mail theft punishment

Shoplifting crimes may seem like minor offenses. However, the shoplifting laws in Ohio fall under the general category of theft. Since theft crimes can either be misdemeanors or felonies, you should be aware of the negative consequences a theft conviction could have on your life. Having a dedicated and experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer by your side can help you resolve your case favorably. The Dayton criminal defense lawyers with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, do more than aggressively defend your case. When you work with our firm, you will experience the difference a trustworthy, empathetic, honest, and supportive attorney can make in your life.  Shoplifting Charges in Ohio Shoplifting in Ohio has two meanings. You might think that shoplifting only takes place when someone conceals an item and walks out of a store without paying. However, deceiving the store owner to pay less for an item is also shoplifting. You might not realize it, but changing the price on an item by either altering the price tag or by switching the price tag from one item to another is shoplifting. That’s harder to do these days when most stores don’t use price tags and rely on UPC barcodes for pricing. But switching packaging is also shoplifting when you pay less for the item than indicated for that specific item.  Ohio Shoplifting Penalties  Shoplifting penalties range in severity depending on the value of the stolen items. Although the term shoplifting implies that the stolen items are small and easily concealed, the theft statute in Ohio allows someone to serve up to 10 years in prison, depending on the situation.  Under the Ohio theft law, a conviction for stealing property valued at less than $1,000 is petty theft and is a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for a first-degree misdemeanor is 180 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. The punishments become more serious as the value of the stolen property increases. Stolen merchandise valued between $1,000 and $7,500 constitutes a fifth-degree felony. You could serve between six months to one year in jail and have to pay a $2,500 fine.  Stealing property valued between $7,500 and $150,000 is a fourth-degree felony. The punishment ranges from 6 to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. You face third-degree felony charges for theft of property worth $150,000 up to $750,000. The punishment for this charge is a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine of no more than $10,000. Second-degree felony theft is the appropriate charge for property stolen that has a value of at least $750,000 but less than $1,500,000. The prison term for this sentence falls between two and eight years, along with a fine of $15,000.  Stealing property worth more than $1,500,000 is a first-degree felony. The sentence for this offense is 3 to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. Additional Shoplifting Penalties You could face civil liability for shoplifting in addition to criminal sanctions. As a result, the judge may order you to make restitution to the store owner for the value of the goods stolen. Also, you are liable for any damages the store incurred beyond the value of the stolen property. For instance, the court could find that you damaged property while fleeing the store. If so, the judge may order you to pay for those losses as well. You should understand that civil liability could entail paying the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees and court costs as well. A felony conviction carries collateral consequences on top of the penalties described above. A felony conviction for theft could be impossible to seal or expunge from your record. You might also have a difficult time finding work or keeping your job if your employer considers theft to be a crime of dishonesty. A theft conviction may hamper your pursuit of educational opportunities as well. A felony theft conviction could endanger your immigration status if you are not a U.S. citizen. Additionally, you could lose your ability to become a naturalized citizen or be refused re-entry into the country. You could also lose the right to vote and your right to possess a firearm.  Why Do I Need a Lawyer for My Shoplifting Charge? The shoplifting laws in Ohio are strict. You could go to jail even after a conviction for petty theft. Moreover, as the value of the stolen property increases, so does the likelihood that you will go to prison. Having a skilled Ohio criminal defense attorney fight for you can protect your rights. You have only one chance to defend your case successfully. Making a mistake while trying to defend yourself—even from misdemeanor shoplifting charges—can hurt you in the long run. Seeking advice from a skilled attorney with extensive experience defending the rights of the accused gives you the best chance to minimize the impact your charges will have on your life. Work with a Dayton Law Firm That Cares About Your Future Call Gounaris Abboud, LPA, today at 937-222-1515 or contact us online to speak with one of our experienced and compassionate criminal defense lawyers. Our award-winning attorneys will explain your options and plot a course of action that can help you get the best results for the circumstances surrounding your case. We may be able to get the prosecutor to agree to a favorable plea, reduce your charges, or possibly even dismiss your case altogether. With our extensive legal knowledge and dedication to your well-being, we can make a difference for you. 

