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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18 usc 2260

Some Federal criminal laws reach outside the boundaries of the country. Section 2260 of Title 18 of the United States Code is one such law. This statute seeks to punish anyone who exploits or imports media showing sexually explicit depictions of a minor. Exploiting children—especially concerning child pornography production or importation—is a severe crime that usually results in federal prosecutors fighting for harsh punishments. You need a criminal defense attorney who will fight equally hard for you. The criminal defense lawyers from Gounaris Abboud, LPA, are ready to provide aggressive and reliable representation to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.   What Constitutes a Crime Under 18 U.S.C. § 2260? Title 18, section 2260 of the U.S. Code criminalizes various acts committed outside the U.S. involving minors used or depicted in sexually explicit conduct. Section 2260 has two sections that describe acts prohibited by the statute. The first discusses the crime of using a minor, and the second involves using visual depictions. Use of a Minor Section 2260(a) makes it a crime to commit certain acts outside the U.S. with the intent to have a minor engage in sexually explicit acts. The thrust of 2260(a) relates to using, persuading, enticing, or coercing a minor to engage in sexually explicit acts with the intent to produce a visual recording or a live production. Similarly, this section criminalizes the transport of a minor with the intent to have them participate in a sexually explicit act that will be recorded or transmitted live. However, no crime exists for using a minor outside the country unless you intend to import or transmit the depictions into the U.S. Use of Visual Depiction Section 2260(b) outlaws importing sexually explicit visual depictions into this country. According to 2260(b), a person located outside the U.S. who either ships or possesses with the intent to ship a visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct has committed a crime. Under subsection (b), however, there is no crime unless the visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Additionally, there is no crime unless the person shipping the depiction intends to import it into the U.S.  Penalties Under 18 U.S.C. § 2206 The potential penalties under 18 U.S.C. § 2206 are stiff. However, the penalties vary between 2260(a) and (b). A violation of 2260(a) carries a minimum prison sentence of 15 years, according to 18 U.S.C. § 2251. The maximum sentence is 30 years. The minimum penalty increases to 25 years with a maximum of 50 years if the person has a prior conviction under this statute or similar law. A third conviction could result in a life sentence. The law also indicates that a person could receive the death penalty if a person died during the commission of the crime.  The minimum penalty for a violation of 2260(b) is a five-year prison sentence. The maximum is 20 years. A person with a prior qualifying conviction faces between 15 and 40 years behind bars. Call Gounaris Abboud Today With your life in the balance, you will need a defense team ready to meet your challenges head-on. You can rest assured that we will be with you every step of the way. Remember that you are not automatically guilty because the government charged you with a crime. The law presumes that you are innocent. That means the burden of proof rests solely on the government to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  When you work with Gounaris Abboud, you will receive representation from award-winning attorneys who have won accolades for our work in criminal defense. We have received industry recognition in many ways, including earning a spot in the 2021 Top 100 Ohio Super Lawyers list and the Top 50 2021 Cincinnati Super Lawyers roster. We also have five-star reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google. We invite you to take a look at what our clients have said about us, and when you are ready, contact us online or give us a call at 937-222-1515. We look forward to speaking with you about how we can help you get your life back on track.

