Infographics: Probation Sentences You Can Expect for a DUI Conviction

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Divorce Mediation: Few facts one needs to know

Divorce mediation is one step that needs to be considered before considering filing a formal divorce application in a court of law. Mediation is one alternative that lets you find a solution for the amicable settlement of the division of assets, child support, child custody, and spousal support. A third party in the form of a mediator is involved who ensures an amicable settlement between both parties. There are a few things that need to be considered before actually going in for divorce mediation so that both parties have their expectations set in realistic terms.

Divorce mediation helps in giving a direction to the conversation

A couple undergoing divorce will not able to come to a common conclusion amicably since they have been at loggerheads for a long time which has been the reason for them to look for a divorce. In that case, they need someone who can show them logically and help them decide on a better solution instead of washing the dirty linen in public. A divorce mediator with no personal interest will help the couple see the logic and will help them in taking the conversation to a logical ending. A divorce mediator will help them to stop digressing from the topic, talk in terms of the future rather than focusing on what has happened in the past.

Divorce mediation is not going to help you reunite

Divorce mediation is by no means a method to reunite the warring couple. It is just a method to settle things amicably that would cost a lot of time and money fighting in the courtroom. Do not expect the divorce mediator to lecture you on the merits of staying together or the bad effects your divorce is going to have on your kids. A divorce mediator is a professional who will see to it that all the assets are divided in such a manner that both parties feel satisfied at the end of the process.

It helps you to save time and money

Yes, it is true instead of going to court and hiring a pricey divorce attorney, divorce mediation can help you save a lot in terms of time and money. The services of divorce mediation are chargeable however they are quite low if you consider the expenses incurred on court fees, legal consultation, and the numerous rounds you are going to make to the courtroom leaving your kids in the care of daycare and taking a leave from your workplace. The process of divorce mediation if undergoes smoothly might get over in a few hours to one or two days depending upon the understanding and maturity of the couple.

An alternative for litigation

Divorce mediation is an alternative for the lawsuit you are thinking of filing against your spouse. A lawsuit is going to drag your household into the courtroom. Your kids need to be standing testimony for many things. There are going to be harrowing moments when you need to balance your personal, professional, and the life you are leading while fighting a lawsuit against your spouse. Litigation in any form takes a toll on your emotional and financial aspects. You can always avoid litigation via divorce mediation.

The divorce mediator is a third party with no personal interest

Divorce mediation involves a divorce mediator who has no personal interest in the lives and assets of the couple. His only motive is to have an amicable settlement of the warring couple as soon as possible since this is going to be his professional win for himself. In case the couple goes in for litigation after mediation it is going to be seen in bad taste for the divorce mediator.

Mediation does not work in a few cases

Mediation does not work in all cases. In cases, where an abusive spouse has involved mediation, will not be possible. A situation where one of the partners has been a chronic cheater in the relationship will not be able to survive the mediator’s room. For such situations, litigation is the only way left. Where one of the partners is being adamant on a few issues and is not ready for compromise divorce mediation should not be considered.

Gary Payton has been writing about the various aspects of law, provides legal advice, legal services in the preview of family law. Attorneys-arizona.com is a premier boutique litigation firm in Arizona, USA and Gary have been associated with them for a long time. Attorneys-arizona provides professional and trusted legal services. To know more about Divorce Lawyers feel free to visit – https://www.attorneys-arizona.com/

Avoid an OVI Conviction on Your Record

OVI, or operating a vehicle while intoxicated, is what Ohio law enforcement officials, courts, and statutes call driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Avoiding an OVI conviction is the only way to keep the charge off your permanent record because, unlike most other misdemeanors or low-level felonies, an OVI conviction cannot be expunged with the completion of a sentence and proof of continued good behavior.

The Columbus, Ohio, OVI defense attorneys with The Maher Law Firm discuss the three basic ways to avoid a drunk or drugged driving conviction here. To briefly recap:

  • The person accused of OVI can work with his or her lawyer to prove the arresting officer made mistakes when stopping the driver, conducting field sobriety tests, or interpreting field sobriety test performance. Dashboard and body camera footage from the police can be invaluable for this, and bystanders are also allowed to record traffic stops.
  • Evidence showing that the police officer, laboratory personnel, or court system made mistakes while collecting, analyzing, storing, and presenting breath, blood, and urine samples and test results can be presented by the defense. Procedural errors can make evidence inadmissible, meaning the prosecution may not have a case to make to a judge.
  • A Columbus, Ohio, OVI defense lawyer can negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecutor, meaning the defendant accepts a sentence for a lesser charge.

The plea deal option deserves special attention. Prosecutors in Columbus and Franklin County are most likely to offer pleas to reckless operation or physical control. Either might be acceptable, but no one accused of OVI should automatically plead guilty to any criminal or traffic offense without first consulting with an experienced Columbus Ohio defense attorney.