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is embezzlement a felony

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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ohio white collar crimes lawyer

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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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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What Happens If You Fail Your Breathalyzer Test

You probably realize that you need the help of a well-qualified and experienced defense lawyer if you have a DUI (also called OVI) arrest in Ohio. Your legal trouble began as soon the police pulled you over. Now, you have a court date, and the police suspended your license administratively because of a breathalyzer failure. You might be in more significant trouble if you are already on probation and fail a breath test. Where should you go for legal advice? Gounaris Abboud, LPA has the OVI defense attorneys you can trust in Ohio. With several decades of experience fighting to protect the rights of people accused of committing a crime, you could rely on Gounaris Abboud, LPA to give you the best chance to beat the wrap or face reduced charges. Contact us today to get started! Can You Fail a Breathalyzer 12 hours After Drinking? Ohio’s legal limit is 0.08%. The average alcoholic beverage contains 1.5 ounces of liquor, 12 ounces of beer, or five ounces of wine. Humans metabolize only one drink per hour. Therefore, it takes a 200-pound man four drinks in one hour to reach the legal limit. However, it takes a 160-pound woman only three drinks in that period to get to a 0.10%.  Your body metabolizes alcohol at a rate of about 0.015% per hour once you stop drinking. Until then, your blood-alcohol content will go up, even for the first hour or so after you had your last drink. Based on those statistics, a person with a BAC of 0.08% needs less than six hours to have no measurable amount of alcohol in their system. However, it is theoretically possible to fail a breathalyzer even though you stopped drinking 12 hours before. Factors like a person’s tolerance for alcohol and weight will play a significant role in registering a breathalyzer failure even after not having a drink for 12 hours. Remember that you do not have to be drunk under Ohio law to get a DUI charge.  The timing of a breathalyzer test is essential. A court cannot consider a chemical test submitted after a three-hour window. The window starts when the police record the infraction. However, Ohio law requires the police to give the necessary warnings, and the person under arrest must consent to take a chemical test within two hours. The police will automatically note the person refused if the person does not agree within two hours.  What Happens If You Fail a Breathalyzer Test in Ohio? You have a choice about whether you should take a breathalyzer test in Ohio. Ohio law says that you agree to submit to a breathalyzer or other chemical test if a police officer has probable cause to believe you are drunk driving. Thus, state law implies that you consented to take the test because you drove on a public street in Ohio.  If you refuse the breathalyzer, the state will automatically suspend your license under Ohio’s implied consent law. The suspension could last up to one year. The court could tack on another license suspension period if you lose your case in court as well. It’s a hard choice to make. That’s why some people arrested for OVI agree to take the breathalyzer test. Others take it because they believe they can pass the test. They are often mistaken, unfortunately. If You Fail a Breathalyzer, Do You Have to Surrender Your License? If you fail the breathalyzer test, the police officer who gave you the test must physically take your license from you if you have it in your possession. The officer must forward your license to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. If you do not have it on you, you must surrender it to the law enforcement agency within 24 hours. The officer will send your license to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at that time.  The officer who seizes your license must advise you that the law automatically suspends your driver’s license. The automatic suspension will last at least until your first court appearance. Your initial court appearance will be in five days or less. The officer must also tell you that you have a right to appeal the automatic suspension at your first appearance in court. However, Ohio law gives you up to 30 days to appeal.   Ohio law does not stay your suspension if you file an appeal. Moreover, an appeal only allows you to contest some facts regarding the breathalyzer test. It is not a trial on the merits of the case. What Happens If You Fail A Breathalyzer While on Probation? Probation is an essential tool in the Ohio criminal justice system. Probation is a court order. Therefore you must take all of the conditions seriously. You could wind up in jail if you violate the terms of probation.  Your probation officer could start probation revocation proceedings against you for a breathalyzer failure. This could arise in two circumstances. The first is if you are on probation and failed a breathalyzer after a DUI arrest. The second is failing a random breath test after the court ordered you to abstain from alcohol consumption.  In either circumstance, you face a significant legal challenge. Having a tough and skilled Ohio DUI attorney could help you stay out of jail. Trust Gounaris Abboud, LPA to Fight for Your Rights We are award-winning attorneys who understand the trouble you face. Remember that it’s only temporary. We will work with you to find the best solution for your case as quickly and efficiently as possible. The awards we have won, such as SuperLawyers and National Top 100 Trial attorneys, symbolize the care and effort we put into each case. Contact us today at 937-222-1515 for help with your DUI case. When you do, you’ll learn why we consistently have an AVVO rating of 10.0.

