Comparing Felony and Misdemeanor Charges in Ohio

Being charged with any type of crime is a serious matter. However, certain categories of criminal offenses are considered more reprehensible than others. For example, facing felony charges in Ohio is a more serious matter than misdemeanor charges. For either type of criminal offense, you’ll need the legal guidance of an attorney who specializes in criminal defense.

Definitions

Ohio criminal law specifies that certain types of crimes are classified as felonies, while others are misdemeanors. Within these categories, a crime may be a first-degree, second-degree, third-degree, or fourth-degree offense. This is true of both misdemeanors and felonies. For example, depending on the specific circumstances of the crime, an offense may be prosecuted as a fourth-degree misdemeanor, which is the least serious type of misdemeanor, or a first-degree misdemeanor, which is the most serious. Factors that may contribute to the classification of a criminal offense include whether the defendant has prior convictions and whether the alleged crime was committed against a specific type of person, such as a functionally impaired individual. In addition to these classifications, some crimes are considered to be “wobblers.” This means that the prosecution can charge the defendant with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the case.

Penalties

When Ohio criminal law does not specifically state whether an offense is a felony or misdemeanor, this can be determined by evaluating the potential consequences for conviction. An offense is a misdemeanor if the maximum imprisonment is one year in jail. An offense is a felony if a defendant could be sentenced to more than one year in prison if convicted.

Long-Term Consequences

Both misdemeanors and felonies may result in serious long-term consequences. If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor, you’ll have a criminal record. This can create problems when you’re looking for a job. Felony convictions are even more damaging. In addition to facing criminal penalties, you could suffer civil penalties such as disqualification from voting, ineligibility for federal assistance, revocation of certain licenses, ineligibility to enlist in the armed services, termination of parental rights, and restriction of rights pertaining to firearms.

The law office of Rion, Rion & Rion provides expert criminal defense serving Dayton, OH. We represent the legal rights and interests of individuals who are facing misdemeanor and felony charges. If you’ve been accused of a crime, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately at (937) 223-9133 to protect your legal rights.


The Different Stages of a Personal Injury Case

Each personal injury case is unique; however, they tend to follow a specific process. The first step is to meet with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the incident. Your attorney will thoroughly evaluate your case, answer any questions you may have, and explain your options for seeking compensation for your losses.

Compiling Information

When you meet with the personal injury lawyer, you should bring copies of all of the documents that are relevant to your case. Your attorney will need to review your medical bills and records. You’ll continue to update your attorney throughout your recovery process. Your attorney also needs to know the basic facts of the case, such as how your injury occurred and which parties were involved. He or she needs your insurance coverage information so that the insurance carriers may be notified that you are being represented by an attorney. Additionally, your attorney needs updated, detailed records regarding all of the losses you have sustained as a result of the incident, including your lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage.

Presenting a Settlement Package

With all of the information you provide and with the information the attorney gathers from the investigative process, he or she will then prepare a settlement package. A settlement package details the accident, your injuries, medical treatments, prognosis, damages, and the legal elements that establish liability. It also includes a demand for compensation.

Negotiating the Settlement

After reviewing the settlement package, the insurance company may provide a counteroffer. You and your attorney will agree upon the best response to the counteroffer. You may decide to accept it or not. Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance carrier to attempt to increase the settlement. In the event that an appropriate settlement is not forthcoming, you may decide to have your attorney file a personal injury lawsuit.

Rion, Rion & Rion is a third generation law firm that fights for justice on behalf of personal injury victims. To schedule a consultation with our personal injury lawyer in Dayton, OH, call (937) 223-9133. We also invite prospective and current clients to click through to our website for helpful information about our other practice areas, including the criminal defense of those accused of misdemeanors and felony charges.


Charges Dismissed in Sixth District Court of Appeals

In March, Rion, Rion and Rion entered a criminal conviction case involving a fourteen year jail sentence for the defendant, who was charged with robbery, aggravated robbery, and two counts of felonious assault with firearms. On appeal, the court found that the trial lawyer was unprepared for the case, and reversed the conviction and sentence—a decision that granted the defendant a day in court to defend his guilty plea.

