Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law
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Criminal Defense Archives

Petty Theft Carries Serious Consequences

Ohio Revised Code §2913.02 contains Ohio's petty theft statute. A theft charge is considered petty theft if the value of the item taken is less than $1,000. So, stealing a $2 candy bar carries the same penalties as a $999 piece of clothing. Once the value of the item or services equals or exceeds $1,000 then the offense becomes a felony. Theft is committed when a defendant, with a purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, knowingly obtains control over the property or services by one of five ways: (1) without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent; (2) beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent; (3) by deception; (4) by threat; or (5) by intimidation.

Can the Police Force You to Unlock Your Phone?

During a criminal investigation, can the police make you turn over your password to your phone? The answer to that question depends on where you live, as the courts are divided on the answer to that question. This makes the question ripe for clarification by the United States Supreme Court.

Charged for exercising your right to protest?

Since opening our doors in 1995, we have always sought to fight injustice, stand up against inequality, and ensure that everyone has a voice in our criminal justice system. That fight will never end. In times like today, it is even more important that we speak out and stand up for what we believe in and support those who are discriminated against. The team at Rittgers & Rittgers strongly support the peaceful protests and demonstrations to fight the injustices in our world. It is your constitutional right to assemble and speak out and we all have a duty to do so. There is not a more powerful tool for change than people coming together to stand united against racism and injustice. 

IS IT AGAINT THE LAW TO PROTEST?

This is a complicated question with a lot of possible directions and answers. According to the United States and Ohio Constitutions, the short answer is a resounding "No!" However, there are a lot of "except when..." that must be considered to avoid potential arrests.

Can I be charged with a crime simply for being at a protest?

With everything going on, one question we have been getting recently is whether you can be charged with a crime for simply being at a protest. The answer is it depends. The Ohio Constitution and the First Amendment to the United State Constitution provide for certain rights. These rights include:

Butler County Area Courts to Offer Fee Amnesty

If you owe court fees to Butler County Area 1 (Oxford), 2 (Hamilton), or 3 (West Chester) Court those courts are currently offering a fee amnesty program through May 22, 2020. Individuals owing fines in those three courts can have the remainder of those fees waived if they pay half the amount owed, plus $125 for court costs. 

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Rittgers & Rittgers, Attorneys at Law

Lebanon Office
12 East Warren Street
Lebanon, Ohio 45036

Phone: 513-932-2115
Fax: 513-934-2201
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9078 Union Centre Blvd.
Suite 350
West Chester, OH 45069

Phone: 513-932-9949
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Cincinnati, OH 45226

Phone: 513-932-7375
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Florence, KY 41042

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121 West High Street
Oxford, OH 45056

Phone: 513-524-5000
Fax: 513-524-5001
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