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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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criminal justice process

The criminal justice process is intimidating and challenging to follow. That’s why you need a highly experienced criminal trial lawyer to protect your rights. There’s simply too much at stake to try to tackle this process on your own. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience fighting for the accused. We understand the criminal process in Ohio because we are in court every day. Contact us today if you need immediate assistance from one of our award-winning criminal defense lawyers. What Is the Criminal Investigations Process in Ohio? The criminal justice process starts when someone calls the police to report a crime. Officers begin work identifying the person who committed the crime right away. As they look for physical evidence and talk to witnesses, a picture unfolds. Depending on the situation, the police might close the case with an immediate arrest, or they might continue investigating.  The police can arrest you if they have probable cause. Probable cause is the lowest standard of proof used in the criminal justice system. Probable cause exists if a reasonable person would believe a crime occurred and the person identified committed the crime.  What Happens After an Arrest? The police will bring you in for booking. They will fingerprint you, take a mugshot, check your criminal background, and confirm your name and date of birth.  The police might ask you to give an interview. You should know that the police must give you the Miranda warnings if they ask you any questions beyond normal booking questions. They can ask you things like your name, age, and where you live, but you are under no obligation to answer questions about the crime or the investigation. So the Miranda warning reminds you of important rights. Use those rights because they protect your freedom. Call an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer before speaking with the police.  You will then go to court for your first appearance after booking. There may be a bond that you need to post to secure your attendance in court.  What Is the Ohio Criminal Trial Process? The criminal trial process begins with your first appearance in court. This is called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the judge tells you the charges, informs you of your trial rights, and asks for a plea. The court might also set bail depending on your specific circumstances. The judge could impose a cash bail and add conditions like wearing a GPS ankle bracelet and order you to stay away from certain people or locations while your case proceeds through the criminal trial process. What Options Do You Have When the Judge Asks for Your Plea? You have three options when the judge inquires about your plea. They are: Not Guilty, Guilty, or  Nolo contendere (No Contest). Having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney represent you at your arraignment can help you avoid making huge mistakes that are not easily fixed. Entering a not guilty plea means that you contest the allegations the state made against you. Pleading guilty is just the opposite. It means that you do not contest the allegations and are the person guilty of the alleged crime. Finally, pleading no contest means that you do not wish to contest the facts of the case but are not admitting guilt. The judge will sentence you after your guilty or no contest plea.  Pleading not guilty means the case proceeds toward a trial. However, you do not get an immediate trial. You get to see the evidence the prosecution has so you can prepare a defense. This is often called the “discovery phase” of the case. What Is a Preliminary Hearing? A preliminary hearing is a crucial step in the criminal justice process. You have a right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days of your first court appearance if you have felony charges.  A preliminary hearing is like a trial, except you don’t have a right to a jury at this time. The prosecution will present evidence to the judge. Your attorney will cross-examine witnesses and may even present evidence in your favor.  The judge will determine whether probable cause exists to take your case to trial.  What Is a Pre-Trial Hearing? A pre-trial hearing is an important step in the Ohio criminal trial process. At this stage of the trial procedure, your attorney can file motions to suppress, motions to dismiss, additional discovery motions, and other pleadings with the court. The judge may rule on those motions at the pre-trial hearing or schedule them for another date before your trial.  Your lawyer may engage in plea negotiations with the prosecutor at this time. You could end up with a favorable result through plea negotiations. Should You Go to Trial? This is a question that you must discuss with your trusted attorney. You have an absolute right to go to trial. But going to trial is risky. If the jury finds you not guilty, you are free from facing these charges again. On the other hand, if the jury finds you guilty, you face the possibility of serving the maximum sentence for the crime.  A defense lawyer with a track record of success can weigh the risks and rewards of going to trial so that you can make the best decision.  Contact Gounaris Abboud for Help Now The Ohio defense lawyers with Gounaris Abboud, LPA can help you through the criminal justice process. No matter what charges you face, our award-winning lawyers will be there for you. Our defense lawyers proudly boast prestigious honors such as a 10.0 “Superb” Avvo rating, an annual spot among Ohio’s Super Lawyers rankings, and a spot in the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 rankings. We didn’t win those awards by accident. We fight for our clients and obtain results. Call us today at 937-222-1515 or contact us online for more.

