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Portage County Ohio Law Blog

Ohio judge facing reprimand over drunk driving arrest

The Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct was urged on Jan. 10 to publicly reprimand a Lucas County judge who was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in July. The recommendation was made by the judge and the court's disciplinary counsel. An Ohio Supreme Court justice who found herself in a similar position was reprimanded in 2005. A public reprimand would become part of the judge's permanent record, but it would not prevent the judge from serving on the bench or seeking reelection.

When it makes its decision, the court is likely to be more concerned about statements the judge made prior to being taken into custody than the conduct that led to him being pulled over. Footage captured by a police car dashboard camera shows the judge attempting to use his position to secure more lenient treatment on four occasions. Police stopped the judge's car in Findlay on July 21 shortly after it exited Interstate 75 for a lane violation and failing to signal. The officers involved said that the judge was extremely drunk when they pulled him over.

How divorce has benefited some people

Family lawyers often see a rise in business by about one-third at the beginning of the year. Many unhappy couples in Ohio and across the nation want a fresh start on their lives, especially after going through a stressful holiday season.

Divorce proceedings often involve a lot of emotional wreckage and nasty legal fights. However, some relatively modern laws are making divorce easier and bringing financial benefits. In states that allow no-fault divorces, more women are finding ways to bring income that they have control over into the home. This means that they have the ability to increase their economic clout in their partnership. One statistic revealed that couples are 8% more likely to have both individuals working full time outside of the home in no-fault divorce states.

Investigation finds interrogation technique inaccurate

When people are taken into custody in Ohio, one of the interrogation tools used could be part of a system called Scientific Content Analysis, or SCAN. The method trains law enforcement to examine written statements for signs of lying based on such criteria as word choice. However, a government task force that began examining interrogation methods in 2010 determined that there was no scientific basis for SCAN and the results it returned were no better than chance. Critics have echoed these concerns.

Despite this, many law enforcement agencies use the tool. At the time of the government study, the U.S. Department of Defense, the CIA and the FBI were among them. In an investigation by ProPublica, both the FBI and the CIA declined to provide information on whether the method was currently used.

How women can face financial challenges after a divorce

Women in Ohio and across the country often experience stress that comes from finances after a divorce. While men definitely face challenges after a divorce, it is more likely that women will experience serious financial problems. Reports have shown that a woman's income is likely to decrease and that women are more likely to live below the poverty line than men after a divorce. Additionally, women are more likely to be awarded child custody than men.

There are practical steps that women can take in order to deal with the challenges that are related to finances after a divorce. In the time that a woman is contemplating divorce, she needs to get a realistic idea of where her finances sit. She should have access to and be familiar with bank accounts, property titles, retirement savings and other assets. She should also educate herself on taxes and insurance in order to see how she will be affected after a divorce. Some women have also found that putting away some money to be used for the divorce is helpful, even though this will need to be disclosed during the divorce proceedings.

Annie’s Law made dramatic changes to OVI laws in Ohio

Ohio House Bill 388, frequently referred to as Annie’s Law, became effective on April 6, 2017. The law made several important changes to our drinking-and-driving laws.

For first offenders convicted of OVI, the changes include reinstatement of suspended driving privileges with the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Learning to co-parent with a difficult ex-spouse

Most Ohio parents want what is best for their children. This means that after a couple has gone through a divorce, they will need to work closely with each other to take care of their children's needs despite living in different households and having personal disagreements. Unfortunately, some individuals are dealing with a toxic ex-spouse. The following tips can help these individuals maintain their sanity despite all of the drama.

When working with a toxic or difficult ex-spouse, it is necessary to recognize an unhealthy dynamic. There may be certain topics that can cause an ex-spouse to go from zero to 90 in just a moment, or there may be fears that get triggered when certain subjects are brought up. In order to avoid arguments or manipulation, parents should steer clear of these subjects. This is much more empowering and helps a person focus on actually parenting their children as opposed to just making it through a conversation with a difficult person.

Ohio truck driver ordered off the road after DUI crash

A 33-year-old Ohio truck driver has been ordered off the road by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA issued the man with an out of service order on Oct. 28 because he has been charged with several drug violations and involved in numerous alcohol or drug-related accidents. The most serious accident took place on Sept. 28 when the man's semi-tractor trailer crossed the center line on State Road 534 and struck a cargo van head-on. The van's driver and passenger both died in the crash.

Following the truck accident, the man was cited for driving under the influence of one Schedule I and two non-prescribed Schedule II drugs. He was subsequently terminated by his employer for failing to submit to mandated toxicology testing within 32 hours of the crash.

Weighing the decision to get a strategic divorce

Some Ohio couples are talking about using a strategic divorce in order to help them save money on taxes. This is something that could be helpful to couples who are high earners, considering the way the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect in 2018 subjects them to higher taxes when they file together.

This is not the only way that a strategic divorce can be used to help some couples save money. Another way a strategic divorce can help couples is to help one qualify for Medicaid if they need nursing home care. The other option would possibly be to exhaust their savings and other assets in order to pay for the care on their own.

How changes in arrest rates are affecting society

Ohio residents may be surprised to learn that if they were born between 1979 and 1988, they have an increased chance of getting arrested as compared to others who were born before 1949. Studies show that 6.4% of Americans born prior to 1949 have been arrested while 23% of those born between 1979 in 1988 have been arrested.

Some may point to the increased arrest rates as reason for the decades-long decrease in violent criminal activity; since 1993, violent crime has been cut by almost 50%. However, what might trouble some is the fact that many people are being arrested for nonviolent crimes.

How a traffic ticket can lead to losing your driver's license

Everyone gets traffic tickets, so they are not a big deal, right? You just pay the fine and move on with life. That may be a common assumption, but it is not necessarily the best approach. How many tickets you get and how you respond to them make a big difference in the outcome.

It is neither wise to procrastinate taking care of a ticket nor to admit guilt and pay it off. The most beneficial route to take may be to fight the ticket.

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