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Posts tagged "Wayne County"

Ohio Will Changing Mental Capacity

In 2016, the Ninth District Court of Appeals decided that a person under legal guardianship can execute a valid will, ruling on Ohio will changing mental capacity.  Even more notable are the reasons: he suffered from schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, had a low IQ and was a frequent drug user.  Using traditional analysis, the court determined that he had the capacity to execute a will. 

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Ohio Appeal Rights

If you do not like the ruling at trial, you may have Ohio appeal rights, which is the right to appeal the trial court’s decision.  

Ohio Appeal Rights To Appeal The Magistrate

    If the trial or hearing was heard by a magistrate, you have the right to appeal the magistrate. If the magistrate issued an order, you have the right to ask the judge to set the order aside.  This must be filed within ten days of the order.  Filing this motion does not automatically stop the order from taking effect.  If the magistrate issued a decision, you have the right to object to the decision.  The objection automatically stops enforcement of the decision.  Unfortunately, this includes the parts you may like along with the parts to which you have objections.  The objection must be filed within fourteen days of the filing of the magistrate’s decision. (more…)

Ohio Paternity Parentage Cases

Ohio child custody rights of unmarried parents are decided in Ohio paternity parentage cases, which includes requests for legal custody, parenting time and/or shared parenting. In Ohio, an unmarried mother has sole legal custody of a child born outside of marriage.  The father has no legal rights to the child until he requests the court to issue orders establishing a father-child relationship and an order for parenting time.

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Pay To Stay In Jail

Many county jails in Ohio have a pay to stay in jail policy. The ACLU issued a report on this practice, stating that this burdens a population that likely cannot afford such fees in the first place.  Potential fees include booking fees and daily lodging fees.  According to the report, the jails in Holmes County, Medina County, Cuyahoga County, Ashland County and Summit County do not charge any of these fees.  The Wayne County jail was listed a charging a $10 booking fee but no daily fees.  The counties that offer work release as an option usually charge daily work release fees.  A work release pay to stay program may not have the same concerns cited by the ACLU because the inmates are being given the opportunity to earn amounts greater than the cost of their stay in jail.   (more…)

Filler Weight Is Included In Drug Cases

Filler weight is included in drug cases. Believe it or not, it is illegal to possess and sell fake drugs in Ohio.  Fake drugs are officially referred to as counterfeit controlled substances.  While a controlled substance is usually part of a class of illegal or strictly regulated substances, a counterfeit controlled substance is a non-controlled substances that a reasonable person would believe to be a controlled substance because of its similarity in shape, size, color, markings, labeling, packaging, distribution, or price.   (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 Is Extradition?

What is extradition? Extradition is a procedure where a person in one state is surrendered to another state in connection with separate criminal proceedings. Usually, that person has fled the state to avoid prosecution, sentencing or incarceration. A person who flees prosecution or sentencing is called a fugitive.   One the fugitive is arrested, he or she can either request a hearing to contest the extradition or can waive the right to this hearing. If the fugitive waives the right to a hearing, he or she will be available for return to the state that issued the warrant. (more…)

Divorce And Dissolution

How do divorce and dissolution differ from one another? A dissolution is an agreement to terminate the marriage, with an agreement on how to divide their assets and debts, as well as agreement on child custody, child support, parenting time and spousal support. In order to have a dissolution, the parties must agree on all of the issues. Paperwork is filed and the matter is resolved in a single hearing. The dissolution process is usually completed within two to three months after filing.   When the parties cannot agree on all of the issues, but wish to terminate the marriage, they must do so with a divorce. One of the eleven grounds for divorce must be alleged. Incompatibility cannot be proven, but must be agreed upon by both parties in order to be used as a ground for divorce. Divorce usually consists of temporary orders hearings, case management hearings, pre-trial hearings, and final hearings (trials). The final hearing does not usually occur until at least nine months after filing and sometimes well over one year after filing.   (more…)

When Can Grandparents Take Custody Of A Child?

When can grandparents take custody of a child? A nonparent can be awarded custody of a minor child if the court makes a finding of parental unsuitability. Parental unsuitability can be determined if the "parent abandoned the child; contractually relinquished custody of the child; that the parent has become totally incapable of supporting or caring for the child; or that an award of custody to the parent would be detrimental to the child.” Parents who are suitable persons have a paramount right to the custody of their minor children.   In other words, parents have a right to care for and raise their children. In order to infringe on that right, someone must first demonstrate that the parent is unsuitable, commonly known as unfit parents. A typical case of parental unsuitability is when the parents leave the children with the grandparents and disappear for a long period of time. In such an instance, the grandparent will likely be able to prove parental unsuitability and may be able to obtain custody of the children.   (more…)

Can Something Be Done To Keep Me Out Of Jail?

When people accused of a crime come into my office, they often ask “can something be done to keep me out of jail?” More specifically, many clients ask if I can promise to keep them out of jail. I guess I am a little too honest. I do not make that promise. Does that mean I cannot do the job? No, it means I do not lie to people. I can promise to defend you with the knowledge and ability that I have accumulated for over twenty-one years of practicing law.   If someone is charged with a fourth or fifth degree felony, Ohio law basically tells the judge to give the person probation (technically called community control) unless there are some specific reasons not to do so. Does that usually mean that the person stays out of jail? Possibly, but the judge may decide to give a short jail sentence. Many of these felonies may qualify for diversion or intervention in lieu of a conviction. However, there may be technical problems with getting into an intervention in lieu of a conviction program and the prosecutor could decide that he or she does not want to offer diversion for a particular case. What if you do not like the terms of the diversion? Perhaps, you feel like the victim is inflating the losses and making you pay much more than they ever lost. You could take it to trial, and try to get your case reduced to a misdemeanor by a jury of your peers. Because the judge cannot send you to prison on a misdemeanor, you got this thing beaten, huh? Not so fast. That judge can still send you to jail on a misdemeanor conviction, especially if he or she thinks the actions that they heard during trial demand a response. Some crimes have minimum sentences. For example, DUIs have minimum sentences starting at three days in jail. Firearm specifications have at least a one year minimum prison term, often triggering a separate and consecutive prison term for the main felony charge.   (more…)

Can You Lie To The Police?