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federal conspiracy charge

The federal authorities never let go when they sink their teeth into someone in a criminal investigation. They will use all of the criminal laws found in the U.S. Code to the fullest extent to break up criminal enterprises. One of their favorite tactics involves slapping a federal conspiracy charge on anyone even remotely involved with the target of the investigation. The feds do this because they know they can get a co-conspirator to testify against the people they really want to secure a conviction on. A conviction for conspiracy, or any federal charge, can have devastating consequences for you and your family. You need to speak with a skilled federal defense lawyer right away if a federal law enforcement agency involves you in their investigation. The experienced federal defense attorneys with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, understand what you’re up against. They are willing and ready to help you get the best result for your federal conspiracy charge. What Is the Federal Conspiracy Law? The primary federal conspiracy statute is 18 U.S.C. 371. It says that a conspiracy against the United States occurs when two or more people conspire to commit an act that is a crime under the U.S. Code. It is also a crime to conspire to defraud the United States. However, the crime of conspiracy is not complete unless one of the co-conspirators does an overt act to further the conspiracy. What does it mean to conspire with someone? A conspiracy is an agreement between two or more people to commit an act. The essence of conspiracy is the unlawful agreement. Even if you and your partner never committed the crime you planned, you are still part of a conspiracy. For example, you and a partner hatch a plan to rob a federally insured bank. Talking about it does not amount to the crime of conspiracy. However, taking a step toward completing the goal forms the crime of conspiracy. Therefore, casing the bank you want to rob—either alone or with your co-conspirator—forms the basis of the crime of conspiracy under federal law. Other Examples of Federal Conspiracy Charges The U.S. Code contains several other conspiracy charges as well. Some examples of additional federal conspiracy charges include conspiring against: Impeding the free exercise of rights (18 USC 241); Defrauding the Government concerning claims (18 USC 286); Impeding or injuring an officer (18 USC 372); Aiding prisoners of war or enemy aliens (18 USC 757); Gathering or delivering defense information to assist a foreign government (18 USC 794); Drug trafficking and other drug offenses (21 USC 846): Injuring a person or property in a foreign country while under U.S. jurisdiction (18 USC 956); Kidnapping (18 USC 1201); Destroying a boat to defraud an insurance company (18 USC 2271); Sedition (18 USC 2384); Interfering with armed forces during a time of war (18 USC 2388); Destruction of war material (18 USC 2153); and Interfering with the production of war material (18 USC 2154). The U.S. Code contains many other instances of conspiracy. It’s important to note that the general conspiracy charge found in 18 USC 371 requires an overt act to form the conspiracy, but many of the others do not.  What Are the Federal Conspiracy Penalties? A federal conspiracy sentence depends on the crime that is the object of the conspiracy. The penalty for conspiring to commit a crime against the United States is a prison sentence of no more than five years. Section 371 also indicates that the court may levy a fine in addition to sending the conspirator to federal prison. However, the maximum sentence for a conspiracy whose object is a misdemeanor carries the same penalty as the misdemeanor.  The potential consequences of conspiracy will depend on the conspiracy charge the government files. Some conspiracy statutes specify a penalty, while others state that the penalty is the same for conspiracy as it would be for the completed crime. For instance, conspiracy to commit drug trafficking carries the same prison sentence as drug trafficking.  What Rights Do You Have If the Feds Charged You with Conspiracy? You always have the right to remain silent and have an attorney present during police questioning. The Miranda warning applies to federal law enforcement just as it does to local police. Ask for an attorney before giving a statement.  The Department of Justice prosecutes federal crimes. Their lawyers work closely with federal agents to make airtight cases. The chances are good that they have a lot of evidence against you if they file criminal charges. However, that does not mean you are automatically guilty.  You have Due Process rights to a fair trial judged by a jury of your peers. You also have the right to confront witnesses who testify against you and call witnesses on your behalf. However, prosecutors often build cases against low-level conspirators to get to the top of the criminal enterprise. Federal prosecutors may “proffer” you to find out what information you have that can help them. In exchange for your information and testimony, they would likely give you a good plea deal for your role in the conspiracy. Your lawyer will negotiate the terms of your agreement with the prosecutor on your behalf.  Contact an Experienced Federal Defense Attorney in Dayton, OH Today Fighting a case in the U.S. District Court takes a tremendous amount of knowledge, skill, and experience. The federal defense attorneys with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, have the experience you need to help defend against your federal conspiracy charges successfully. Do not wait and see what happens before calling. Contact our office today at 937-222-1515. We have more than 50 years of collective experience fighting for our client’s rights. We will give you the time and attention you need to handle your legal issues successfully.