Jon Paul Rion took over the case and proved that the defendant’s attorney was unprepared and unfit to properly represent the defendant, who had pleaded guilty due to a sense of helplessness because his attorney had not sufficiently investigated the case. The charges were dismissed by Lucas Country Common Pleas Judge on the account of unavailable or uncooperative victims according to the litigation presented by Rion.

Rion’s evidence and negotiation led to the judge’s decision to dismiss charges against the defendant, thus eliminating his jail sentence and corroborating his innocence.


Tips for Dealing with Joint Child Custody

Going through a divorce is stressful enough, but it can be even more difficult when children are involved. Child custody issues can be very complex, which is why it’s crucial to have a skilled family law attorney in Dayton, OH representing your interests and the interests of your children during the divorce and child custody proceedings. After your lawyer helps you achieve your child custody goals, your focus needs to shift on dealing with the newfound relationship with your children and your ex-spouse. Here are some tips to help make shared custody work for you, your ex, and your kids.

Keep Open Lines of Communication with Your Ex

Joint custody means sharing your children with your ex-spouse. Because your ex will still have a say in how your children are raised, it’s important that you keep open lines of healthy communication with him or her. At the very least you should be able to speak with your ex for a few minutes every time you drop off and pick up your children so the both of you are informed about all the goings-on in their lives.

Don’t Turn a Bad Spouse into a Bad Parent

Even if your ex was a bad spouse, that doesn’t necessarily make him or her a bad parent. This is important to remember so you don’t get in the habit of bad talking your ex in front of your kids. After all, while your ex may not mean as much to you now as in the past, your children still look up to your ex as their parent.

Review the Arrangement and Adjust as Needed

Many parents find it helpful to review a court-ordered custody agreement from time to time to assess how its working for all parties involved. This is particularly important as your children grow and circumstances change. If you need to make any adjustments to your custody agreement, get in touch with the lawyer in Dayton, OH who helped you with your divorce and initial child custody proceedings.

If you are in need of an attorney, contact Rion, Rion & Rion at (937) 223-9133. Our lawyers are well-qualified in all matters of family law, including divorce, child custody, child support, and division of property.


A Look at Civil Protection Order Laws in Ohio

A Civil Protection Order (CPO) is issued by a domestic relations court to protect a victim of domestic violence. Although a CPO is similar to a restraining order in that each orders the accused not to abuse or harass a victim of domestic violence, a CPO differs in that it may contain additional provisions such as evicting the abuser from the victim’s home, awarding child custody or financial support to the victim, or ordering the accused to obtain counseling. Read on to learn more about CPO laws in Ohio and contact a criminal defense lawyer in Dayton if you or a loved one has been charged with domestic violence and issued a CPO.

Statute of Limitations

In Ohio, a CPO does not need to be filed within any certain period of time after the occurrence or supposed occurrence of domestic violence. In some cases, domestic relations courts have issued CPOs months or even years after the domestic violence incidence occurred. However, many courts will only issue a CPO if they believe the victim is in immediate and present danger.

Burden of Proof

The burden of proof in a CPO case is by a “preponderance of the evidence.” What this means is that the victim must simply prove that it is more likely than not that the domestic violence occurred and that he or she is in danger. In the case of Felton V. Felton (1997), the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the more burdensome “clear and convincing evidence” standard usually applied in injunction cases. As a result, it’s easier for victims of domestic violence in Ohio to obtain a CPO than it is in other states which require a higher burden of proof. Unfortunately, this also makes it easier for false claims of domestic violence to result in real legal action against wrongfully accused individuals.

If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence charges, the criminal defense attorneys at Rion, Rion & Rion can help. Our law firm’s founders, John H. Rion and John Paul Rion, are both board-certified criminal lawyers and are listed in The Best Lawyers in America. If you live in or near Dayton, OH, call our law firm at (937) 223-9113 to schedule your initial consultation.


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