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Portage County Ohio Law Blog

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.

How divorce may impact a person's credit score

Ending a marriage doesn't have any direct impact on a person's credit score. However, Ohio residents and others who have recently gotten divorced may see their credit score go down after doing so. This could occur because an individual has closed joint credit accounts or has removed his or her name from those accounts. A person may also experience a reduced credit score if a former spouse fails to pay down a joint debt as ordered in a divorce settlement.

Although the other spouse may be held accountable for failing to live up to the divorce decree, creditors have the right to go after anyone named on a joint debt. They also have the right to report late or missed payments to a credit agency regardless of what the divorce settlement says. It is possible that a person could try to open credit accounts in a former spouse's name.

Ohio woman allegedly had a BAC of .32% when she crashed

Police in Ohio say that a 54-year-old woman had a blood alcohol concentration of .32% when she was involved in a minor traffic accident on Aug. 26. That is four times the state's .08% legal driving limit. The accident took place near the intersection of Columbia Road and Center Ridge Road in Westlake. The woman was taken into custody at the scene and has been charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

According to a Westlake Police Department report, the woman's vehicle struck the rear of a car as it approached the intersection. The other driver involved told arriving officers that he noticed the woman appeared to be impaired and took her car keys to prevent her from leaving the scene. Officers say that the woman seemed incoherent and did not even realize that she had been involved in a collision until they pointed out the damage on her vehicle and the car she struck.

Tricks spouses use to conceal marital assets during divorce

Ohio residents who are going through a divorce or who have gone through a divorce may realize that a spouse trying to hide assets. The idea of the spouse trying to hide the assets being the husband is an antiquated one; in many marriages, the wife makes as much, if not more, money than the husband. In a good portion of marriages, the wife is the one who is responsible for financial decisions, including monitoring accounts and investments.

People need to be aware of behavior that could indicate their spouse is trying to hide assets in the time that leads up to a divorce. There are a number of ways money can be hidden. A common but often overlooked way is by overpaying creditors. A spouse may overpay the IRS or overpay a credit card company. After the divorce, they can then go back to their creditor and request a refund. The creditor becomes a safe haven for the money until the divorce is done.

Why checkpoint announcements have to be made public

Authorities in Ohio and throughout the country are allowed to conduct sobriety checkpoints. However, the Supreme Court ruled in 1990 that the checkpoints must be publicized ahead of time, and failing to do so would be a violation of a person's Fourth Amendment rights. Authorities also say that the point of checkpoints is to educate drivers about the dangers of impaired driving. In 2018, there were 13,364 crashes in Ohio that were caused by drunk or impaired drivers.

Those crashes led to 402 deaths, which was roughly the same number of people killed in impaired driving crashes in the state in 2017. However, the number of accidents involving impaired drivers dropped by 8% in 2018 when compared to 2017. Checkpoints tend to be located where this type of activity tends to be the most prevalent. In 2018, drunk driving crashes were most likely to occur in Montgomery and Hamilton counties.

Key aspects of Ohio's transfer laws

All people make mistakes when they are young. Unfortunately, some of those mistakes can cause harm to or endanger others, leading to grave consequences.

In the case of certain criminal offenses, a child may face a transfer to adult court under the transfer laws. There are a few important aspects to understand about these specific laws.

Navigating social media during a divorce

Social media is an everyday part of life for many people. Ohio residents might not give their behavior a second thought when sharing a status on Facebook, linking to a funny video or posting pictures of a vacation on Instagram. However, taking a little extra time to be mindful about what gets shared online can be helpful when going through a divorce.

Any frustrations a person has with a spouse or a relationship are better left offline. This applies no matter what stage a marriage is in. There are better ways to vent or get things off one's chest that do not leave a virtual trail that could be used in a divorce. One could talk to friends or family members in person or get support and privacy from a counselor.

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