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Troy Ohio Law Blog

Sealing your criminal record in Ohio

If you live in Ohio and have a conviction for a crime on your record, you may find that it impacts your ability to find work or obtain affordable housing, among other possible repercussions. In some cases, depending on your criminal history and the specific details surrounding your crime and conviction, you may be able to attempt to have your record sealed. At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., we understand the eligibility requirements associated with criminal record sealing in Ohio, and we have helped many offenders who have since turned their lives around break down the barriers a criminal record can present.

Per the Ohio State Bar Association, record sealing is an option for some offenders who wish to, essentially, erase their crimes from public record so that they no longer impact an offender’s life. To qualify for record sealing in Ohio, you must typically not have more than two misdemeanor convictions on your record, or one misdemeanor conviction and one felony conviction. In most cases, minor traffic violations or possession of marijuana convictions will not factor in when determining record sealing eligibility.

Do I have any say in how my ex spends child support?

As a noncustodial parent who pays child support, you most likely have an interest in how the money you give your ex-spouse is used. As you know, child support is for the benefit of your children. You might have doubts and concerns about how your ex spends the money. Like many Ohio parents who pay child support, you may wonder if you can check up on your ex’s spending or tell him or her how you want the money spent.

FindLaw confirms that the purpose of child support is for your children’s well-being. This includes their emotional as well as physical needs. You may not agree if your ex decides to spend child support on such seemingly non-essential items as gifts for your children or expenses for a weekend road trip. However, entertainment is considered an acceptable expenditure for child support, as long as your children’s basic needs are also being met. Your ex-spouse is also within his or her rights to spend child support on clothing, medical needs, school supplies, extracurricular activities or private lessons for your children, or to save the money for future tuition or financial emergencies.

What makes a motorcycle accident so dangerous?

As a motorcyclist in Ohio, you likely know that motorcycles are considered more dangerous than other vehicles. But why is that, exactly? What is it about a motorcycle that increases your risk of getting into harmful situations?

Medicinenet.com hosts an article detailing exactly why motorcycle crashes are so deadly compared to other types of vehicular accidents. The study showed that not only is the loss of life higher in accidents involving motorcycles, but that medical expenses also rise. Motorcycle accidents can cost the healthcare system up to six times as much as other types of crashes, and they are five times as potentially lethal.

Tips for preventing dog bites during get-togethers

Any gathering can be a high-risk time for dog bites because you may be visiting a home with dogs, or you are inviting dogs into your home and into a new environment. Even if they are dogs you know well, they can react unpredictably to new people and to stressful situations.

There is also the fact that people coming in and out may mean the doors are open more frequently than usual. A dog could escape the house and injure someone. With all of this in mind, what are some ways to prevent dog bites during such times?

Can a common Internet prank result in criminal charges?

Like many Americans, you may play online computer or console games to unwind after a tough day at work, or you might enjoy a healthy debate about politics or current events. Any Ohio resident who spends a decent amount of time online knows that disagreements are not uncommon. Some people, however, can take an argument to a whole different level.

Before you end up making a mistake that may cost you your freedom, you should understand that not all Internet jokes are harmless. There is a prank called "swatting" that, for years, has caused trouble and heartache for people across the country. According to Vox, the swatting prank often occurs after an online gaming or message board disagreement. Someone will call authorities and make a false police report to draw law enforcement or armed SWAT teams to the unsuspecting prank victim's address.

Distracted driving as a fatal road hazard

When drivers hit the road in Ohio, there are certain laws they have to abide by. Driving under the influence, speeding, and reckless driving are just a few behaviors that are illegal. But what about distracted driving, which can be just as deadly?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is vying for a top spot regarding the most dangerous behaviors on the road. Driving while under the influence has been the most widely-known hazard for decades. However, many campaigns designed to cut down on DUI-related accidents have been successful. Distracted driving is now the big problem, and incidents are on the rise. Accidents related to distraction took almost 3,500 lives, injuring an additional 391,000 in 2015 alone. This is of an estimated 660,000 drivers who may be using electronic devices while driving every single day.

Why is compensation for a wrongful death important?

When you lose a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person, fighting for compensation is likely the last thing on your mind. Lopez, Severt & Pratt CO., L.P.A, are here to help you through the legal aspects of dealing with a loved one's wrongful death.

First of all, the financial support that your loved one provided is not something that may come to mind immediately after a loss, but it's something that will play a big factor in your life going forward. This is why seeking compensation is so crucial. Medical bills and funeral costs can stack up quickly, leaving you spending much more money than you may be able to afford.

What factors go into a divorce in Ohio?

If you and your partner have decided that it's time to go your separate ways, there are a lot of potential legal hurdles ahead of you. Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., can be here to help guide you through the maze of Pennsylvania's divorce litigation.

First of all, you should know about the grounds for divorce. Ohio uses both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce and dissolution. A dissolution does not require any major fault, and you will need to live physically separated from your partner for about a year before further steps are taken. Cases involving fault can be cause for immediate divorce. Reasons for fault include extreme cruelty, habitual drunkenness, or adultery.

Fatal Marion accident shows importance of obeying road rules

Many people consider traffic rules to be restrictive and inconvenient. When one is running late for work or it is not apparent that there are other cars nearby, it should be all right to speed or run a red light, right? Unfortunately, ignoring or being unaware of traffic rules and safety precautions may have serious repercussions, as a recent Ohio accident illustrated.

Authorities reported that on March 4, a woman appeared to run a stop sign at State Route 309 and Marion Williamsport Road in Marion. Her Jeep slammed into another car, causing both vehicles to run off the road. The driver of the other vehicle, a 73-year-old man, was killed, and his wife was seriously injured. Officials are still investigating the accident. Since the driver of the Jeep was also injured, they have no information yet as to whether she purposefully failed to yield to the stop sign or did not see the sign until it was too late.

Things to think about while the divorce process is ongoing

Many people who file for divorce tend to think in terms of after the divorce. That is, one spouse may want the house, joint custody, use of one of the cars and perhaps spousal support for a few years. However, it is important to think in the short term as well. A lawyer can help you figure out what you need to stay afloat while the divorce is pending and what would be fair and reasonable to ask for. In fact, if you have been putting off filing for divorce because you are worried about how to support yourself in the short term, temporary orders may be able to help.

For sure, life can get complicated. Say that both cars are in your spouse's name, and in fact, were your spouse's before the marriage. Or you and your spouse share one car. How do you deal with these situations and others such as where to live and how to pay the bills?

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