Can you lie to the police? No. You have the right to remain silent, not to lie, especially if that lie is designed to mislead the police. Then, the lie is considered obstruction of justice or obstruction of official business.   Obstructing justice is defined in Ohio Revised Code 2921.32 (R.C. 2921.32). It is a crime to attempt to hinder the discovery, apprehension, conviction or punishment of a person who has committed a crime. This can include lying or misleading the police, harboring or hiding the accused person, or helping the accused person evade the police. It can also include the use of bribery or intimidation. If the crime committed by the person aided is a misdemeanor, obstructing justice is a misdemeanor of the same degree. For example, if the aided person committed assault, a first degree misdemeanor, obstructing justice would be a first degree misdemeanor. If the crime committed by the person aided is a third, fourth or fifth degree felony, other potential penalties are specified under R.C. 2921.32.   Obstructing official business is defined in Ohio Revised Code 2921.31 (R.C. 2921.31), making it illegal to prevent, obstruct or delay a police officer or other public official in the performance of his or her official duties. (more…)

Cheap Criminal Defense Attorney

My office receives a lot of phone calls asking what I charge for a criminal defense or DUI defense.  Some of these prospective clients are looking for a cheap criminal defense attorney or a cheap DUI attorney.  Some are just trying to get an idea of the range of criminal attorney fees.  We happily give them our fee and tell them what we do for that fee.  However, it is really difficult to really show them all that we do for that fee.  While we have a competitive fee, we are not the lowest fee.  We do not want to be the lowest fee because of the loss of professionalism and service that would likely occur if we were to charge such a low fee.

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Can A Person Waive The Right To Remain Silent?

Can a person waive the right to remain silent?  The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to remain silent, often referred to as “pleading the fifth.”  Ohio also guarantees this right in Article 1, Section 10 of the Ohio Constitution.   In the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the court said that the following warnings must be given prior to a custodial interrogation:   (more…)

Police Took The Suspect Into Custody

What does it mean when someone says that the police took the suspect into custody?  There are a number of factors that courts use to determine whether a person is in custody.  Why is this important?  Miranda warnings must be given if a suspect is questioned while in custody.  If the warnings are not given, the suspect’s answers cannot be used at trial.   The factors as set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Rhode Island v. Innis, 446 U.S. 291 (1980), are as follows:
  1. Did the person feel free to leave at that location (home vs. police station);
  2. Was the person a suspect at the time the questioning began;
  3. Was the person’s freedom to leave restricted in any way;
  4. Was the person handcuffed or told he or she was under arrest;
  5. Were threats made during the questioning;
  6. Was the person physically intimidated during the questioning;
  7. Did the police verbally dominate the questioning;
  8. What was the person’s purpose for being at the place the questioning took place;
  9. Were neutral parties present at any point during the questioning;
  10. Did the police try to overpower, trick or coerce the person into making a statement.
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What Jail Time Credit Will Be Applied?

One question that frequently arises at sentencing is what jail time credit will be applied?  Time spent in confinement can be credited against a sentence.  Confinement includes jail and community based correctional facility (CBCF).  Treatment can count if the defendant was confined there.  In order to get credit, the person had to be in custody for the case that is proceeding to sentencing.  In other words, the person cannot get credit for time served on another charge or other case.   (more…)

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…)

What Is A Municipal Court In Ohio?

Ohio has over 100 municipal courts, including some of our local courts:  Wadsworth Municipal Court, Medina Municipal Court, Wayne County Municipal Court, Barberton Municipal Court, Akron Municipal Court, and Stow Municipal Court.  So, what is a municipal court in Ohio?   (more…)

Minimum Amount Of Child Support

Is there a minimum amount of child support that a court must order?  Yes, there is.  Courts usually order guideline support, which is the amount of support calculated under the child support guidelines.  However, Ohio Revised Code 3119.06 (R.C. 3119.06) requires the court to order a minimum child support order of $50 per month.  If the person is not working and receiving needs-based assistance, then, while the arrearages accrue, the obligation to pay child support is suspended as long as the person is complying with a seek-work order.   Even though the statute says that is the lowest amount, is it?  No.  Ohio law also allows the court to order one to pay less than $50 per month or not require any child support if the parent ordered to pay has a medically verified or documented physical or mental disability or institutionalization for mental illness.   (more…)

What Do You Do When Pulled Over By The Police?

What do you do when pulled over by the police?  This really depends on the situation, but there are some tips that work for traffic stops, especially those where the officer suspects a DUI or OVI.   Be aware that the officer and perhaps his video camera is watching your every move.  Signal and pull over right away, but do so smoothly, safely, and completely.  Put the car into park or, if you have a stick-shift, move the gear to neutral and set the parking brake.  Have your license, registration and insurance in hand as quickly as possible.  Keep your seat belt on.  Turn off the radio and roll your window down.  When the officer approaches your vehicle and asks for your driver’s license, registration and insurance, hand them over.  If you still have not located these items, ask the officer for permission before going to retrieve them.  This will alert the officer that you are merely trying to comply with his or her request and that you are not retrieving a weapon.  The officer will be noting whether you are having difficulty finding these items, especially if it looks clumsy.  The officer may ask questions.  You should either politely decline or keep your answers short and true, without admitting anything.   (more…)

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