Perhaps in the past you had a bit of a lead foot. Maybe the court had a warrant out for your arrest because you failed to show up for a hearing on your seatbelt charge. Whatever the case may be, you may wonder, “Can I get that cleared up so no one can see it?” It’s a tricky response, but the answer is no, but sometimes yes.
In Ohio, a number of offenses can be sealed or expunged from your record. Unfortunately, driver’s license violations, under O.R.C. Chapter 4507, and motor vehicle violations, under O.R.C. Chapter 4511, do not fall into this category. Because driving offenses become part of your permanent driving record they can never be expunged (this includes OVI/DUI).
There may be a way, with some cooperation from the court and an agreeable prosecutor, to bypass the bars setup by the legislature to allow you the ability to expunge your old traffic conviction. If you would like to learn more about how this could be done, contact Attorney Robert Botnick and see how he may be able to help you clear up your past.
On a regular basis I will have a client contact me after he or she has been charged with a theft offense that they just received a letter in the mail from the store’s lawyers. Whether it’s Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, or others, it’s not uncommon for their lawyers to send a theft penalty letter to the accused, demanding that they pay a civil fine to the store for their alleged acts. This is something outside of, and in addition to, any criminal fines or orders of restitution; even if the items are recovered in perfect condition!
I recently came across an article discussing just this topic and how some people are even being detained and accused of theft offenses by store personnel; not the police. And what’s worse, in some instances these allegations are being made based on racial profiling.
If you or a loved one has been accused of a theft offense this holiday season, contact Attorney Robert Botnick to discuss your rights and how to address these penalty demand letters.
Recently I was in court with a client who is facing a Driving Under Suspension (DUS) charge. For the past few weeks now he has been working to clear up a whole slew of old tickets and warrants so he can get his license valid again.
My client shared with me about the fear and stress he would have driving around knowing that he was violating the law. He then expressed to me the relief he can see awaiting him once all of his tickets, warrants, and suspensions are resolved and how he will be able to drive and relax knowing that he will be free and clear.
If you or a loved one can relate to my client’s experience and you’ve been meaning to get your license valid again, NOW is the time! Let Attorney Robert Botnick help you get going on the the road again, free and clear, and avoid another DUS ticket.
Last week in Hamilton County, Judge Robert Ruehlman ruled that the traffic cameras installed in the village of Elmwood Place (Pop. 2188) run afoul under the law. He ultimately determined that the local traffic camera ordinance is invalid and unenforceable. His ruling is in line with what most motorists in Ohio already think: red light and speeding cameras do nothing to reduce traffic violations and merely exist as money makers for the cities in which they’re installed.
Now legislators in Columbus, from both sides of the aisle, are proposing legislation to ban these cameras across the state. At this time, there is no state law allowing or prohibiting these traffic cameras from existing. These cameras are currently operating in Cleveland, Parma, Akron, East Cleveland, Ashtabula, Columbus, and Toledo. Although they won’t add any points to your license if they catch you, they will set you back around $100 a pop.
If you have been issued a red light or speeding ticket, whether by camera or cop, contact our office to see how Attorney Robert Botnick can fight for you.
This is a question I hear from my clients, their families, and folks I come across in the area’s courts and jails. First off, what exactly is Judicial Release? Also referred to as “Shock Probation,” it’s a program offered through the courts as a means of granting an early release from prison in Ohio and being placed on probation. It’s not an automatic right, but it is something that can be applied for when serving a non-mandatory prison sentence. If someone is serving only a mandatory sentence (Ex. Felony 5 Domestic Violence with a pregnancy specification), they cannot be considered for Judicial Release.
So, here’s the breakdown for when we can apply for Judicial Release during a non-mandatory prison sentence:
- If the sentence is less than 2 years: after being delivered to the prison -or- if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term, any time after the expiration of that mandatory prison term
- If the sentence is 2 or more, but less than 5 years: after serving 180 days in prison -or- if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term, 180 days after the expiration of that mandatory prison term
- If the sentence is exactly 5 years: after serving 4 years in prison -or- if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term, 4 years after the expiration of that mandatory prison term
- If the sentence is more than 5, but 10 years or less: after serving 5 years of combined jail and prison time -or- if the prison term includes a mandatory prison term, 5 years after the expiration of that mandatory prison term
- If the sentence is more than 10 years: not earlier than the later of (1) the date on which one has served half of his/her stated prison term, or (2) 5 years after serving any mandatory portion of a sentence. A stated prison term means the combination of mandatory and non-mandatory time imposed by the trial court.
Of course this is just a guide as to when one can apply for Judicial Release; the application process is something wholly unto itself that must be approached with great care and humility. It takes the right approach and the right attorney to guide you through this process to ensure that the motion is granted the first time around. Contact our office today to see how we can help you reunite with a loved one sooner rather than later.
Last year when the Ohio House of Representatives passed HB 86, it brought about a number of changes to the courts. A major component of HB 86 was how it effected the sentencing process in common pleas courts. This included when juveniles are tried as adults, known as bindovers.
