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Cleveland Criminal Law Blog

Understanding the effects of alcohol may help you avoid DUI

Perhaps you have grown accustomed to driving after enjoying a beer or two and never worry about law enforcement stopping you. However, it will only take one drunk driving conviction to dramatically change your life. Understanding more about the way alcohol affects you may help you avoid an arrest for DUI.

About blood alcohol concentration

How long does crystal meth show up in a drug test?

Crystal meth is a highly addictive form of methamphetamine. Many Ohio residents are struggling with a crystal meth addiction that they can't get under control no matter how hard they try. When a crystal meth addiction causes you to get in trouble with the law -- or to lose your job -- it could serve as a wakeup call to get the help you need.

Sometimes, as a result of the legal process -- or due to the policies of an employer -- an Ohio resident will have to undergo drug testing. If you have used meth in the past, you'll probably want to know how long this drug stays in your system before undergoing a test. Here's how long various types of meth tests can detect this drug in your system after use:

  • Urine testing: A urine test will show the presence of methamphetamine for up to four days after normal levels of use. However, if someone is a heavy and chronic user of the substance, meth could remain in the urine for as many as seven days.
  • Blood testing: Blood tests will show the presence of meth for between one to three days after use.
  • Saliva testing: Saliva tests will show meth in the system for one to four days following use.
  • Hair follicle testing: The hair follicle test is the one that offers the longest range and it could show that someone used meth up to three months into the past.

Can you get a DUI on prescription medication?

When many people think of DUI, they think of someone operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. However, you can get a DUI as long as you operate a vehicle under any substance that can alter your behavior. That can certainly include prescription drugs. 

According to Ohio law, a person can get a DUI if he or she is under the influence of alcohol or any drug of abuse. The law typically applies to illegal substances, such as cocaine, amphetamine and heroin, but prescription drugs fall into that category, too. That means even if a person is under the influence of Valium, Vicodin or Percocet, he or she can face DUI charges for an accident. All of these substances appear on urine tests, so it is best to not get behind the wheel if you feel a prescription may have altered your thinking. 

Are those really your drugs?

Facing drug charges in Ohio can be a very frightening experience indeed. Depending on the precise charges you face, a conviction could cost you your freedom for a significant period of time.

It goes without saying, however, that the prosecutor must first prove that you possessed, owned and/or controlled the drugs in question before the jury can convict you of any drug crime. The constructive possession doctrine could make those drug charges go away.

Why was I charged with drug trafficking?

Many drug crime defendants are surprised to discover that they were charged with drug trafficking instead of drug distribution or even possession. Such charges will be especially surprising for those who never engaged in the sale or distribution of drugs. Nevertheless, drug trafficking charges could come about simply on the basis of the quantity of illegal substances involved.

If authorities suspect that you are in possession of a large quantity of drugs -- and particularly if they have proof to support the possession -- they might assume that you intended to sell them. In fact, a drug trafficking conviction can occur even if there isn't proof that someone was selling the drugs. The intention to distribute or traffic drugs is sufficient to result in a conviction, and a court might infer this intention when the quantity of drugs is sizable.

What's the history of the 'Ponzi scheme?'

Charles Ponzi was a man whose name went down in history for the "scheme" he developed to take money from unsuspecting investors. Since the days of Charles Ponzi, his money-grabbing scam has been replicated by countless white collar criminals on scales from large to small.

Charles Ponzi's name became associated with the word "Ponzi Scheme" in the 1920s after authorities and investors discovered the Ponzi had defrauded millions of dollars from his trusting investors. The Ponzi scheme worked by taking money from new investors to pay older investors. The scam involved the purchase of discounted postage coupons with investor money. What was really happening was, as new investors joined the pool and sent money, Ponzi would use this money to pay the older investors. The scam was earning Ponzi himself over $250,000 a day.

Freedoms lost by convicted felons in Ohio

Being convicted of a felony in Ohio brings with it a lot of consequences. For starters, the convicted felon will be sentenced to prison. Depending on the crime committed, the felon could be facing anywhere from one year to life in prison. The felon might also face thousands of dollars in fines and penalties.

Today, we will take a look at the freedoms lost by felons convicted in Ohio. Here are some key points:

  1. You will lose your right to serve on a jury when convicted of a felony in Ohio. There is a chance this right can be reinstated after your sentence is complete but it is not guaranteed.
  2. The law in Ohio also revokes a convicted felon's right to vote while they are in prison. A convicted felon is allowed to vote while serving probation or parole. They are also allowed to vote once their prison sentence has ended.
  3. Convicted felons might also wind up being ineligible for federal benefits. This includes food stamps, assisted housing, temporary cash help for needy families and even student loans.
  4. Those convicted of a felony offense involving violence or drugs are not permitted to own, carry, be in the possession of or use a firearm under Ohio law. Gun rights can only sometimes be restored after a sentence is served.

Can you rescind a white collar plea bargain?

If you face a federal white collar crime charge in Ohio, you and your attorney may have the opportunity to enter into a plea bargain agreement with the prosecutor. It may surprise you to learn that upwards of 90 percent of federal white collar criminal cases are resolved this way. In addition, for those defendants who choose not to accept a plea bargain, juries convict about 90 percent of them.

You need to understand that in any plea bargain you gain certain advantages, such as a possibly reduced prison sentence and the monetary savings of not having to take your case all the way to jury trial. Unfortunately, however, you also agree to certain negative things in a plea bargain, including the following:

  • You give up your constitutionally protected right to a jury trial.
  • You have to admit your guilt in open court.
  • You become a convicted felon.
  • Normally you give up the right to appeal your conviction.
  • Normally you cannot later change your mind and rescind your plea agreement.

Defenses for white collar crime charges

White collar crimes are common in the business world as thousands of people try their best to defraud organizations or embezzle money from individuals. These crimes require a strong defense in order to have the charges reduced or dropped so that you don't wind up behind bars for years. Today, we will take a look at the various white collar crimes defenses you can use in a case.

The most common type of defense you can use for a white collar crime charge is that of entrapment. Entrapment occurs when someone a member of the government presents someone with an opportunity to commit a crime that the subject would not have committed otherwise.

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