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Portage County Ohio Law Blog

Aggressive policing leads to surge in arrests

More aggressive policing policies in Ohio and around the country have led to a significant increase in the number of young people being arrested. This was the conclusion reached by researchers from the RAND Corporation after studying information compiled over several decades from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The data suggests that Americans between the ages of 26 and 35 today are 3.6 times more likely to have been taken into custody by police than those who are older than 66.

The researchers noticed especially pronounced increases in arrests among women and white men. The rate at which white men are arrested has almost tripled in the last few decades according to the RAND study. The number of women arrested before they celebrated their 26th birthday rose from just 1 percent to one in seven during the period studied. The researchers observed increases in both arrests and multiple arrests in every demographic group.

Stopping financial deception in a divorce

Some spouses going through divorce in Ohio may attempt to hide their wealth in an attempt to shield it from property division. High-conflict divorces are sometimes notable for efforts on the part of one spouse to funnel away income, hide investment funds or otherwise deprive the other spouse of their stake in marital property. However, while these people are willing to deceive their spouses, they may be less prepared to file a fraudulent tax return. Divorcing spouses may learn a good deal of important information by examining tax documents.

In the first place, W-2 records should contain not only the amount of income a person received but also the funds that they had withheld from their paycheck. Some people may establish a new 401(k) plan, deposit excess funds into a health savings account or use some kind of other defined contribution plan that they do not disclose. By reviewing the W-2s, it should be possible to see all of the plans that exist through the employer. In addition, some people, especially in professional work or independent businesses, may actually overpay their taxes. While the IRS holds on to the funds, they could always file corrected returns years later and reap the benefits while single. This is another reason it is important to review marital tax returns, especially when moving towards divorce.

How an OVI affects employment

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated can greatly impact a person's life. Many OVIs make local headlines, which is the case for one Franklin County judge, and this can create serious problems in someone's personal life. 

After an OVI conviction, a person may need to perform community service or go to jail. While this is bad enough as is, it also impacts a person's ability to do his or her job. There are many reasons to fight OVI charges, and keeping your job is one of them. 

Avoid triggers during divorce for a more secure future

For many couples divorcing in Ohio and elsewhere, it can be easy to look at the process as one that demands a victor instead of an equitable outcome. The emotional nature of divorce may lead spouses to act irrationally in order to come out on top, penalize one another or deprive one another of property and assets. This might not only affect future financial security, but it may also cause irreparable harm to children in a divorce.

To minimize the potential for such problems, a clinical psychologist writing for Fatherly suggests spouses recognize that behaviors during the marriage may only become amplified in divorce. For example, if fights about money contributed heavily in events leading up to a divorce, financial arguments may become a focal point of contention during the divorce process. Additionally, it is recommended that spouses look inward and examine their own behaviors to minimize the exploitation of personal triggers.

NFL star facing drunk driving charges after playoff game

NFL fans in Ohio and around the country who watched the recent NFC Championship Game may have seen cornerback P.J. Williams record seven tackles and break up one pass as his New Orleans Saints were narrowly beaten by the Los Angeles Rams. Williams is scheduled to become a free agent if he does not sign a new deal in New Orleans, but his prospects of a lucrative contract were dealt a blow in the early morning hours of Jan. 23 when he was taken into custody on drunk driving charges.

According to the New Orleans Police Department, Williams was observed by officers exceeding the posted speed limit by 35 mph and driving erratically on Camp Street near Andrew Higgins Boulevard at about 1:10 a.m. Officers asked Williams to submit to a breath test after pulling his vehicle over, but the athlete is said to have refused to comply. He now faces the prospect of drunk driving charges and a mandatory driver's license suspension.

Financial issues divorcing couples may want to consider

The longer a marriage, the more likely the couple has accumulated a significant amount of joint assets. In such situations, divorce may bring a whole new set of financial troubles. That's why some Ohio spouses may benefit from taking a moment to consider how untying the knot will affect them financially.

Keeping the house is a common request during divorce negotiations. However, doing so could result in a budget squeeze if a spouse is trying to fully maintain a house on half as much income. Efforts to keep up with house-related expenses may also lead to taking out loans or risking losing a home to bankruptcy. Selling a jointly owned home can be financially risky as well if a couple is forced to accept a low offer because of an urgency to move on. If a couple decides to wait until they get a better deal, holding onto the home may mean juggling expenses for two houses.

Stiff penalties linked to drug possession in Ohio

The state takes a strong stance against the possession and use of controlled substances. Convictions for drug crimes typically result in fines and incarceration. The law determines the severity of misdemeanor or felony charges based on the classification of controlled substances and the amount.

State statutes rate drugs by the dangers associated with them. The classification system separates drugs into five schedules with Schedule I drugs representing what the state has deemed to be the most hazardous. A bulk amount system also influences the strength of criminal charges with drug amounts beneath a certain threshold producing lighter penalties than amounts above the threshold.

Are you facing multiple family law issues at the same time?

Life is often complicated. Rarely are we presented with a single problem possessing a single solution. For example, many marriages that end in divorce are also complicated by child custody and occasionally, addiction. Any of those issues would be overwhelming on their own, but when they all require your immediate attention, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.

If you are considering divorce, have children and are managing your partners addiction all at the same time, here are some tips.

Can you get an OVI on a golf cart?

When most people think of OVI, they think of driving a regular car while intoxicated. However, in Ohio, you can get an OVI for operating all kinds of motorized vehicles while under the influence of alcohol. That includes golf carts. 

Whether you use a golf cart to get around an actual golf course or to cruise around your neighborhood, you should never get behind the wheel while drunk. The police can arrest you, but you may be able to build a solid legal defense to get your charges thrown out.

A mother from Ohio battles against PAS allegations

Since the 1980s, a debate has spun around the topic of Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS, which is used to describe what occurs when one parent pits the children against the other parent. The controversy continues today because PAS seems to lack a criterion that determines a syndrome diagnosis. Further studies are being conducted, but at this time, PAS is typically an argument used in cases where allegations of abuse are also present. The American Psychological Association has not yet taken a stance on the subject of PAS.

A mother who moved to Ohio with her children following an easy California divorce is now embroiled in a child custody battle in which PAS is alleged against her. The woman's ex-husband had originally agreed to give her sole custody of their two small children during divorce proceedings that never went to court. She accused him of domestic violence but had never filed charges against her ex. After the woman and her children moved away, he hired an attorney and built a case around a notion that the mother had alienated the daughter from her father.

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