as a “high” under Ohio drug laws? Ohio law defines the following results as high, depending on the type of test: Breath test: 0.17 or greater Urine test: 0.238 or greater Blood serum or plasma test: 0.204 or greater Ohio considers these results excessively above the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08. For the driver whose test returns a high result enhanced criminal penalties will likely follow if convicted.  Criminal Penalties for a High Tier DUI For a high tier OVI conviction, Ohio law imposes enhanced criminal penalties. The following are potential penalties that could result from a super DUI: Suspended driving privileges.  The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), through an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), will suspend a person’s driving privileges after a test over the legal limit. This means that you may not drive until your driving privileges are reinstated or if the Court grants driving privileges.  Suspended driver’s license. The court may suspend the individual’s license for one to three years following an OVI conviction.  Fines. The fines imposed for an OVI range anywhere from $375 to $1,075.  Ignition interlock device. The court will require that the driver install an ignition interlock device at the driver’s expense if convicted of a “high tier” OVI. Ignition interlock devices prevent the operator from starting the car until they pass a breath test. Some devices require a second breath test at random while the vehicle is in operation. If the court grants the person unlimited driving privileges, the person must install an interlock device. Restricted license plates. If the court allows the person to continue driving, the person will need to display restricted license plates if convicted of a “high tier” OVI. Restricted license plates are bright yellow with red lettering. The plates signal that the driver has limited privileges because of a driving under the influence conviction. Jail time. An individual usually must serve a mandatory 6 six days up to 180 days in jail if convicted of a “high tier” OVI.  For a second “high tier” OVI conviction, the sentence ranges from a mandatory 20 days to six months in jail. The punishment for a third “high tier” OVI conviction is at least 60 days in jail and up to one year. Probation. The court may require up to five years of probation for a “high tier” OVI conviction.  These penalties often affect the individual’s life significantly because of things like increased insurance rates, associated costs and expenses, and limited ability to travel. Because of the potentially severe consequences of a “high tier” OVI you should immediately seek legal representation to help you in your defense.  Contact an Experienced OVI Attorney in Ohio If you are facing OVI charges in Ohio, you need an experienced defense attorney on your side. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our experienced and distinguished defense lawyers will work hard to protect your rights at every stage of your case.  Contact our legal team today for a free case evaluation. Our lawyers can discuss how we can help you develop a strong legal defense and obtain the best possible outcome. 

Read More
ohio felony sentencing

Ohio felony sentencing laws classify felony crimes into five categories, or degrees, ranging from most serious to least serious. Felonies can be first, second, third, fourth, or fifth-degree offenses. Felonies can be first, second, third, fourth, or fifth-degree offenses. First-degree felonies are the most serious class of felony, and fifth-degree felonies are the least serious. Felony sentencing laws in Ohio also include unclassified felony offenses. Unclassified felonies are not categorized by degree. These are very serious offenses. Felony Crimes by Class & Sentence Each felony category corresponds to a specific sentencing range. The sentence is proportional to the seriousness of the offense. More serious felonies get longer prison sentences. Ohio felony sentencing laws may also require mandatory minimum sentences for certain felony offenses. First- and Second-Degree Felonies First-degree felonies are the most severe category of offenses. For example, first-degree felonies include: Voluntary manslaughter, Kidnapping, and Rape The minimum Ohio felony sentences for a first-degree felony range from three to 11 years in prison. Second-degree felonies are the next most serious level of offenses. These offenses include, for example: Aggravated arson, and Felonious Assault Second-degree felonies can result in minimum prison sentences from two to eight years. Indefinite Sentences for First- and Second-Degree Felonies A new Ohio felony sentencing law requires indefinite sentencing for certain first- and second-degree felony offenses. First- and second-degree felonies committed on or after March 22, 2019, and that are not subject to life in prison are punishable by indefinite sentencing. Indefinite sentencing means that a judge will select a minimum sentence from the specified range of penalties. The judge will then determine the maximum term by adding 50% of the minimum term. For example, if a defendant is convicted of kidnapping, a first-degree felony, the judge may select a minimum term of six from the specified sentencing range. The maximum term, in this case, would be nine years. Find Out More Information From Our Blog This is because 50% of the minimum term of six years is three years, which is then added to the minimum term for a total of nine years. The defendant, thus, will serve six to nine years in prison. Third-Degree Felonies Some third-degree felonies are subject to longer sentences ranging between one and five years. Offenses subject to the longer sentencing include, for example: Aggravated vehicular assault or homicide, Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and Assisting suicide. However, most third-degree felonies are punishable by shorter sentences ranging between nine months and three years. Are You Being Charged with a Felony? Fill out the confidential form below describing the details of what you are being charged for and then we can begin to evaluate your case. Fourth-Degree Felonies Crimes classified as fourth-degree felonies include, for example: Aggravated assault, Vehicular assault, and Grand theft of an automobile. Felony sentencing in Ohio for fourth-degree felonies can range between six and 18 months in prison. Fifth Degree Felonies Fifth-degree felonies are considered the least serious felonies. Examples of fifth-degree felony offenses include: Breaking and entering, Forgery, Gambling, and Receiving stolen property. In Ohio, felony sentences for fifth-degree offenses range between six and 12 months in prison. Unclassified Felonies Unclassified felonies are felonies that are not classified by degree. Unclassified felonies include, for example: Murder, and Aggravated murder. Ohio law supplies specific sentences for unclassified felonies. Sentences for aggravated murder, for instance, can include death, life without the possibility of parole, or life with the possibility of parole after 20 years. In Ohio, felony sentences for murder range from 15 years in prison to life in prison. Mandatory Sentences Ohio felony sentencing laws may also impose mandatory prison terms in some cases. For example, Ohio requires mandatory sentences for aggravated murder, murder, rape, or attempted rape of a child under the age of 13, and first- or second-degree felony drug trafficking. In these cases, a court must impose a sentence or sentence range specified for the offense. Contact an Experienced Ohio Felony Sentencing Lawyer Ohio felony sentencing is complicated and depends on the specific circumstances of each case. If you face a felony charge, it is imperative to your defense that you speak with a lawyer experienced in felony sentencing in Ohio. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have over 50 years of combined experience in criminal defense. The defense lawyers at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, can help you understand your case and can discuss possible defenses to overcome your charges. We offer a free initial case consultation. To schedule yours, contact our legal team today at (937) 222-1515. TLDR; Quick Reference Section First-degree felonies include: Voluntary manslaughter, Kidnapping, and Rape Second-degree felonies include: Aggravated arson, and Felonious Assault Third-degree felonies can include: Aggravated vehicular assault or homicide, Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, and Assisting suicide Fourth-degree felonies can include: Aggravated assault, Vehicular assault, and Grand theft of an automobile Fifth-degree felonies can include: Breaking and entering, Forgery, Gambling, and Receiving stolen property.

Read More

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.

Read More
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. FAQ Section

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More