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Posts tagged "Wadsworth criminal defense attorney"

Misdemeanor Concurrent Sentences Mandatory

When one is sentenced on both a felony and a misdemeanor, the Ohio Supreme Court has determined misdemeanor concurrent sentences mandatory with felony sentences. In a decision entered recently this year, this Ohio Supreme Court resolved conflicting opinions among the lower courts on this issue.  Consecutive sentences are served one right after the other, with no double credit for any of the time served.  Two six month sentences would add up to a year if they ran consecutive to one another.  Concurrent sentences are served at the same time.  Two six month sentences would add up to only six months if they ran concurrent to one another.

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New Ohio Criminal Mental State Requirements

In 2014, the Ohio Legislature passed into law new Ohio criminal mental state requirements. This new law required any criminal laws passed after December 19, 2014, to contain a mental state or a guilty mind as an element of the offense.  This means the new crime must include the requirement that the accused committed the act recklessly, knowingly or intentionally.  Acting recklessly, knowingly or intentionally is acting with the mental state required as part of the offense.

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Can I Go To Jail For Defaulting On A Payday Loan?

Some payday lenders threaten to call the police if the check bounces, prompting one to ask, “can I go to jail for defaulting on a payday loan?”   A payday loan is usually a small loan with a postdated check as collateral for the loan.  The due date is usually the date of the person’s next paycheck.  Payday loans carry a high interest rate, often more than 300%.  If one borrows $300 on March 1 and has to pay $330 back on March 15, it may not seem like much.  However, ten percent over two weeks is equivalent to 260% over a year.  If someone repeatedly took out this same loan for a full year, that person would pay 260% interest on $300, which amounts to paying the $300 back, plus $780 in interest.   (more…)

Ohio Outlaws Debtors’ Prison

The Ohio Supreme Court has ordered Ohio courts to stop reviving debtors’ prison.  In other words, Ohio outlaws debtors’ prison.  In February 2014, the high court indicated that it would not tolerate the court’s imprisoning people who could not afford to pay fines and costs.   What is debtors’ prison?   (more…)

What Is Shoplifting In Ohio?

Have you been picked up for shoplifting in Ohio?

While people commonly refer to stealing from a store as shoplifting, there is not an offense in Ohio that is called shoplifting.  So, what is shoplifting in Ohio?  Shoplifting in Ohio is technically known as theft, which is defined in Ohio Revised Code 2913.02 (R.C. 2913.02).  Theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony.  If the value of the items total less than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), the offense is petty theft, a misdemeanor of the first degree.  This offense has a maximum jail term of one hundred eighty days in jail.  If the value of the items total one thousand dollars or more but less than seven thousand five hundred dollars, then the offense is theft, a felony of the fifth degree.  This offense has a maximum prison term of twelve months.  If the value of the items total seven thousand five hundred dollars or more and less than one hundred fifty thousand dollars, the offense is grand theft, a felony of the fourth degree.  This offense has a maximum prison term of eighteen months. (more…)

Wadsworth Criminal Defense Attorney

Someone who is accused of a crime in Wadsworth needs a Wadsworth criminal defense attorney, who is available to provide defense for a variety of criminal cases, including traffic, misdemeanors, and felonies.  A Wadsworth criminal defense attorney can provide representation close to home, with knowledge of the court’s local procedures and practices. Misdemeanors are heard in the Wadsworth Municipal Court, 120 Maple Street, Wadsworth, Ohio 44281.  The first appearance consists of either of the following:  the bond hearing; or the arraignment, where the accused is informed of the charges and potential penalties for the charges.  Later, the matter is set for trial to the court.  Jury trials are set after a written demand for one.  This court does not conduct formal pre-trials, but a Wadsworth criminal defense attorney can set up an informal one with the assistant prosecutor.  The court may hold hearings on pretrial motions filed by the criminal defense attorney or the assistant prosecutor.  If the accused pleads guilty or no-contest, or is found guilty at trial, the court usually orders a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) prior to sentencing. (more…)

More Potential Jurors Want Convictions

I have been noticing a disturbing trend over the past two years.  More potential jurors want convictions.   Some want so badly to return a verdict of guilty that they are willing to ignore the law in order to find the person guilty.  How have I discovered this fact?  During my twenty years of practice, I have developed a number of questions that I ask potential jurors in order to determine if they could be fair and impartial to my client.  One of these questions simply asks the potential juror if he or she would make the State of Ohio prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt before making a finding of guilty.  I go one step further and ask what the juror would do if the State proves all but one element beyond a reasonable doubt, with that one missing element being close but not quite there.  In my first eighteen years of practice, every potential juror answered this question correctly, which was to return a verdict of not guilty.  The first six of those years were spent as an assistant prosecutor, watching other defense attorneys ask various versions of this same question.  The other twelve of those years, I asked that question as the criminal defense attorney. (more…)

What Factors Affect An Agreed Sentence?

I often hear my clients tell me that someone else got a certain sentence for a similar offense and whether they could also get the same sentence. My usual response is that no two cases and defendants are exactly alike and so the sentences would not necessarily be exactly alike.  There are a number of official sentencing guidelines that courts follow, especially those set forth in Ohio Revised Code 2929.11 and 2929.12 (R.C. 2929.11 and R.C. 2929.12).  This article is not going to focus on those factors, but rather, the factors in obtaining an agreed sentence. (more…)