DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION AND WARRANT BLOCKS

Another way to earn an Ohio license suspension is to have an outstanding warrant. You can find this suspension at Ohio Revised Code Section 4503.13. What is unique about this suspension is that it is not really a suspension, but a block. A municipal court can send a report to the Ohio BMV that an arrest warrant has been issued. Upon the bureau’s receipt of this information, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will deny the person named in the arrest warrant the right to apply for a driver license or vehicle registration. Because of the nature of the warrant block, it lasts until it is remedied. To reinstate following a warrant block, the BMV must be notified by the court that all outstanding arrest warrants have been satisfied. Effective September 16, 2004, House Bill 230 requires a reinstatement fee to cover BMV administrative costs.

DrivingUnder Suspension in Ohio is a First Degree Misdemeanor that carries a maximum six (6) month jail sentence and a potential $1,000.00 fine. A serious offense requires a serious attorney. I have been fighting driving under suspension charges for over sixteen years. I will get you back on the road with a valid Ohio driver’s license. I will do everything possible to protect you from additional license suspensions, excessive fines and jail time. By fighting hard in the courtroom and negotiating intelligently outside of it, we work to avoid a conviction or mitigate the worst provisions of this charge. Contact me at (937) 879-9542. I practice in Dayton, Springfield, Xenia, Miamisburg, Beavercreek, Vandalia, Huber Heights, Fairborn and I appear in all courts throughout the Miami Valley.

Drinking Underage in Ohio

Underage possession or consumption of beer or intoxicants is a serious crime in Ohio. The charges are first-degree misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. Worse yet, a conviction may leave you with a “criminal record” which is much more serious than a fine or costs. Fear, shame or guilt may compel you to want to plead guilty to put the charge behind you, but that decision may have long-lasting and unintended consequences.

If you are under 21 years old, drinking alcohol is illegal in the State of Ohio. Ohio Revised Code 4301.69(E)(1) provides that “No underage person shall knowingly order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public or private place. No underage person shall knowingly be under the influence of any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public place.”

Miami Valley Assault Cases

Under Ohio law (Ohio Revised Code section 2903.13), the crime of Assault occurs when a person knowingly causes or attempts to  cause physical harm to another or to another’s unborn.  Assault also occurs where a person recklessly causes serious physical injury.

Generally Assault is a first degree misdemeanor (punishable by up to six months jail and a $1000 fine).  Certain aggravating factors can bump a simple assault charge from a misdemeanor to a felony (if the other person is a law enforcement officer, for example).

If you are accused of Assault in the Dayton area, contact attorney Mark Babb at 937-879-9542to discuss your case and set up a free consultation.

Mark is an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who has helped many people avoid assault convictions.

DRINKING UNDERAGE IN OHIO: WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES?

Underage possession or consumption of beer or intoxicants is a serious crime in Ohio. The charges are first-degree misdemeanors carrying a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. Worse yet, a conviction may leave you with a “criminal record” which is much more serious than a fine or costs. Fear, shame or guilt may compel you to want to plead guilty to put the charge behind you, but that decision may have long-lasting and unintended consequences.

If you are under 21 years old, drinking alcohol is illegal in the State of Ohio. Ohio Revised Code 4301.69(E)(1) provides that “No underage person shall knowingly order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public or private place. No underage person shall knowingly be under the influence of any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public place.”

The same section provides for three recognized exceptions to the law, they are set forth below:

If the person is in the “presence of their parent, legal guardian or spouse who is over 21 years old;”
If the alcohol is consumed as part of a recognized religious service; and
If the alcohol is prescribed for medical treatment.
Section 4301.69(E)(2), sets forth a diversion program for underage offenders. It states, “[i]f the child completes the diversion program to the satisfaction of the court, the court shall dismiss the complaint and order the child’s record in the case sealed under sections 2151.356 to 2151.358 of the Revised Code. If the child fails to satisfactorily complete the diversion program, the court shall proceed with the complaint.” A child is ineligible for diversion if he or she has previously been diverted.