Reckless operation, which most states call reckless driving, indicates that a person was operating in a way that demonstrated lack of concern for consequences. The charge can apply to exceeding a posted speed limit by more than 25 mph, causing a crash that inflicts injuries, or putting other people on the road at risk by, for instance, crossing a double yellow line, jumping a curb, or going the wrong way on the interstate.

A physical control charge indicates that a law enforcement official found the accused driver in the driver’s seat of a vehicle and in possession of the keys to the vehicle’s ignition. The vehicle can be parked, and even on private property like a driveway.

Penalties for reckless operation and physical control can mirror those for OVI, including a license suspension that extends to the defendant’s commercial driver’s license, hundreds of dollars in fines and court costs, and multiple points on your driving record. The consequences can also be similar, ranging from a sharp increase in insurance premiums to losing a job that requires holding a valid CDL and keeping a clean driving record. A dedicated lawyer will do all he or she can to protect his client from the most severe penalties.

To find out if a DUI attorney from the Columbus offices of The Maher Law Firm can help you avoid a drunk or drugged driving conviction

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Why You Should Always Appeal Criminal Charges

Appealing a criminal charge has two components. The first involves requesting a trial instead of pleading guilty. The second involves asking a higher court to consider mistakes or injustices that led to a conviction. Explaining everything that happens while contesting an initial charge and pursuing appeals would take a library full of books. Here, the Columbus Ohio criminal defense attorneys will just highlight the most important reasons why you should always consider asking for your day in court and why you may have grounds for appealing a conviction.

Why Contest a Criminal Charge

Every person charged with committing a crime in Ohio and across the United States has the right to request a trial. Exercising that right allows the accused person and his or her criminal defense attorney to do the following things:

  • Examine and analyze all the evidence collected by the police
  • Question law enforcement officials who conducted the investigation and made the arrest
  • Question witnesses who will be called to speak against the defendant
  • Prepare a defense based on evidence and testimony that supports the defendant’s innocence or calls the prosecution’s case into question
  • Enter into discussions with the prosecutor and judge about pleading to a more minor offense that carries a lesser penalty

Going to trial also makes it easier to file an appeal of a conviction. While Ohio does allow a person to ask for a new trial after pleading guilty, succeeding with such a request is exceedingly difficult.

Why Appeal a Criminal Conviction

People convicted of crimes have several opportunities to appeal. The most common is a direct appeal, during which the evidence against the defendant is reconsidered or the way the first trial was conducted is examined. Ohio permits a defendant and his or her defense attorney to file a direct appeal on any of the following grounds:

  • Police and prosecutors collected, stored, analyzed, or presented evidence improperly.
  • Statements made by the defendant during interrogation or by prosecution witnesses were coerced, false, or inadmissible for other reasons.
  • The original judge’s rulings on pretrial motions and objections to courtroom proceedings were incorrect under law or trial guidelines.
  • The sentence imposed exceeded maximum limits spelled out instate statutes.
  • The judge’s instructions to jurors regarding how to interpret relevant laws, weigh different kinds of evidence, or recommend a sentence were unclear or not followed.
  • Violations of the defendant’s civil rights occurred. Examples of this could include not being informed of the right to an attorney or hearing racist comments from law enforcement officials or jurors.

A notice of intent to file a direct appeal must be delivered to the court within 30 days of the original conviction. State law also strongly recommends hiring a new Criminal defense attorney to handle the actual appeals case.

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Life after Bankruptcy: How to Recover

A lot of time, thought, and attention goes into deciding if filing for bankruptcy is right for you and your family. When you feel confident that you’ve made the right decision with the help of a bankruptcy attorney in Columbus, Ohio, a weight is taken off of your shoulders and you likely feel like you can finally move on with your life. Read more

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What Charges Can Be Expunged From My Record in Ohio?

The best way to start answering a question about which criminal charges you can have removed from your record in Ohio is probably to list the offenses that would remain publically searchable for your entire life. Per Section 2953.36 of the Ohio Revised Code, convictions for the following crimes cannot be expunged:

  • Felony or first-degree misdemeanor assault
  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated/Drunk or drugged driving
  • Most first- and second-degree felonies
  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Aggravated murder
  • Sex crimes in which the alleged victim was younger than 18 years of age
  • Sexual battery
  • Felonious sexual penetration
  • Inducing panic (e.g., causing a riot, making terroristic threats)
  • Inciting to violence
  • Jailed for failure to pay child support to a legal dependent younger than 16 years of age
  • Jailed for not paying traffic fines

Traffic violations also generally do not qualify for expungement since few of them are treated as crimes.

