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criminal defense Archives

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.

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.

What is a RICO violation?

 If you are an Ohio resident facing charges of having committed a RICO crime, you may well be at a loss as to what RICO is and what types of alleged criminal activity it applies to. Per the Offices of the United States Attorneys, RICO stands for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, the federal statute passed by Congress in 1970 in order to seek out and eradicate organized crime such as those perpetrated by the Mafia.

What defendants should know about plea bargains

For Ohio residents facing a criminal prosecution, a plea bargain may be a simple, inexpensive and relatively stress-free way to avoid having to go to trial and facing possible conviction by a jury. However, as FindLaw points out, before entering into a plea bargain, criminal defendants should discuss this option in detail with their attorneys and understand exactly what it entails. The consequences could impact them for many years to come.

Can an online prank send me to jail?

When you get online, it can be easy to forget that your interactions with others involve real people. This is especially true when the atmosphere is contentious or emotionally charged, such as a political discussion or a computer game involving multiple players. While it is unlikely that you and other Ohio residents might take an online dispute to the next level, the chance exists that your actions online might be construed as criminal activity.

The serious consequences of driving drunk

At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., we know how serious a drunk driving conviction can be. In Ohio, if you are charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, this is the same as being charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired. OVI, DUI and DWI convictions all carry stiff penalties, even if this is your first conviction.

Annie’s Law: Ohio’s new drunk driving crackdown

Anna Louise Rooney was a 36-year-old resident of Chillicothe, Ohio, when she was killed by a drunk driver on July 4, 2013. The driver’s blood alcohol content was over twice the legal limit, and he had had multiple previous convictions for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. As recounted by AnnieRooney.com, Annie, as she was known to family, friends and colleagues, had graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School and was a practicing attorney in Chillicothe at the time of her death. Nearly four years later, on April 1, 2017, Ohio instituted a new anti-drunk driving law known as Annie’s Law.

Understanding Ohio's domestic violence laws

Victims of domestic violence in Ohio are protected by both criminal and civil laws. As FindLaw explains, domestic violence can be an act or attempted act of physical, sexual or emotional violence against a household member. It also can be harassment by means of written, phone, voice mail, fax or email communications.

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