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ohio drug cultivation

Growing marijuana in your home is illegal in Ohio. Even though other states are relaxing their marijuana use and possession laws, the Ohio drug cultivation laws remain very strict. So if you get arrested for drug cultivation, meaning that you were caught growing marijuana for personal use or selling it to others—that arrest can create significant legal problems for you.  Would you know where to turn for help if you are charged with growing marijuana in Ohio? Such accusations mean that you need experienced, skilled, and successful attorneys who can help you avoid the consequences of a marijuana cultivation conviction. Gounaris Abboud, LPA’s drug charge defense lawyers can give you the edge you need for a successful outcome in your case. Our criminal defense lawyers received some of Ohio’s most prestigious awards for their exemplary legal skill and dedication to their clients.  What Are Ohio’s Marijuana Growing Laws? Ohio law says that no person shall cultivate marijuana or manufacture or produce a controlled substance. The law is clear. However, you might wonder exactly what drug cultivation means in Ohio.  You can find the definition of cultivation in Section 2925.01(F) of the Ohio Revised Code. Illegal cultivation of marijuana refers to planting, watering, fertilizing, or tilling marijuana plants and seedlings. It doesn’t matter how many plants you grow. Remarkably, even growing one plant can land you in jail in Ohio.  What Is the Penalty in Ohio for Growing Marijuana? The penalty you face depends on the amount of marijuana you grow. Also, if you grow the plant within the vicinity of a school, the severity of the charge rises one degree. Growing marijuana is a minor misdemeanor if you have less than 100 grams. You would pay a $150 fine unless it is in the vicinity of a school. In that case, the crime rises to a fourth-degree misdemeanor which could land you in jail for up to 30 days.  Cultivating more than 100 grams but less than 200 grams is also a fourth-degree misdemeanor. But if you are caught growing that amount near a school, that charge rises to a third-degree misdemeanor, and you could go to jail for up to 60 days. Felony Charges for Cultivating Marijuana  Cultivating over 200 grams of marijuana is a felony. If you have between 200 grams and 1 kilogram, then you could get 6-12 months in prison for a fifth-degree felony offense. However, you could go to prison for up to 18 months for a fourth-degree felony if you committed the same act near a school. You face a third-degree felony carrying between one and five years in prison if you cultivate one to five kilograms of marijuana. However, your charges rise to second-degree felonies if you are in the vicinity of a school—and this can send you to prison for two to eight years.  Cultivating 5-20 kilograms of marijuana is a third-degree felony that carries a rebuttable presumption favoring incarceration that lasts one to five years. This violation near a school increases the charge to a second-degree felony with a rebuttable presumption in favor of imposing a prison sentence of two to eight years.  If you are guilty of cultivating more than 20 kilograms of marijuana, then you face a mandatory sentence of eight years. This mandatory penalty increases to 10 years if you are near a school. Do I Have Any Defenses? You might have any number of defenses available to you. Having a frank conversation with an experienced Ohio drug defense lawyer can help you determine which course of action you should take. For example, you can potentially: Challenge the conduct of the police if they violated your rights; Contest the evidence against you at trial because the state cannot prove you were the person cultivating marijuana; or Attempt to negotiate a lesser sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Some defenses might work better than others, depending on your case. However, the only way you will know is if you speak with a lawyer from Gounaris Abboud, LPA, who has vast experience in Ohio defending marijuana cultivation cases. Ohio’s marijuana cultivation statute gives you another possible defense. Under Section 2925.04(F), you can knock your charge down from a fifth-degree felony to a misdemeanor if you can show that the gross weight of the marijuana you’re charged with does not reflect pure marijuana.  In other words, the law allows you to present evidence that the substances found are a mixture of substances, some of which are not drugs. For example, you might argue that drug analysis shows that you mixed a legal substance like oregano with marijuana. For this to work, you have to show that it’s more likely than not that the police found a mixture that contained some legal substances. If you successfully challenge the weight of the marijuana, you might get your charges lowered to a misdemeanor.  Why Is a Misdemeanor Conviction for Cultivation Beneficial in Some Cases? Ohio law says that an arrest or conviction for a minor misdemeanor conviction does not give you a criminal record. That means you don’t have to tell a potential employer, educational institution, license application, or other inquiry into your criminal history that you’ve been arrested or convicted.  What Are the Growing Medical Marijuana Laws in Ohio? There is one legal way to grow marijuana in Ohio. You have to obtain a license from the state to cultivate marijuana. People who have medical marijuana cards in Ohio cannot grow their own marijuana—they can only buy it from a licensed facility. Gounaris Abboud, LPA: Award-Winning Marijuana Cultivation Defense Lawyers When you need help, turn to Gounaris Abboud. Contact us by calling 937-222-1515 today. When you ask for help, our experienced lawyers will prepare the strongest case possible for you. Our attorneys have received numerous awards, including placement in the Top 50 Cincinnati Super Lawyers list and Top 100 in all of Ohio. In 2021, we continued our streak of landing on the Ohio Super Lawyers list for the 10th consecutive year. 

