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Drug paraphernalia charges in Ohio: The basics

Many people are surprised to learn that someone can be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia even if no illegal drugs are involved. In fact, while drug possession charges often accompany drug paraphernalia charges, they are actually two distinct offenses under Ohio law.

For example, one situation in which drug paraphernalia charges often arise independent of drug possession charges is when police pull over a driver and they find drug paraphernalia in the car — or at least what they think is drug paraphernalia.

Beware of car financing scams after bankruptcy

A number of our readers may wonder what shopping for a car will be like for them after they emerge from bankruptcy. Specifically, they may wonder about qualifying for a loan at all, much less financing that they can reasonably afford. After all, they may be insecure about their credit rating as a result of a recent bankruptcy. These are legitimate concerns, especially considering how predatory lenders still operate in the used car market.

Nevertheless, car shoppers can (and should) do their homework and protect themselves against unscrupulous dealers. The following tips should be helpful in avoiding auto financing traps. 

Thoughts to take away after Mother's Day

We hope all of our readers had a wonderful Mother’s Day. This includes moms who literally (and figuratively) do everything around the home, those who are struggling to make ends meet, as well as those moms who are working hard to restore trust in their relationships with their children.

While all moms are important, we shouldn’t forget about mothers going through divorces, and child custody issues. After all, they should receive the support and appreciation they deserve.

Officer's actions denounced in excessive force case

The use of force by police officers against unarmed citizens remains a hot-button issue in Ohio and across the country. The latest example has sparked protests in Columbus.

According to a recent dispatch.com report, police officials in Columbus have deemed an officer’s actions unreasonable after he reportedly kicked a restrained man while the man was lying on the ground. A YouTube video shows the officer striking the man with his foot while the man was handcuffed and lying on his chest. 

The basics of the automatic stay

People mired in debt may be afraid of losing their home or car, but the stress of constant phone calls from dogged collectors can be too much for one to bear. Fortunately, most debt can be eliminated through bankruptcy, and one of the principal benefits is the automatic stay. This post will describe what the stay is, how it protects debtors who have filed bankruptcy, and how it can be used to promote a fresh financial start.

The automatic stay is an immediate injunction to all collection actions on any debt named under the bankruptcy petition. The stay goes into effect immediately once the petition is filed, and it prevents creditors contacting debtors by telephone or sending demand letters.  

5 reasons why everyone needs an estate plan

Regardless of net worth or age, everyone needs some type of estate plan in place — unless you like the idea of other people deciding what will happen with your property.

In fact, whether you trying to protect your hard-earned assets for future generations or simply want to dictate how your property should be distributed upon your death, there are several reasons why it is a good idea to work with an attorney to create a comprehensive estate plan, including:

Would you take a divorce selfie before filing?

It may go without saying, but broadcasting a soon-to-be ex’s dirty laundry on social media can be very harmful. Not only is it in bad taste, it can lead to a court taking action against you in court.

While divorcing couples will likely receive a great deal of advice about social media during their divorce, they likely have not heard of the divorcing couple who took the time to take a selfie before filing a joint divorce petition. According to a HuffingtonPost.com report, a Canadian couple took a picture of themselves right before going into the courthouse to file their petition and posted it on Facebook. 

10 factors an Ohio court may look at when granting child custody

During divorce, one of the most important issues parents have questions about is how custody will be determined. Well, if parents are able to work together and reach an agreement regarding child custody, an Ohio court will typically approve it, so long as the custody arrangement is in the child’s best interests.

However, if the parents are unable to come to an agreement on child custody, the decision may be left up to the court. Similarly, the court’s primary concern when resolving child custody disputes is the best interest of the child. Under Ohio law, a court is free to examine “all relevant factors” when determining what custody arrangement is in a child’s best interest, including, but certainly not limited to:

Important lessons for custody disputes

We know that divorce is not easy. And for those who are not married but dealing with child custody and parenting time issues, the legal process can be emotionally draining. Indeed, we all have our different coping mechanisms, but knowing how the law works (especially legal terms) can quell some of your fears.

This post will introduce some basic concepts and provide some guidance on how to handle the fear of the unknown. 

Could a corporate forensic lab help in your defense?

When the state investigates someone and analyzes evidence in hopes of proving a crime, it will likely rely on results from a state-based crime lab. Given their capacities, some crime labs may have significant backlogs and other limitations that may delay the results of testing. Because of this, it may come as no surprise that more private crime labs are being established…by corporations.

According to a recent article published in the Atlantic, corporate entities such as Walmart, Target and American Express have created forensic labs in order to quickly root out causes of fraud and theft. In the past few years, these companies have dealt with their share of crimes, both real and virtual. By having their own in-house forensics lab, they can work faster than law enforcement in investigating crimes. Also, corporations have the financial wherewithal to keep pace with the constant updates necessary to protect against and resolve cybercrimes.

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