O.R.C 4301.69(A)-(C) also contain harsh penalties for furnishing alcohol to minors or providing them accommodations in which the “owner or occupant” allows a person to remain while the person is possessing or consuming alcohol. Many times police will target the owner of a home, apartment or dorm room wherein minors are drinking.

If you are under 18 at the time of your arrest, your case will be prosecuted in the Juvenile Court. Person under 21, but older than 18 will have their cases heard in the Municipal Court. Often, resolving the matter in court is not the end of the process. Most university students face a disciplinary hearing before a university review board or student government panel. We know how to help you in court and how to help you stay in school.

If you have been accused of Underage Drinking, call Attorney Mark Babb to discuss your case at 937-879-9542.  The consultation is always free.

DAYTON CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

Attorney Mark Babb focuses his practice in the areas of criminal and traffic law. Attorney Babb has represented thousands of clients in the Fairborn, Xenia, Dayton and surrounding areas since the inception of his practice. Attorney Babb has acquired the knowledge, skills and experiences to effectively represent his clients in all areas of criminal and traffic law.

Attorney Babb graduated from the prestigious Ohio State University College of Law in 1998.    Attorney Babb is the Co-Owner and Partner of Babb & Rowland, LLC in Fairborn, Ohio.  He is proud to be a part of a legal service team of highly qualified and effective attorneys dedicated to comprehensive client service.

Attorney Mark Babb is a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers, the Ohio Bar Association, the Greene County Bar Association, and is licensed to practice law in all city, county, state and federal courts within Ohio.

Contact Attorney Babb at 937-879-9542 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE: Drug Possession Laws

Drug Possession, a.k.a. Possession of a controlled substance is defined in Ohio as knowingly obtaining, possessing or using a controlled substance under the Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11.  As applied to marijuana, possession of less than 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), giving 20 grams or less of marijuana to another person, or growing less than 100 grams of marijuana are each considered  “minor misdemeanors,” punishable by a maximum fine of $150. A minor misdemeanor is not a “jailable” offense, but a person’s driver’s license can be suspended for a period ranging from six months to five years, and a conviction on a person’s record can have far-reaching effects when it comes to job prospects and housing. Possession of marijuana is still a very serious charge in Ohio despite the national movements to legalize and/or decriminalize marijuana possession.  In fact, we have seen a dramatic increase in drug possession enforcement by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Under R.C. 3719.41, controlled substances in Ohio are classified into five schedules, ranging from the most serious drugs with the harshest penalties to the least serious drugs with the least harsh penalties.  Many are surprised to learn that marijuana is considered as a Schedule I (the highest) drug.  As such, drug possession involving marijuana is a very serious offense.

  • Schedule I – These substances have a high potential for abuse by users and no known or accepted medical use in the United States. Some examples of controlled substances in this category are marijuana, mescaline, morphine, peyote and psilocyn.
  • Schedule II – These substances have a high potential for abuse, but may have limited accepted medical use in the United States. Examples in this category include codeine, methadone and GHB.
  • Schedule III – These substances have some potential for abuse and accepted medical uses in the United States. Controlled substances in this schedule include anabolic steroids, ketamine and barbituric acid.
  • Schedule IV – These substances have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs and have known medical uses in the United States. Common examples in this schedule can include Xanax, Valium and the generic versions of these types of drugs.
  • Schedule V – Substances in this schedule have the least likelihood for abuse and are commonly used for medical treatment in the United States. Examples in this schedule can include medications with small amounts of narcotics.

Possessing an illegal drug in Ohio is punishable as a state offense, federal offense or both. Controlled substances or drugs can include medications with a prescription, medications without a prescription, street drugs, illegal drugs, natural substances and chemicals.  Because “drug possession” is a required element of the offense, if the prosecution is unable to prove the alleged offender had either actual or constructive possession of the controlled substance, they will most likely be unable to convict the offender.

The analysis of a drug possession investigation is very similar to the approach we take to an impaired driving case.  What that means is that we deconstruct each and every decision that the officer makes.  Was there proper justification for the traffic stop? Did the officer have reasonable and articulable suspicion to continue the detention to conduct a drug investigation?  Did the officer conduct an illegal search of your person and/or vehicle? Did the officer’s actions, based on a totality of the circumstances, establish probable cause for a drug possession arrest?  Was the evidence handled or tested properly?  Can the government establish a proper chain of custody for the evidence?  Our mission is to get your case thrown out! We act aggressively to keep you out of jail, keep your fines low and protect your freedom.