This list of exclusions leaves all virtually all other types of lower-level felonies and misdemeanors as candidates for expungement. A final consideration regarding expungements in general is that a sealed criminal record can often be reopened by court order. Ohio law grants state and federal law enforcement officers, prosecutors, parole and probation officers, and government officials to request access to expunged records. In Ohio, sealing a criminal record does not always equate with destroying it. can you get a dui expunged in ohio

Determining Eligibility for Expungement

To apply for having a conviction placed off-limits from a public records search, you must

  • Satisfy (“discharge” in legalese) all the terms of your sentence, including probation after release from incarceration and making restitution
  • Complete a waiting period of one year after discharging your sentence for a misdemeanor offense or of three years after discharging your sentence for a felony offense
  • Submit a petition and fee to the court that convicted you

Ohio courts also have the authority to automatically seal juvenile records. This can happen after the person who was convicted of an expungable offense while under the age of 18 turns 23 or at any time after five have passed since the person discharged his or her juvenile sentence. Avoiding arrests and convictions following a first conviction goes a long way toward ensuring your juvenile record will be expunged.

Be aware that as of 2016, Ohio allowed people to ask for expungement of only one felony, one felony, and one misdemeanor, or two misdemeanors. What counts as a felony or misdemeanor for the purposes of an expungement petition can get complicated. Rules vary depending on whether the offenses were related and if the sentences were handed down in different jurisdictions. Hiring a Columbus expungement attorney to figure this out will increase your chances of having your request to get your record sealed approved.

Your expungement attorney will also make sure you fill out all the paperwork correctly, collect and attach all necessary supporting documents, and file your petition with the appropriate court. Your lawyer will then represent you during the hearing on your expungement petition.

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What Is the Law for Reckless Operation in Ohio?

Ohio has three basic reckless operation laws on the books. The one that is enforced most often applies to driving vehicles on public roads and highways. Another addresses reckless driving on private property, and the third deals with the reckless operation of boats and personal watercraft.

All deserve to be taken seriously because police and courts treat the alleged offenses as misdemeanors rather than minor traffic violations. Also, a conviction or guilty plea can put 2 or 4 points on a driver’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles record. Anyone who accumulates 12 points within a 24-month period will have their license suspended.

Effective defenses exist against reckless operation charges, especially in cases where the law enforcement officer who made the charge exercised a great deal of personal judgment. Contacting a reckless operation attorney in Franklin County will help an accused driver understand his or her options for going to trial or negotiating a plea deal.

Reckless Operation on Public Roads and Highways

Section 4511.20(A) of the Ohio Revised Code states, in full, “No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” Aside from local ordinances that specify that going more than 25 mph over a posted speed limit, law enforcement officials have a great deal of leeway in making a reckless operation charge.

Alleged offenses that can bring a citation for reckless operation include

  • Weaving through slower-moving traffic
  • Jumping a curb
  • Running a stop sign or red light
  • Causing a crash while changing lanes
  • Driving on the shoulder or in the median

Two more important things to know about the general reckless operation charge are that Ohio considers pretty much anything with wheels a vehicle and that receiving a sentence for reckless operation requires going to court and appearing before a judge.

Off-road Reckless Operation

This statute — O.R.C. 4511.201 — uses the same “willful or wanton disregard” language as the law pertaining to driving on public roads and highways. It applies, however, to parking lots, driveways, trails, and beaches. Exceptions exist for off-road racing and vehicle demonstrations, but such events must be organized and carried out with the knowledge and permission of the property owner.

Reckless Operation on the Water

O.R.C. 1547.07 actually details which behaviors by boaters will be considered reckless. The first paragraph of the statute lists vessels, water skis, and aquaplanes and prohibits operators from acting “carelessly or heedlessly, or in disregard of the rights or safety of any person, vessel, or property, or without due caution, at a rate of speed or in a manner so as to endanger any person, vessel, or property.”

Later paragraphs make it illegal to go airborne while crossing wakes within 100 feet of another vessel, to follow another vessel too closely, to come within 200 feet of a water skier being towed by another boat, to cause another vessel to swerve to avoid a collision or to weave through traffic.

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The Most Common Traffic Tickets

During 2015, the Ohio State Highway Patrol recorded a little more than 1.5 million traffic stops. Troopers issued the highest number of citations for speeding, amounting to 379,000 tickets. The second most-frequently issued traffic tickets, totaling some 116,000, were for failing to use seat belts and child restraints. License violations ranked third. Arrests for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) also constituted a significant proportion of encounters between Highway Patrol officers and drivers, representing nearly 25,000 of the recorded incidents. how to get a traffic ticket dismissed in ohio Read more

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Who Can Receive My Social Security Disability Benefits Apart From Me?

The question of who can receive your Social Security disability benefits has two answers. The first relates to using your Social Security eligibility to assist a family member who lacks eligibility. The second involves having a trusted individual or organization take delivery of and manage benefit payments on your behalf. In either scenario, seeking advice and assistance from a disability lawyer in Columbus, Ohio, can make setting up the arrangement easier. Read more

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