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We all forget things from time to time; it’s part of life. But sometimes we even forget really important things—including court appearances. If you’ve missed your court appearance, you might be wondering if you have a bench warrant out for your arrest. You might also worry that you could go to jail because you missed court.  Not addressing a missed court date because you’re afraid of going to jail will only make matters worse. Instead, contact the Ohio criminal defense lawyers from Gounaris Abboud, LPA. Our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys have the skills you need to help keep you out of jail. What Is a Bench Warrant? You may have heard the term and wondered, What is a bench warrant? The bench warrant meaning is unfamiliar to many people. A bench warrant is a warrant for your arrest issued by a judge rather than at the request of the police. Despite the distinction between the issuing authority, there is no fundamental difference between an arrest warrant and a bench warrant in Ohio. Both authorize law enforcement to take the wanted person into custody and bring that person before the judge. In fact, a police officer has no discretion but to arrest you once the officer learns there is a warrant out for your arrest.  What Happens If You Forget Your Court Date? Every person who has a case pending before an Ohio criminal court must go to court as scheduled. The judge can and likely will issue a bench warrant if you miss criminal court dates. The court clerk enters the bench warrant into the court’s computer system, and that system alerts the local police. The warrant may also appear in the state DMV database.  The police can come to your home, or workplace, or stop you in public to arrest you on a warrant. People with warrants often get arrested when police stop them for a motor vehicle infraction. When the officer runs the driver’s information, the arrest warrant pops up, giving the officer no choice but to arrest you. What Happens After Your Arrest on a Bench Warrant? The Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure set out the process that police and courts follow after your arrest. The officer in charge of the booking facility must obey the orders on the warrant. Some warrants are not bailable, while others might order you to post a high bond. If your charges are misdemeanors, the officer in charge can issue a summons if they believe you will appear in court instead of holding you in jail. The officer can clear the warrant from the system after issuing the summons. Otherwise, you have to wait until the judge cancels the warrant when you go to court. The officer in charge does not have the authority to release you with a summons if you have felony charges.  How to Clear a Bench Warrant Without Going to Jail People miss court for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people simply forget. Other times, people intentionally skip court because they’re afraid of what could happen if they go.  Conflicts can also arise in people’s lives. Even though going to court is the right thing to do, life doesn’t always make that easy. You might have child care issues, car troubles, or a sick parent who needs care on the same day you have to go to court. Also, your court notice might have gone to your old address without you knowing about it.  Whatever the reason for missing court, the next steps you take determine what could happen when you ultimately appear before a judge. You cannot hide from a warrant forever. So the question is, do you want to walk into court to remove the warrant voluntarily or be forced to appear after getting arrested?  If you appear with your lawyer voluntarily, you have a greater chance of not going to jail. Your lawyer could present arguments and successfully argue that the court should not remand you to jail or have you post a high bail. A good lawyer can explain that you had a valid excuse for missing court and assure the judge that you will appear as ordered going forward. Additionally, having a competent and respected criminal lawyer shows that you respect the court and are serious about making the rest of your court dates.   On the other hand, remaining on the run and hoping the case never catches up to you shows that you are a flight risk. So if you continue to try to elude law enforcement, a judge can raise your bail, hold you in jail without bail, or add conditions of release to make sure you return to court. Remove Your Bench Warrant with Confidence If you have more questions regarding missed court dates or your criminal case in general, call Gounaris Abboud, LPA, right away at 937-222-1515. Our award-winning and reputable criminal defense lawyers can work with you to remove your warrant and help you stay out of jail. 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. Not acting on a bench warrant and waiting to see what happens next only makes matters worse. So don’t hesitate. Contact us today for more information.

