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Southeast Ohio Law Blog

Is adopting your stepchild the right move for you?

Marrying someone who already had children was a leap of faith. You may know families that struggle to blend successfully, and stepparents may feel they never fully belong in the life of a stepchild. Your decision to adopt your stepchild is deeply personal, and you likely weighed many factors before deciding to move forward with the process.

Of course, this choice is not for every family, and your first step is to determine whether your spouse and his or her child want you to take on this important role. They may be happy with the family as it is without going through an adoption. In fact, the court may also be interested in your stepchild's opinion of becoming your adopted child. However, if your spouse and stepchild give their approval, you are ready to move to the legal part of the process.

Do not take accusations of health care fraud lightly

Criminal charges of any kind are no laughing matter. When some people think of individuals who police have taken into custody, they often picture rough-looking parties who fit the stereotypes of people who commit crimes. However, as you now know, anyone could face criminal charges.

As a doctor, you may have accepted the idea that civil legal claims could come against you for malpractice because it happens to medical professionals quite often. You may not have anticipated facing criminal charges in your line of work, especially those relating to fraud. Still, for some reason, you have come under suspicion of health care fraud, and now, you face a serious ordeal.

The primary classifications of crimes

Everyone makes mistakes, but some end up reaching the level where law enforcement officers get involved. When that happens, you need to understand what type of charge you face and what the potential penalties are if convicted.

The first element you need to consider is the classification of the charges you face. Most people understand that misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, but that does not mean that lesser offenses do not deserve the same attention as more serious ones do.

Is your child at risk of going from delinquent to criminal?

When Ohio residents have children, they may think of the many joyous activities they will get to do with their kids and all the wonderful things they will witness their children accomplish. You may have been among the many parents who had ideas that your child would be perfect in all ways. Unfortunately, that did not turn out to be the case when it came to his or her behavior.

Certainly, children of any age can carry out actions that they know are against the rules and reap the negative repercussions. However, the way in which you address these acts could greatly influence how your child manages his or her behavior in the future.

Roadside facts that may affect your freedom

If an Ohio police officer pulls you over, he or she is supposed to have a reason for doing so. Many times, such situations involve a patrol officer with a radar gun who might claim to have clocked you traveling several miles per hour over the posted speed limit. If that's the case, you may wind up having to decide whether to pay a traffic ticket or fight it in court.  

If, however, the officer in question claims that your car was veering over the yellow line or that he or she witnessed you driving erratically, you may have a much bigger problem on your hands. It's not uncommon for a traffic stop of this nature to turn into a roadside investigation where the police officer is trying to determine if he or she has probable cause to arrest you for drunk driving.  

Are you an over-50 Ohio resident considering divorce?

Various age groups often share trends or experiences in common to which most people in the group can relate. For instance, many Ohio residents over the age of 65 relate to one another in terms of retirement issues. Another common factor among those age 50 and beyond happens to be divorce. In fact, you may have family members or friends who have navigated the divorce process after having been married 20 or more years.  

Divorce among those age 50 and older is becoming so common that many family law advocates use the term "gray divorce" in reference to it. Individuals who have already divorced late in life often cite similar reasons as causal factors that led to their current situations. Understanding those reasons may influence your own decisions; it's also good to find out where others tend to seek support if problems arise.  

Medical marijuana and OVI

Ohio's medical marijuana program finally got off the ground, and many patients may already see the benefits of its use. Hopefully, more individuals suffering from certain conditions will receive the right to try this type of treatment to find relief.

However, just because an individual obtains the right to use medical marijuana doesn't mean he or she becomes immune to the state's other laws, such as the one against driving under the influence, which Ohio calls operating a vehicle impaired. Part of the problem that Ohio and other states face is establishing that a driver actively used marijuana before driving. After all, it's not like using a breath test to establish alcohol use.

The basics of Ohio's OVI laws

Everyone makes mistakes. Some mistakes merely teach you a lesson, while others could result in a criminal record, criminal penalties and lasting issues in your personal and professional lives. One of these costly mistakes involves getting behind the wheel of your car after drinking.

Even if you truly believe that you did not drive drunk, a police officer may feel differently. If an officer pulls you over and suspects you of drunk driving, you could face charges for operating a vehicle impaired, or OVI, as it's called here in Ohio.

Are DUI Roadblocks legal?

If you've ever traveled Ohio highways during a holiday season, you may have had to unexpectedly stop your vehicle because police had set up a roadblock. Sometimes, these DUI checkpoints can cause traffic to backup for miles. You may even have had the fleeting thought to survey your surroundings to see if there was a way to get around the roadblock without stopping. Like most Ohio motorists, you likely decided against that and stayed in line with all the other cars, waiting for your turn to talk to police.

You have certain personal rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment seems to pertain to this type of situation. In this section of the Constitution, you are protected against unlawful searches and seizures. This is why police in all states need valid cause and authoritative permission to search your car, your person or your house.

Can you object to custody relocation?

Many Ohio residents face custody terms that can teeter on the edge of agreeable. You may find yourself among this group and have to contend with custody issues due to getting a divorce or other circumstances. While you may have become used to the arrangements over time and feel that you and your children have made the most out of the circumstances and the time you have together, you may also feel somewhat concerned if the other parent broaches the subject of moving away with the children.

Custody relocation happens for a variety of reasons. The other parent may have gained employment in a new area or state or family issues may have presented themselves that require the parent to move in order to provide care for a loved one. No matter the reason for the desired move, you and the custodial parent both have legal steps to take in order for a move to occur.

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