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Cincinnati Ohio Criminal Defense Blog

Why you should refuse a field sobriety test

If a police officer pulls you over, it must be because he or she has a reason. You may have made an illegal turn, your car's headlight may be out or you might have driven through a stop sign. The officer will likely check your driver's license and registration for any problems on your record, issue a citation or a warning, and send you on your way.

However, if the officer asks you if you have been drinking, you may have cause for greater concern. This question means the officer already has a suspicion that you are impaired, and he or she may be looking for probable cause to make an arrest. That probable cause may come in the form of a failed roadside sobriety test.

Ohio police are knocking: Do you have to let them in?

When you're not expecting company and someone knocks on your door, it can really startle you. However, Ohio police often use such tactics as a means to catch people by surprise, especially if they think they might find them in the middle of some type of illegal activity. If you automatically open the door and allow police officers to enter when they pay an unannounced visit, you may be setting yourself up for some serious legal problems.

Then again, if you face a legal obligation to let the officers in and you refuse, that may only make matters worse. The question is: How do you know the difference of when you may deny a police officer entry and when you must comply with his or her request to step inside your home? Even though such situations can be quite unsettling, remembering that you have rights and knowing where to seek support if a problem arises places you one step ahead of the game if you wind up facing arrest.

3 elements involved with the crime of burglary

Commonly, people tend to think that burglary and theft are the same crime. However, that idea represents a general misconception. If you face charges for theft or burglary, you could look at two vastly different situations and need different defense approaches. Because understanding the exact allegations with which you have been charged can make a considerable difference in how you choose to handle your case, information on burglary may prove useful to you.

First, burglary and theft charges could apply to the same situation. However, a person charged with burglary does not have to have committed theft in order for a burglary charge to potentially apply. The intent to commit a crime -- any crime -- after illegally entering a structure could lead to police filing this allegation against you.

Lack of advisement regarding your rights may affect your defense

Many aspects of a situation in which you have been charged with a crime could impact the outcomes of your case. Because of the different possibilities, you may want to refrain from feeling as if you have lost your case before it begins. No matter the allegations you face, you have the right to defend against criminal charges.

In addition to the right to defend yourself, you also have other rights when police place you under arrest. In fact, law enforcement officers have a duty to inform you of those rights prior to interrogating you, due to the outcomes of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in regard to the case Miranda V. Arizona. The result of this case is why the rights often read at the time of arrest are known as Miranda rights or a Miranda warning.

Should Ohio have a registry for all violent offenders?

Many people who have previous criminal convictions just want to move on with their lives. They believe that a person should not have to keep suffering the consequences of a mistake long after they complete court-ordered penalties.

According to some Ohio residents, a violent offender registry would unfairly prolong punishment. Supporters of a new state bill, however, believe that a registry would keep citizens safer and aid investigations. Senate Bill 67, known as Sierah’s law, is currently under review by Ohio lawmakers.

Is graffiti ever legal in Ohio?

Watch the trains rush along the tracks and you’ll see it: spray painted nicknames, symbols and profanity. However, graffiti has many forms and purposes. Essentially, it’s an art in protest and free expression.

Although no person is usually physically hurt in the process of tagging, the law holds that it harms their belongings. Graffiti can fall under several criminal categories including vandalism, criminal damaging, desecration and criminal mischief.

Ohio may soon redefine domestic violence

In all but two states across America, domestic violence includes abuse between people who are dating. Georgia is one of those two states – Ohio is the other.

However, a bill that could change this fact has passed in the Ohio House of Representatives and could become law if the governor approves.

Consent laws in Ohio: know the basics

In the age of “hookup culture,” consent has become a popular topic. Over the past few years, sexual education has started to include conversations about who can give legal consent. Consent has also been at the center of sexual assault cases.

Ohio laws address consent by defining sex crimes. The law does not specifically say what legal consent is, but rather it outlines what consent is not. Several factors influence whether or not a sexual encounter is consensual, such as age, violence, formal relationships and mental capacity.

Accused of domestic violence? Here is what you need to know

Ohio laws take a strong stand against domestic violence, and individuals convicted of this particular crime could face harsh, life-altering penalties. Even if you are facing false accusations of domestic violence, a strong criminal defense could be crucial as you work to protect your freedom and your personal reputation. 

Many people facing charges of domestic violence do not understand what that means. In order to build an effective defense, you may find it helpful to first start by seeking an understanding of the charges you are up against. There is a lot at stake, but a conviction is never your only option. You can start building your defense as soon as possible after an arrest.

Fraud a concern for IRS as tax season begins

Few, if any, Ohio residents enjoy paying taxes. The process can become complicated, you might not agree with how federal or state officials allocate funds and you probably want to lose as little money as possible. Despite the impression that taxes don’t always seem to benefit you as an individual, you know you could commit crime if you fail to file accurately.

This year, however, there may be an even higher likelihood of tax fraud. Several factors contribute to the chance that the total amount of lost revenue might be higher this spring than in previous years.

  • FOX 19 / Michael K. Allen provides legal direction on-air through his appearances on FOX 19 NEWS. Visit the media section to learn more and watch our videos. / Latest Videos
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