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Ohio embezzlement laws and penalties

Embezzlement is one of the most commonly prosecuted white-collar crimes in America’s state and federal courts. However, the laws surrounding embezzlement are complex, and those who face these serious charges often lack a full understanding of how they allegedly broke the law. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our dedicated team of white-collar criminal defense attorneys has a long history of successfully defending clients facing embezzlement charges in Ohio. We can help you identify the best possible defense and effectively present it to the judge or jury. Contact us today to get started.  What Is Embezzlement? Many who face embezzlement charges wonder, What is embezzlement? Essentially, embezzlement is a property crime involving a breach of trust. It happens when a person has lawful control over someone else’s assets, but they don’t own those assets. If they convert those assets over to themselves for their own enrichment, they have likely embezzled the assets. A common example would be employee theft. Under Ohio embezzlement laws, someone commits this offense if they have possession or control over someone else’s property or money, and they use it for their own enrichment in any of the following ways: Without the consent of the property’s owner; Beyond the scope under which they are authorized to act; By deception; By threat; or By intimidation. Embezzlement is a type of theft crime. Thus, the punishment for embezzlement depends, in part, on the value of the property at issue. Is Embezzlement a Felony? Depending on the circumstances, embezzlement is either a misdemeanor or felony offense. Under Ohio Revised Code § 2913.02, if the amount embezzled is less than $1,000, the offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. However, the seriousness of an embezzlement offense increases along with the value of the alleged property. $1,000 to $7,499—Fifth-degree felony $7,500 to $149,999—Fourth-degree felony $150,000 to $749,999—Third-degree felony $750,000 to $1,499,999—Second-degree felony More than $1.5 million—First-degree felony Protected Class In addition, an embezzlement offense committed against a protected class of people becomes a more serious crime. Under Ohio embezzlement laws, the following are protected classes: Elderly people; Disabled adults; and Active-duty service members and their spouses. An embezzlement offense against a protected class is at least a felony of the fifth degree. $1,000 to $7,499—Fourth-degree felony $7,500 to $37,499—Third-degree felony $37,500 to $149,999—Second-degree felony More than $150,000—First-degree felony Other Factors in Seriousness Level There are also other situations in which embezzlement penalties become more serious. For example, Embezzlement of a firearm is considered a felony of the third degree; Embezzlement of a motor vehicle is a felony of the fourth degree; Embezzlement of a dangerous drug is a felony of the fourth degree unless you have a prior conviction for a drug offense, in which case it is a felony of the third degree; and Embezzlement of a police dog or horse is a felony of the third degree. The seriousness levels for embezzlement can be confusing. So it is best to consult with an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney to better understand the allegations against you and the possible punishments you face. Punishments for Embezzlement Ohio law provides for ranges of punishment based on the seriousness of the offense. Below is a list of the various penalties an embezzlement conviction may carry: First-degree felony: 3 to 11 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $20,000; Second-degree felony: 2 to 8 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $15,000; Third-degree felony: 9 to 36 months in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000; Fourth-degree felony: 6 to 18 months in prison, plus a fine of up to $5,000; and Fifth-degree felony: 6 to 12 months in prison, plus a fine of up to $2,500. In most cases, a judge has the discretion to sentence a defendant to probation; however, this is not a guarantee. Typically, judges are more likely to consider probation in lieu of incarceration for those who express remorse for their actions, have a verifiable employment history, and are able to present other mitigating evidence showing that incarceration is not appropriate. Do You Face Embezzlement Charges in Ohio? If you or a loved one faces embezzlement charges in Ohio, it is essential that you work with an attorney who has experience handling these complex cases. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our dedicated team of defense lawyers has decades of experience litigating a wide range of white-collar crimes, including embezzlement offenses. As skilled negotiators, we are often able to resolve cases favorably without the need for a trial. However, we are also seasoned litigators—meaning we will not hesitate to take your case to trial in front of the judge or jury if the prosecution isn’t willing to fairly resolve the case. We also make ourselves available 24/7 to answer your questions or discuss your case. To learn more and to schedule, a free consultation with a Dayton, Ohio criminal defense lawyer, call us at 937-222-1515. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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If you face charges for a white-collar crime, it is important you understand exactly what is at stake. While most white-collar crimes are non-violent in nature, that doesn’t mean that they are not taken seriously. In many cases, those convicted of a white-collar crime face the possibility of a jail sentence. There are many types of white-collar crimes, many of which can be prosecuted under state or federal law. In this article, the Dayton, Ohio criminal defense lawyers at Gounaris Abboud, LPA will go over the ins and outs of white-collar crimes. If you have questions, please contact us today,  What Are White-Collar Crimes? A white-collar crimes definition isn’t exact. But generally speaking, the term white-collar crime is used to refer to non-violent financial crimes. The name comes from the fact that, often, those accused of a white-collar crime are executives or high-ranking “white-collar” workers. There are many types of white-collar crimes, including the following. Embezzlement Embezzlement is when someone misappropriates money or other property that was entrusted to that person. For example, a stockbroker who uses her clients’ money for personal purposes may be committing embezzlement. Insurance Fraud Insurance fraud involves making a false claim with an insurance company or providing false information. For example, a doctor who files a claim with an insurance company for a treatment she never provided may be committing insurance fraud. Money Laundering Money laundering involves taking illegally obtained money and making it appear as though it came from a legitimate source. Often, money laundering involves “washing” the money through a cash-heavy business. Investment Fraud Investment fraud describes a broad range of white-collar crimes, all of which are intended to bilk investors from their money. For example, pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, advance-fee fraud, and cryptocurrency fraud are all types of investment fraud. These are just a few of the different white-collar crimes; there are many more. However, as a general rule, a white-collar crime involves a professional person using false or misleading statements to gain access to another’s money or property. It is very important to understand the type of white-collar crime you face. It is also essential you understand the difference between state and federal white-collar crimes. Are White-Collar Crimes State of Federal Offenses? Many types of white-collar crime can be charged in state or federal court. As a general rule, if your conduct allegedly violates state law, state prosecutors will charge you in state court. However, if your conduct involves an alleged violation of federal law, federal prosecutors will likely charge you in federal court. In many criminal cases, state and federal prosecutors both have the ability to charge a defendant’s conduct. This happens when a defendant’s actions allegedly violate both state and federal law. However, state courts handle the vast majority of criminal offenses. That said, white-collar crime ends up in federal court more often than many other types of crime. There are a few reasons for this. Complexity White-collar criminal prosecutions often involve complex financial schemes. It can be very expensive and labor-intensive to investigate these offenses. The federal government has far more resources than the state government. Thus, the federal government may pick up a case if it believes the state government lacks the resources to mount an effective prosecution. Additionally, if a case involves an investigation that spans multiple states, it may be more difficult for a single state prosecutor’s office to bring the charges. Interstate Activity The United States Constitution places limits on the types of cases that federal courts can hear. One of the categories of cases that fall within a federal court’s jurisdiction is those involving actions committed in more than one state. Many white-collar crimes involve interstate commerce. For example, using the internet, phone lines, or the mail can trigger federal court jurisdiction. Notoriety Federal prosecutors are more selective in choosing their cases because there are fewer federal prosecutors than their state counterparts. However, the federal government tends to focus on those cases that are note-worthy or have very high stakes. Knowing whether you face white-collar state crimes or federal white-collar crimes is important. It can determine your best defense strategy as well as the punishment you face if convicted. Thus, it is essential you work with an attorney who is experienced in handling state and federal white-collar crimes. Are You Facing a White-Collar Criminal Prosecution? If you face white-collar crimes in state or federal court, it is imperative that you reach out to a dedicated criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our attorneys handle all types of criminal offenses, including white-collar crimes, theft offenses, drug crimes, and more. We routinely handle cases in both state and federal court and work with our clients to develop compelling defenses to the charges they face. We also make ourselves available 24/7 to answer your questions or discuss your case whenever something comes up. o learn more and to schedule, a free consultation with an Ohio criminal defense lawyer, call us at 937-222-1515. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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ohio juvenile crime punishment

