> October, 2015 | Daniel F. Gigiano Co., L.P.A.
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Archive for October, 2015

Ohio Maximum Prison Terms And Jail Time

What are the Ohio maximum prison terms and jail time? While there are a number of offenses that carry life in prison, the death penalty, or are subject to enhanced penalties or reduced maximum penalties, this article will focus on the ten basic levels of offenses in Ohio.   The Ohio sentencing classifications from most severe to least severe are: first degree felony (3-10 years in prison); second degree felony (2-8 years in prison); third degree felony (1-5 years in prison); fourth degree felony (6-18 months in prison); fifth degree felony (6-12 months in prison); first degree misdemeanor (up to 6 months in jail); second degree misdemeanor (up to 90 days in jail); third degree misdemeanor (up to 60 days in jail); fourth degree misdemeanor (up to 30 days in jail); minor misdemeanor (up to a $150 fine but no jail time).   (more…)

Child Custody In Ohio

How is child custody decided in Ohio? These issues are decided by domestic relations and juvenile courts in Ohio.  For disputes between parents, the domestic relations courts in Medina County, Summit County and Cuyahoga County hear such cases.  In Wayne County, Ohio, the domestic relations court hears child custody cases in divorce and post-divorce decree cases.  The Wayne County juvenile court hears child custody cases between unmarried parents.  For purposes of this article, we will refer to all these courts as the Ohio child custody court.   The Ohio child custody court must decide between sole custody to one parent and shared parenting with both parents. The parent who is awarded sole custody becomes the child’s legal custodian and will make decisions about non-emergency medical care, education, religion, discipline and extra-curricular activities.  The sole legal custodian must let the non-custodial parent know about such matters but will make the final decisions.   (more…)

What Defenses Are Available In Ohio Personal Injury Cases?

A good offense in fighting for injured people involves anticipating the defenses that will be raised by the person who caused the injury. What defenses are available in Ohio personal injury cases?   In most personal injury cases, there are four things the injured person must prove: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the breach of the duty was the proximate cause of your injury; and (4) personal injury, property damage or both. The first defense is simply to show that the injured person failed to prove these things.  Careful attention to the details of the accident and how those details compare to the injuries make the difference in getting the recovery that you deserve.   (more…)

When Personal Injury Is Caused By Negligence

Typically, a personal injury claim is based on negligence. Negligence occurs when someone causes harm by failing to take the degree of care that an ordinarily careful and reasonable person would take under the same or similar circumstances. For example, a reasonable person should watch the road while they are driving. If the driver is texting and driving and fails to see a car stopped in front of him or her, the driver is negligently failing to watch the road. That driver would be liable for any harm the results from the that negligent act.   When personal injury is caused by negligence, there are four things the injured person must prove: (1) the defendant owed you a duty of care; (2) the defendant breached that duty; (3) the breach of the duty was the proximate cause of your injury; and (4) personal injury, property damage or both. Using our example, the driver owed the other drivers on the road the duty of care of complying with Ohio traffic laws. When that driver breached that duty by texting and failing to watch the road, and striking the vehicle in front of the driver, the driver failed to maintain an assured clear distance as required under Ohio law. The driver’s action is the proximate cause of the damage to the other vehicle and the people inside the other vehicle. The damages may include the monetary amount required to repair or replace the vehicle and to treat the injury from the accident.   (more…)

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?

Can police use sobriety checkpoints to stop and check to see if the drivers may be driving under the influence of alcohol? In other words, are sobriety checkpoints legal?   The United States Supreme Court held that sobriety checkpoints are valid. In their decision, the Court found that the intrusion and inconvenience to individuals who are stopped is outweighed by the government’s interest in restricting drunk driving. Ohio courts determined that there are four factors to determining the legality of a sobriety checkpoint: (1) a checkpoint location must be selected for its safety and visibility to oncoming motorists; (2) adequate advance warning signs illuminated at night, must timely inform approaching motorists of the nature of the impending intrusion; (3) uniformed officers and official vehicles must be in sufficient quantity and visibility to show the police power of the community; and (4) policy-making administrative officers must make a pre-determination of the roadblock location, time, and procedures to be employed, according to carefully formulated standards and neutral criteria.   (more…)