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Criminal Defense Archives

Some Laws Seem Like An April Fools' Joke, But They're Real

Laws and regulations can be passed at the city, county, state and federal levels. Laws tend to pile up in the dark and dusty corners of government. We rarely go back and clean out these old laws by officially repealing them. As a result, there are some truly strange laws that stayed on the books long past the point where they were useful. Here is just a sliver of the odd laws that apparently made sense to officials at the time.

No Charges After Rape Investigation

We recently represented a young man in his early 20s who began dating a young woman. Their relationship lasted for few months. During their relationship, they engaged in consensual sexual activity between 30 to 50 times. They had sex between 10-12 times in a state park at night in the young man's car.

Quick Primer on the Sealing of Criminal Records

Ohio has recently expanded the eligibility for sealing one's criminal record. Ohio law now permits up to five low level felonies to be sealed so long as a defendant does not have anything more serious on his or her record. It also permits potentially unlimited misdemeanors to be sealed. Also, a Defendant is able to seal a misdemeanor conviction and some third-degree felonies when he or she has no more than one misdemeanor and one third degree felony conviction. Certain exceptions exist, however, whereby an individual with more than two convictions may still be eligible. For example, multiple charges that arose from the same incident (such as a defendant who is charged with trespass and disorderly conduct as part of the same course of conduct) would likely be viewed as one conviction for purposes of sealing. Also, minor misdemeanors, such as possession of drug or drug paraphernalia, do not count as a conviction for purposes of sealing.

High Risk of Criminal Prosecution for Marijuana Users: Many Criminal Penalties Remain Despite Legalization of Medical Marijuana in Ohio

Medical marijuana was effectively legal in Ohio on September 8, 2018 and the first dispensaries opened in early 2019. In the coming months and years, we anticipate Ohio will see more dispensaries and more medical marijuana patients. Despite the legalization, medical marijuana patients and marijuana users have a number of legal pitfalls and restrictions.

A Fresh Start? Examining Ohio's Updated Expungement Law

Those with a history of low-level drug and theft charges that were previously prevented from having their cases expunged will be happy to know that the law has changed. Starting this year, the Ohio legislature has expanded the number and type of cases that can be expunged. This will benefit those who have long been haunted by past mistakes on background checks. 

Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed

We recently represented a hard-working single father with no criminal record who is thirty-seven years old. His girlfriend told him that she would accuse him of domestic violence if he ended the relationship. When he ended the relationship, she followed through with her threat and called 911. She told the arresting officer he hit her a few times in the back of the head and pulled her hair. Our client denied harming her or any woman. Even though the officer noted in the complaint that he did not observe any injuries, he felt as though he had probable cause to charge and arrest our client and charge him with first degree misdemeanor domestic violence based solely upon the ex-girlfriend's statements.

Recent Changes in Ohio's Intervention in Lieu of Conviction ("ILC") Statute

For the second time this year, Ohio has expanded its Intervention in Lieu of Conviction ("ILC") statute, once again benefitting defendants across the State. Effective on October 29, 2018, the new ILC statute gives a person countless opportunities to enroll in ILC. In other words, even if a person has previously been given an opportunity for ILC, the court now has the discretion to permit a defendant to enroll into the program again.

We Have Seen It All And Can Help

It's Sunday morning. You just woke up to a piercing headache, a mysterious stain on your favorite shirt, and wait, what's that paper in your pocket? You pull out a crumpled up rectangular sheet of blue paper.  The words "ordered to appear" and "prohibited acts" jump off the paper. Your heart begins to race as it all comes rushing back to you. Take a deep breath. We have seen it all and we can help.

Can I Vote in Ohio if I Have Been Convicted of a Felony?

In most instances, the answer in Ohio is yes. The common misconception is that if someone has been convicted of a felony then they are not eligible to vote. Ohio, however, is one of a handful of states that allow convicted felons to vote. The only time a convicted felon is not eligible to vote is if they are currently incarcerated as part of their sentence. Upon release, though, the defendant can re-register to vote. One exception, however, is for defendants convicted of a felony related to election fraud-in those instances the defendant is permanently ineligible to vote.

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