If you have a child who has run into trouble with the law in Ohio, you are probably worried about what could happen to them. It’s only natural to worry about their well-being. In addition to many worries a parent has when their child runs into trouble, you are probably wondering about the punishment for juvenile crimes.  It might help you to learn that juvenile crimes and punishment are different from adult punishment. However, even if the punishment is less severe in juvenile court, the wrong result could still have a tremendously negative impact on your child’s future. That’s why your child might need a strong advocate to help them achieve the best result possible. Gounaris Abboud, LPA—one of Ohio’s most recognized criminal defense law firms—has tremendous experience helping young people minimize their trouble after getting arrested for juvenile crimes in Ohio. Contact us today to get started.  What Is the Juvenile Crimes Definition in Ohio? As you may know, the State can prosecute some children as adults. Therefore, you should understand what a juvenile crime is in Ohio. A juvenile or “child” is a person under 18. Therefore, any child who commits a crime must go to juvenile court. If a case starts out in juvenile court, that court retains jurisdiction over the case until the child turns 21. The court keeps jurisdiction over the disposition of the case unless the court transfers the case or the child is deemed a serious youthful offender. Juvenile courts hear misdemeanor and felony cases as well as juvenile traffic cases. However, juvenile courts do not find a child guilty or not guilty. Instead, they use the word “delinquent” unless the child faces trial in adult court.  What Are the Most Common Juvenile Crimes? Unfortunately, some juvenile offenders face charges for very serious crimes like murder and rape. Those crimes are not that common. The most common juvenile crimes include: Assault and battery; Possession of alcohol as a minor;  Disorderly conduct; Disturbing a school assembly; Possession of narcotics; and Underage driving.  As you can see, some crimes are ones of status. In other words, an adult cannot commit some of these crimes that, by their very definition, are only crimes when minors commit them. Sadly, some juveniles get into serious trouble. They can face charges such as: Drug trafficking; Weapons possession; Driving under the influence; Sexual assault; and  Murder. These are some examples of adult charges juveniles might face in Ohio.  How Does the Court Determine Juvenile Crimes and Punishment? Ohio juvenile courts focus on rehabilitation. The assumption here is that when a minor breaks the law, it is likely related to some problems going on in their young lives. Juvenile justice aims to help identify and fix the problem before it’s too late, and the child becomes an adult offender. The hope is they can grow up to be productive adults by avoiding the pitfalls and revolving doors of the adult criminal justice system. The court strives to rehabilitate youthful offenders by looking after their physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual well-being. However, this doesn’t mean that children get off without any punishment whatsoever.  Punishment for juvenile crimes is a graduated process. Courts start with the goal of imposing the most lenient penalty possible, depending on the charge. Sanctions then increase as the severity of the crime increases, with the most severe punishment ending in detention at a locked facility. The court has to consider public safety as well as the rehabilitation of the child. That essentially means that the punishment must fit the crime. It can be a delicate balance.  Dispositional Hearing Juvenile judges determine the appropriate penalty for juvenile cases at a dispositional hearing. The judge tries to get as much information about the child as possible before they work to balance all of these competing goals. Judges will want information such as the child’s family history, school history, and perhaps even medical history if it’s relevant. The judge will review the materials and assess the child, the crime, the situation, and the competing goals mentioned above before making an informed decision. Then the judge will hand down a sentence and dispose of the case.   The sentences will range depending on the allegations. However, typical juvenile punishments include: Probation; House arrest; Curfew; Mental health treatment; Counseling;  Community service; and Detention in a juvenile detention facility. A court can send your child to the Ohio Department of Youth Services after a delinquent finding for either a felony or misdemeanor. Detention for a misdemeanor is a maximum of three months.  What Is the Punishment for Juvenile Crimes if the Court Tries Your Child As an Adult? The severity of the offenses brought against your child, as well as their criminal history, will determine whether their case ends up in juvenile or adult court. The first category of offenses that could result in your child facing trial as an adult include: Murder, Aggravated murder,  Attempted murder, or Attempted aggravated murder. Your child could go to adult court for these charges if they are 16 years old or if they are 14 or 15 and have an adjudication of delinquency on their record for another serious crime. The second category of offenses that can be heard in adult court are: Manslaughter, Rape, Kidnapping, Burglary, Arson, or  Felonious sexual penetration.  Your child might be tried as an adult if the State charges them with one of these crimes and they have a prior criminal record, or the current allegations involve the use of a firearm.  Contact a Juvenile Defense Attorney Today Contacting an experienced Dayton, Ohio juvenile crimes defense attorney from Gounaris Abboud, LPA could give your child a chance to avoid punishment or suffer minimal punishment for their juvenile acts. We are a firm that has been recognized by our peers for our excellent work. We have been included in the Ohio Super Lawyers list, and we’ve been ranked in the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” list. You can trust us with your...

