The Fear of Driving Under Suspension

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.

When Can I File for Judicial Release?

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.

 

Updated 1/31/18

Protect Yourself from a Protection Order

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.

DWT: Driving While Texting – Now Illegal in Ohio

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.

A Lawyer With Connections

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!

Pretrials with a Touch of Tech

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.