We have a great track record of defending drug trafficking, distribution, possession and other drug charges.  We know how to seek treatment in lieu of conviction and how to minimize penalties. We also have a track record consistent with fighting these charges.  For the past five years we have been the chosen team to represent Miami Valley N.O.R.M.L.  We speak, we advocate and we defend.

If you are facing a drug possession charge in the Miami Valley, call Mark J. Babb for a free consultation at (937) 879-9542.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE: Making Bail

When you are arrested in Ohio, the police have the discretion to release you or to hold you in a local jail. If you are released, you are given a court date and it is your responsibility to show up at the designated time and place so that your case can proceed.  Failure to do so will result in an arrest warrant being issued.  The time and place of your appearance appears at the bottom of your ticket.  There you will find the date and the address of the court  where your case will be heard.

If you are held in jail, you will be given the opportunity to post a bond.  The posting of a bond is often referred to as  ”making bail” or “bailing out” of jail.  Why do you have to make bail?  The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant appears for all scheduled court hearings. Many jurisdictions in Ohio have a set amount of bail for most offenses and you will be required to pay this bail amount prior to your release.  This pre-determined amoutn is referred to as the Bond Schedule.  Many courts will post the Bond Schedule on their web sties, making it easier for family members to access the information.  Other jurisdictions will hold you in jail until you appear before a judge.  The judge will hold a preliminary hearing called an arraignment and a bond amount will be set.  Most often the defendant will be able to post bail immediately.  Usually, bail bonds may be posted 24 hours a day.  Check with the court about what types of payments can be accepted and whether or not a credit card holder must be present for the payment to be accepted.

There are several types of bonds that can be set by the judge:

  • Recognizance Bond – Also referred to as an O.R bond, this bond requires the person who is charged with the offense to sign bond papers that are completed by the court.  No other collateral is posted.  Failure to appear for all future court dates under a recognizance bond is punishable by six months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine, regardless of the outcome of the original charge.
  • 10% Cash Bond – This type of bond requires only 10% of the full amount of the bond to be posted. For example, if a $5,000 appearance bond is set, you will need to post $500 with the court to secure your release. If you make all the necessary court appearances, the money will be returned at the end of the case. Failure to appear could make you liable for the full amount of the bond and the court could render judgment against you.  In this example you may owe an additional $4,500.
  • Cash Bond – If the court does not give you a 10% bond, you must post the entire amount of the bond that has been set before being released.  Make all of the scheduled court appearances and the court will return all of the money posted.
  • Property Bond – This type of bond has many requirements and is governed by O.R.C. 2937.24 and Criminal Rule 46(A)(3) & (I). Please consult a professional if considering this type of bond.

Sometimes a judge will say that the bond is a cash or surety bond.  Often a judge will say a short-hand version such as, “Bail will be $1,000 cash or surety.”  A surety bond requires the posting of a surety power from an insurance company that guarantees the full amount of the bond will be paid in the event the defendant does not appear for a scheduled court hearing.  Bail bond companies are also knows as bail bondsmen.  Choose a bail bond company that services the jail where you are being held.  You should also consider how quickly they can act on your case, whether or not they accept payment plans and whether or not collateral will be required.  Once you have chosen a bail bond company, the bail agent will then post the bond at the necessary jail to secure release.  NOTE: co-signing on a bond can have serious and devastating effects.  Please read and understand the obligations you are undertaking before entering into this contractual relationship.

Once the bond is posted the release process begins.  The bond is processed through the court and a release notice is issued to the jail.  Depending on the size of the jail, this process can take 10 minutes or several hours.  Usually, the defendant will receive a court date upon his or her release.  Again, failing to appear at the court date will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest and may result in a forfeiture of your bond.  Now is the time to begin searching for an attorney to help you through your Ohio criminal case.  You can contact Attorney Mark Babb at (937) 879-9542.