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Cincinnati Ohio Criminal Defense Blog

Preparing for your probation revocation hearing

Probation can be a great alternative to jail time. It can allow you to stay close to family and friends, continue work or schooling and work on any personal struggles at the same time. Most people, if given the choice, would opt for probation over prison because of the increased privileges it offers.

However, that doesn’t mean probation is easy. While on parole, you likely have several limitations and requirements to follow in order to stay out of jail. It’s possible that you could run into a conflict over your probation.

Catfished and charged: are sting operations entrapment?

You may remember the TV series “To Catch a Predator” in which the producers, sometimes working alongside police, impersonate minors in order to lure possible sex offenders. While the show obtained national popularity and led to several spin-offs, some viewers wondered if such tactics are a form of entrapment.

Not only did the show use this technique, but law enforcement also “catfishes,” or pretends to be someone else online. Police call this a sting operation. Their goal is to proactively catch crime in the act before an actual child is in danger, but agents must walk a fine line to avoid creating an unfair situation or causing undue emotional harm.

Investment fraud reminiscent of pre-recession schemes

As the economy plummeted in 2007, the phrase “Ponzi scheme” became a household term. This type of fraud is defined as “a fraudulent investment operation that pays quick returns to initial contributors using money from subsequent contributors rather than profit.” Over time, the operation requires exponentially more investors to pay the previous debts, which means it can’t last forever.

Eventually, the glass pyramid shatters.

“Not guilty” verdict can leave mark on criminal record

Hearing a judge confirm that you are not guilty of a crime you didn’t commit lifts a weight from your shoulders. You won’t have to suffer jail time or fines, but the very allegation can still penalize you. Criminal charges may continue to haunt you when you apply for jobs, housing or loans during a background check.

Criminal records can come from public services as well as private corporate reports. Police records might not always automatically include the details of your case if you were acquitted. Other types of records may show that you were associated with a criminal case in some way, which can give examiners the wrong impression.

Can police handcuff me if I'm not under arrest?

You have probably seen TV crime shows where a detective or police officer places a suspect under arrest with a dramatic snap of the handcuffs behind the suspect's back. At the same time, you may hear the officer reciting familiar lines about the suspect's right to remain silent.

The program may end there, with the police and the viewers so certain of the handcuffed person's guilt that there is no need to continue with the story. However, this is only the beginning, and the accused person still has rights to defend, including the right of protection from being unlawfully detained and handcuffed.

Some Ohio neighborhoods are more crime-heavy than others

There are some streets Ohio residents don’t walk down if they can help it. There are some neighborhoods they avoid driving through. However, if you reside in one of these areas, you might have a greater risk of both committing and becoming a victim of crime simply because you live there.

Ohio suffers from crime in certain areas, akin to the rest of America. Localized crime is a problem for notoriously violent cities like Chicago and Baltimore. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, only a quarter of crimes take place in 94% of city streets in these areas, while the other 6% contain the remaining three quarters of crime. This means that the majority of violence happens in specific neighborhoods.

The conditions for shooting in self-defense

Gun violence is a problem for Ohio, particularly in our larger cities. However, Ohio still allows residents to carry firearms because they can be a tool of protection from crime. Guns have both good and bad outcomes, but sometimes the person who pulls the trigger in self-defense faces criminal charges or a wrongful death lawsuit.

The issue in these cases is that you would have to prove that you or another person was in imminent danger. If you carry a firearm for protection, it’s important to review which circumstances would legally allow you to shoot in self-defense.

New “Making a Murderer” ruling denies coerced confession

When investigators charge someone with a crime, they are likely to interrogate the suspect. However, where does a tough interrogation cross the line into bullying to get the answer they want to hear?

An update in the famous trial from the documentary series “Making a Murderer” raises concern about how investigators should question suspects, particularly children and mentally impaired individuals.

Cincinnati trio arrested on white collar crime charges

Cincinnati's ABC network affiliate WCPO recently reported that three members of "a sophisticated mortgage fraud ring" have been arrested and three more suspects are being sought by city police. According to law enforcement sources, the group filed more than a million dollars worth of false titles, deeds and liens in Hamilton County.

The 21-count white collar crime indictment includes 7 counts each of theft, unauthorized use of property and record tampering.

Holiday shoplifting trend reported in northern Ohio

Even though the spectacle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has passed, holiday shopping is merely beginning. Expect to see your neighbors haul red and green clad shopping bags along with new flat-screen TVs though their doorway.

Despite the discounts that parade in stores across the nation, some shoppers still aren’t satisfied. One American out of eleven is guilty of stealing products, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. Over the last five years, police across the U.S. have arrested ten million shoplifters. Now, it’s particularly hitting northern Ohio hard.

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