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calculating pain and suffering after car accident

If you suffered personal injuries through no fault of your own, you deserve compensation for your losses. You may be wondering, How much will I get for pain and suffering from a car accident? The amount of pain and suffering in a car accident you endured, plus other factors can determine how much you recover.  You have only one chance to recover financial damages from your crash. Therefore, you should trust your valuable rights to the car accident lawyers with Gounaris Abboud, LPA. Our attorneys have experienced tremendous success winning cases for clients who sustained injuries in Ohio car accidents through no fault of their own. Unlike other law firms, we have a proven track record of success along with the resources to help you maximize your recovery. How Much for Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Claim in Ohio? Monetary damage awards in Ohio may be broken down into two categories: economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses—often referred to as compensatory damages—refer to the amount of money you lost because of your accident. Section 2315.18 of the Ohio Revised Code defines economic losses as any monetary loss relating to: Reduced salary, wages, or other employee compensation; Property losses; Expenditures for medical care, treatment, rehabilitation, services, medication, and accommodations for injuries; and All other expenditures for losses relating to your damage claim. Additionally, economic losses include future economic losses or medical expenses. It is important to note that Section 2315.18 explicitly states that Ohio law does not cap compensation for economic losses.  How Much Pain and Suffering for a Car Accident? Unlike economic losses, Section 2315.18 caps car accident pain and suffering compensation in certain situations. Section 2315.18 refers to these damages as noneconomic losses. Noneconomic losses include any physical, mental, psychological, or emotional damage that you suffered because of your car accident. Examples of non-economic losses include: The physical pain you experienced from your injuries, which includes pain from surgery, rehabilitation, and chronic pain you feel; Any mental anguish you endured, like the pain of not being able to play with your kids after your accident or not being able to enjoy your favorite hobby; Any depression, anxiety, or stress you experienced after your accident; and Loss of enjoyment of life.  As you can see, there is no easy way to place a dollar figure on these losses. However, you should claim compensation for noneconomic losses because they are part of the losses you endured as a result of your car accident.  How Much Will I Get for Pain and Suffering from a Car Accident? Calculating pain and suffering from a car accident is not easy. There is no one right way to figure out how much your suffering is worth. For example, you might have reached a medical end result after treatment, but you still have a sore back. If your sore back makes doing chores around the house harder and sleeping more difficult, then you should receive compensation. It’s not your fault your back hurts. But how do you put a number on pain and suffering? One way to calculate pain and suffering damages is to multiply your economic losses by a number between one and five—with the average claim using a multiplier of three. Thus, if you have $20,000 in economic losses and multiply that number by three, then your pain and suffering damage claim would be $60,000. In some instances, a multiplier of three would not be sufficient because your pain and suffering is more severe. In that case, multiplying your economic losses by five might give you a fair result. Another method commonly used to calculate pain and suffering is the daily rate theory. Under this theory, you claim pain and suffering damages for every day you experience pain from your accident. Coming up with a justifiable number is not easy in this situation. Therefore, using your daily wage or salary can be a good guide. For instance, if you make $200 per day at work. You would multiply $200 for every day you endured pain from your accident.  Ohio Law Caps Pain and Suffering Damages in Some Situations Section 2315.18 caps noneconomic damages at $250,000 or three times the compensatory damages, whichever is greater. The law also says that the noneconomic damages cannot exceed $350,000 per claimant or $500,000 per occurrence. There is an exception to this rule.  There is no cap on damages if you suffered: A loss of a limb; A loss of an organ; Substantial physical deformity; or A permanent injury that prevents you from caring for yourself and performing life-sustaining activities. These limitations only apply to non-fatal car accidents. Other limitations may apply to claims filed against the government and wrongful death suits. Maximize Your Pain and Suffering Award with Help From Successful Car Accident Lawyers The Ohio car accident lawyers with Gounaris Abboud, LPA, have won millions of dollars for their injury clients. They have a track record of success because they dedicate all of their resources and skill toward maximizing your damage award. Their numerous five-star awards and excellent reviews reflect their dedication to their clients. Call Gounaris Abboud today at 937-222-1515 for a free consultation.  

