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Cleveland Criminal Law Blog

What's different between a misdemeanor and felony?

Misdemeanors and felonies are both charges that you don't want to have on your record. Both can affect your ability to obtain a job or to rent an apartment you love. Some may make it harder for you socially, whereas others could hold you back when you're looking to go to college.

Misdemeanors and felonies have similarities, but they're not the same. The main difference comes down to the required jail time.

Cyberbullies: Charges could lead to heavy penalties

Cyberbullying doesn't always seem serious. After all, kids are just kids, and the majority of cases involve children and minors. The truth is, though, that cyberbullying is a crime, and it does have real repercussions.

Kids faced with constant bullying online and at school struggle tremendously. Some turn to suicide as an answer, while others lash out in other ways. No matter who someone is, he or she could become a victim of an act of cyberbullying.

Myths hurt your understanding of white collar crime law

As someone accused of a white collar crime, you might think you'll get away without penalties since you have the money and power to back your defense. The truth is that people in powerful positions and those who are wealthy do sometimes end up in prison or facing other consequences for white collar crimes. Fortunately, strong defenses can help prevent you from ending up behind bars.

There are many myths about white collar crime cases, and it's important that you don't believe they're true. Here are two more to think about.

Beware of "sleeping it off" in your car

If you feel that you have taken in too much alcohol to drive safely, you may consider sleeping it off in your car. It seems like a win-win. After all, you get to rest, and the streets have one fewer intoxicated driver.

However, if you do this, beware that there are some situations in which you could be charged with OVI, operating a vehicle impaired, in Ohio.

Summit County sues drugmakers, distributors for opioid crisis

When you think of someone who commits drug crimes, the last thing that likely comes to mind is the drug producer itself. Pharmaceutical companies are coming under fire, though, because it's being alleged that they knew that the drugs they were selling were addictive and yet continued to push them to doctors.

Now, 22 public agencies, cities, villages and towns in Summit County have decided to do something about their claims. They are pursuing lawsuits against three distributors of pain medications and 11 manufacturers of said pills. The lawsuit aims to draw attention to the marketing of deadly and addictive medications, which many believe has lead to the current opioid crisis.

Federal marijuana laws are tough on individuals

There are many states where marijuana has become legal. Despite that, not all states recognize that marijuana may have its place in medicine or as a recreational drug. Marijuana is also illegal in federal law. If you are caught by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or any federal officer, you could face federal penalties even if marijuana is legal where you are at the time.

Federal laws require mandatory minimums in many cases. These are the minimum penalties you face for a crime. Since mandatory minimums are required for marijuana-related crimes, you need to do everything you can to be found innocent. If you are found guilty, there are no standard ways to negotiate out of a mandatory sentence.

How can you shop safer online?

The internet is a wonderful place; it has lots of things to buy and connects you to the rest of the world. It's also home to some people who want to steal from others. Between phishing scams and viruses, there are many ways to get financial information and other kinds of information out of people's computers.

Online shopping is extremely popular, but it does put people at risk of becoming victims of identity theft and other internet crimes. Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim of a crime and from being accused of being an internet criminal.

Criminal conspiracies: What you need to know

If you're accused of conspiracy, it's vital that you understand exactly what that means. By definition, a criminal conspiracy is when at least two people commit a crime together. It doesn't matter what crime it is. At that point, some action must be taken to actually commit the crime for it to be considered a conspiracy.

The prosecution proves conspiracy by showing that you knew and understood the plan to break the law. For example, if you and your two friends decide that you want to bring drugs into the country from Mexico, create a plan to do so and attempt to complete the plan as designed, that could lead to charges for a criminal conspiracy.

Those doing federal contract work must avoid kickbacks

Many Ohio workers are contractors or employees of contractors who work on projects of the federal government. Federal contracts are subject to strict laws regarding the payment of reward for better treatment than would otherwise be available under the official contract.

If the Department of Justice finds such payment to be an illegal kickback, criminal charges may follow.

Embezzlement is a deportable offense and felony charge

Embezzlement is a type of aggravated felony. As a result, anyone who is working toward citizenship or who is immigrating to the United States needs to be aware of what it is and how to avoid participating in any acts that could result in a conviction.

Embezzlement can lead to immigrants being deported, and those who are in the United States as citizens face heavy penalties. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

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