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Ohio representative-elect faces burglary charges

An Ohio lawmaker has recently been accused of burglary, and as a result, he is facing various felony charges related to the alleged incident. According to sources, the man won a state election to earn a seat in the House of Representatives in November 2014. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in Ottawa County on Dec. 11.

Reports say the felony charges against the representative stem from the accusation that he removed items from a Port Clinton residence. His former attorney stated that the official took the unspecified items while acting as an auctioneer in preparation for an auction; he said he was performing an inventory as per the instructions of a real estate agent who was selling the property.

In addition to felony burglary charges, the representative stands accused of fifth-degree felony counts of breaking and entering and theft. Sources indicate that the goods in question included antiques, musical instruments and a shotgun. Authorities claim that photos of the lawmaker were taken by several witnesses as he was taking the items. Reports indicate that the charges will not affect the January swearing in of the man into office.

Criminal charges could render people ineligible for certain forms of employment. Even if an accused individual does not lose their job right away, negative public opinion may make it difficult for them to hold specific positions. Those who stand charged with crimes may find it helpful to investigate their legal options. By structuring a defense strategy properly, a defendant could potentially reduce the amount of time they may spend in jail or on parole. A lawyer could help formulate a strong defense.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Lawmaker-elect Steven Kraus faces burglary, theft counts," Nov. 21, 2014

Source: WBNS, "Newly elected Ohio lawmaker pleads not guilty", December 12, 2014

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