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bail and bonds

If you find yourself under arrest, you may hear references to bail and bonds. Most people think those words mean the same thing, but they don’t. In fact, they have distinct meanings in the Ohio criminal justice system, and understanding them could mean the difference between waiting behind bars or going home until you go to trial. You need the help of knowledgeable and experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyers to understand the difference between bonds vs bail. Gounaris Abboud, LPA, has award-winning criminal defense lawyers who thoroughly understand the Ohio legal system. They have tremendous success getting their clients free on bail. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.  What Are Bail and Bonds? Bail is a court order that sets the monetary terms of release for a person accused of a crime. The primary purpose of bail is to assure the accused appears in court to answer the charges. Judges can add conditions of bail to ensure the safety of victims or to address a substance abuse problem. Bail orders only last until the case ends.  Ohio bail bonds are agreements other people enter into with the court to get you out of jail. Therefore, a bond is like an insurance policy to make sure you go to court when you have to, as well as abide by the terms of your release.  When Does a Judge Set Bail Bonds in Ohio? The charges you have will dictate when bail can be set. Typically, the court will set your bail at your first court appearance. The prosecutor can ask for bail at your arraignment, and your lawyer can oppose the prosecutor’s motion.  This is when having a highly-skilled lawyer can help you out of real trouble. You will be held in jail if you cannot afford your bail. Therefore, you need someone who gives you the best shot at freedom.  Your lawyer can argue against setting bail altogether. Additionally, your lawyer can argue that setting non-financial conditions are sufficient in your case. Under Rule 46 of the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, those conditions may include: Regulating or preventing contact with the victim; Submitting to random drug or alcohol screens; Remaining drug and alcohol-free; Attending drug treatment if necessary; Ordering home confinement, with or without work release, while wearing an electronic monitoring device; Permitting a person to take custody of the accused to ensure the accused returns to court; Preventing contact with the victim and witnesses; and Ordering the accused to stay away from specific locations. The judge can also make any order that promotes the safety of the people involved in the case. Such an order could include surrendering all firearms.  Judges must set the least restrictive conditions possible. Otherwise, the court is punishing someone even though the law presumes them innocent. How Do Bail Bonds Work in Ohio? Issues surrounding bail and bail reform have been in the news lately. Some states have outlawed the setting of cash bail except in rare circumstances. Ohio has not gone that far. Instead, Ohio has adopted a new rule that presumes the judge will set the least restrictive bail on a defendant.  Recognizance Bond In most circumstances, the least restrictive means of bail is a recognizance bond. On occasion, the court might require a “signature bond,” meaning the defendant must sign a document promising to appear in court and keep the peace. The court might place a dollar amount on the signature bond. For example, the court may release you on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. That essentially means you will owe the court $1,000 if you miss court or violate a condition of your release.  Appearance Bond An appearance bond is also known as a “ten percent bond.” Under this bail arrangement, you pay 10% of the total bail to the court in exchange for your release. The court has to order this type of arrangement.  Under Ohio law, you get 90% of the appearance bond money back, and the court holds 10% to satisfy fees and fines at the end of the case. However, if you violate a condition of your release, you could lose the money deposited with the court. Moreover, the court will issue a warrant for your arrest, and the prosecutor could charge you with bail jumping if you violated the terms.  Cash or Surety Bond You can secure your freedom by posting the amount of bail the court orders. For instance, if your bail is $10,000, you pay $10,000 cash to the court registry in exchange for your freedom until your court date.  Bonds, or “bail bonds,” are promises to the court made by another person on your behalf to secure your release. Third parties called bail bondsmen often post bonds. The bail bondsman or bail agent agrees to accept responsibility for your appearance in court. You promise to pay the bail agent a fee in exchange for your release. The fee is 10% of the bail amount. Thus, if you have $10,000 bail and cannot afford to pay it, you could hire a bail agent who will post $10,000 for you. In turn, you pay the bond agent $1,000 plus fees and costs. We can help you access professionals who will post bail bonds in Dayton, Ohio. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have numerous contacts in the community, so we can help secure your release quickly.  Get Help for Bail and Bonds Immediately The abundance of resources is one of the things that helps Gounaris Abboud, LPA, stand out among other Ohio law firms. We direct all of our resources into our clients’ cases to give them the best chance at a favorable outcome. If you or a loved one faces an arraignment and fears the court might order bail, call our Ohio criminal defense attorneys immediately at 937-222-1515 or contact us online. We are available 24/7 to take your call. Our responsiveness to our clients’ needs is just one of the reasons we consistently receive awards for outstanding advocacy and client...

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