If a juvenile had his case “bound over” from juvenile court to adult court because of the charges and/or his juvenile record, he had to be tried and sentenced as an adult. Today if a juvenile is convicted, whether at trial or through a plea, of a non-mandatory bindover offense, he must be returned to juvenile court to face sentencing there. It also results in having the adult case expunged automatically! This is a newer procedure known as a “reverse bindover.”
Of course not every case is eligible for a reverse bindover, and not every reverse bindover will remain in juvenile court, but the possibility of facing a juvenile disposition rather than an adult sentence is a major step forward. Contact me to see if you or someone you know may be eligible for a reverse bindover and how we can avoid an adult sentence to prison.
This past week I found myself defending a client in Lorain County against a civil stalking protection petition filed by his former girlfriend. He was truly confused and distraught over why she had taken this course of action, why he had to get dragged into court, and why he needed to hire a lawyer.
When facing a stalking protection order or temporary protection order (a “TPO”) it means facing the challenges of uprooting your life for up to five years: having to leave a place if the “protected” person is there, having to drive a different way to work because you can’t be within 500 feet of the person or her home, and maybe not being able to spend time with friends or loved ones because they are “protected” under the order. And then there’s always the threat that the protected person could come around you, forcing you to change your plans or your life, lest you face criminal charges for violating the order.
It’s a lot to deal with and when a TPO isn’t even necessary it can really mess you up and your life. In court we were able to expose my client’s ex for what she was truly seeking: to give him a hard time. The court saw through this and dismissed her petition!
There’s no need to having to just go with the flow: fight it! And let me fight for you and your rights.
It’s been coming for a while. It’s been popping up in communities all over. Now it’s a state law. Starting today, August 31, 2012, driving while texting is a secondary traffic offense for adults and a primary offense for juveniles. Although the police can only issue warnings until March 1, after that date getting caught working your thumbs behind the wheel will cost you at least $150. For teens, it means losing your license for 60 days the first time you get caught!
As if that wasn’t harsh enough, if you get caught in Beachwood, Brooklyn, North Olmsted, North Royalton, South Euclid, Walton Hills and Woodmere even talking on the phone you’re looking at a huge headache. University Heights is even passing on posting signs for their new law because of the new state-wide one.
My advice: use bluetooth if you have to drive and talk. Or just put the phone away until you get to your destination. You can be saving yourself some money, possible points on your license, and perhaps the lives of your fellow commuters.
Last week I attended a Federal criminal defense conference. One of the presentations discussed the increase in social media and how it plays a part in everything we do today. When one of the speakers began polling the audience of defense lawyers as to how many of them had heard of or used services like Twitter, Skype, Second Life, LinkedIn, and the like, I was shocked to see how few hands I saw in the air.
After a break some of the attorneys were chatting and singled me out as being the only one who kept raising his hand. My response: move out of the way.
In a world where you’re connected to your friends, family, and colleagues, shouldn’t your attorney be connected too? Shouldn’t your attorney understand how social networks operate? How they can be used to incriminate you or claim your INNOCENCE? I think so!
And if the older generation of attorneys doesn’t get it now, should you be getting them? You should be going with the attorney who understands how you think, how you operate, and how you connect with the world. That’s just another reason why you should contact me to defend your case.
Message me – tweet me – txt me – even call – I’ll be there waiting to fight for you!
At one of my pretrials this morning I was speaking with my client outside of the courtroom. As he asked me whether I had received the discovery from the prosecutor yet, I was able to pull out my iPad, hop online, download the reports, and share what the police were alleging in his case.
It’s amazing to think that for years the only way defense attorneys learned what was in the police reports was from having a prosecutor read it to us word for word. Today I can have the reports and photos at my fingertips in an instant!
Of course not every lawyer uses this technology to his advantage, but I insist that I stay on the cutting edge of what’s available in order to provide my clients with every possible advantage. Call me and see how we can use leading technology to enhance your defense.
This morning in court I represented a client charged with an elevated felony charge of Obstructing Justice. This wasn’t my client’s first encounter with the justice system and, in fact, my client had previously served time in prison.
Going in to court this morning we had no idea what the judge’s sentence would be. My client was extremely nervous that prison might be the next stop. I was nervous for my client, too. But the combination of things going on in my client’s life, as well as the number of people who depend on my client on a daily basis, helped ensure a sentence of probation for 3 years.
That’s a very welcome resolution to the case and I’m glad I was able to help make it a reality for my client.
This afternoon I was speaking with one of my new clients about a speeding ticket she just received. We were discussing how much it might cost to just pay off her ticket rather than hire a lawyer to go to court with her. I advised her how I will do everything I can to get rid of the points for her, as I have done for clients in the past.
When discussing the situation with her points she told me how she called her insurance company to see what kind of impact they would have. Her insurance company told her that her premiums would go up by 65% over the next 3 years!
This is exactly why she, and everyone else, needs an attorney in court to face these tickets. That’s why I am going to fight for her! That’s just what The Botnick Law Firm does for our clients!