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Aggravated vehicular homicide

Ohio roads can be dangerous places to drive. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, 1,231 fatal motor vehicle crashes occurred in 2021. Unfortunately, numerous crashes involved aggravated vehicular homicide because the driver was driving recklessly or operating the vehicle while impaired.  In an effort to avoid such unnecessary death, Ohio aggravated vehicular homicide laws are tough. They call for harsh penalties to punish those who take another’s life while driving under the influence. A conviction for aggravated vehicular homicide in Ohio can ruin your life even though you never intended to harm another person. To protect yourself against these serious allegations, you need tough, aggressive, and highly skilled defense lawyers at your side. Dedicated lawyers from Gounaris Abboud, LPA, stand by, ready to give you the best chance for a successful defense.  What Is Aggravated Vehicular Homicide? Ohio Revised Code Section 2903.06 defines aggravated vehicular homicide in Ohio. Under this section, the police can bring aggravated vehicular homicide charges when a person operates a vehicle under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both and kills another person. Additionally, a person could face charges of aggravated vehicular homicide in Ohio for driving recklessly and killing another, or for killing someone who was in a construction zone at the time of the crash. However, the fact that you were involved in an accident does not mean you are automatically guilty of aggravated vehicular homicide. Rather, the police can charge you with aggravated vehicular homicide only if impaired or reckless driving proximately caused the victim’s death. Essentially, proximate cause means the direct and uninterrupted consequence of an act that killed the victim. In other words, the State would have to prove that your impaired or reckless driving caused the accident that killed the victim.  What Is the Potential Aggravated Vehicular Homicide Ohio Sentence? Aggravated vehicular homicide in Ohio is a felony. The degree of felony you face depends on how the crash happened and your prior criminal history. Aggravated vehicular homicide sentencing takes into consideration your personal history as well as the impact of the victim’s death on their family.  Third-Degree Aggravated Vehicular Homicide  Reckless driving or committing a reckless offense in a construction zone that caused someone’s death is a third-degree felony. You could go to prison for up to five years, pay a fine of up to $10,000, and lose your driver’s license permanently.  Second-Degree Aggravated Vehicular Homicide You face a second-degree felony if the police have evidence that you drove while under the influence of an intoxicating substance. The possible sentence includes a mandatory prison sentence of two and eight years, a fine of up to $15,000, and having your driver’s license suspended for life.  Driving recklessly and killing a person in a construction zone or reckless driving accompanied by aggravating factors is also a second-degree felony. Aggravating factors that enhance this crime up to a second-degree felony instead of a third-degree felony include: Driving with a suspended license for Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) at the time of the crash; Driving without a license after a previous OVI conviction in Ohio; or Having a prior conviction for motor vehicle homicide, vehicular manslaughter, or vehicular assault. These offenses carry up to eight years in prison, a $15,000 fine, and the possibility of a lifetime driver’s license suspension. First-Degree Aggravated Vehicular Homicide The charge of first-degree aggravated vehicular homicide is appropriate if you caused a fatal crash while impaired with the presence of one aggravating factor. Aggravating factors include: Having a previous conviction for aggravated vehicular homicide; Driving with a suspended or revoked license after an OVI conviction; or Having a prior conviction for vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, or vehicular assault. The punishment for a first-degree felony is severe. You face mandatory prison time up to 11 years, a $20,000 fine, and lifetime revocation of your driver’s license. However, you could face up to 15 years of mandatory prison time if you have three or more OVI convictions or one OVI felony conviction in the past six years.  Defenses for Aggravated Vehicular Homicide in Ohio Even if you think the deck is stacked against you, the law presumes you to be innocent until proven guilty. Having a knowledgeable and experienced OVI defense attorney aggressively defend your case can help expose weaknesses in the State’s case. With skilled defense lawyers by your side, you might be able to contest the admissibility of evidence, argue that the police violated your rights, and persuade a jury that the State failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In the right circumstances, engaging in plea bargaining might be your best chance to avoid a long prison sentence.  Award-Winning Representation from the Dedicated OVI Defense Lawyers with Gounaris Abboud, LPA If you face aggravated vehicular homicide charges in Ohio, you need to act quickly to protect your rights. Contact Gounaris Abboud at 937-222-1515 to enlist highly experienced and reputable OVI defense lawyers to get you the best results possible for your case.  Gounaris Abboud’s OVI defense attorneys earned multiple awards for their stellar representation of people just like you. It’s no coincidence that our lawyers have earned the AVVO 10.0 Superb Rating as well as inclusion in the list of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and the annual SuperLawyers distinction. Put our stellar reputation and work ethic to work for you—call to set up your initial consultation today.

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