December 2020 - Groth & Associates
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December 2020

How Do I Know I Have Been Charged with a Crime?

By | Criminal Defense, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we know that time matters. The sooner you can begin building a defense, the stronger your chances of success. But how will you know you have been charged with a crime?

In Ohio, most criminal charges are by complaint or indictment. You will know what charges you face at your arraignment, which is typically held after being arrested or receiving a summons that commands that you show up in court. For help with your case, contact a criminal defense attorney at Groth & Associates today.

Arrest

Getting handcuffed is one way you will know you have been charged with a crime. Of course, the police can arrest someone before any criminal charges are filed. But as they put the handcuffs on, they should tell you whether you have been charged with a crime.

There is no sense in resisting arrest—or even asking too many questions. You will learn more about the criminal charges against you at your arraignment. Remember, anything you say could be introduced later in court.

Summons

Not every criminal defendant is arrested. You might receive a summons, which tells you to show up to court. According to the Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 4(B)(2), the summons should state the time and place where the defendant should appear. The summons will also tell the defendant they will be arrested if they do not show up at the appointed time voluntarily.

Prosecutors have the option of choosing a summons over an arrest warrant when they believe that a summons is adequate to get a defendant to show up in court. This often happens. Also, under Rule 4(A)(2), an officer with a warrant for arrest can, in misdemeanor cases, issue a summons instead of making an arrest.

A summons usually has a copy of the criminal complaint attached. This complaint should include the factual basis for the criminal charge, so you gain a better sense of what the prosecutor is accusing you of. Review the summons and the complaint carefully with an attorney.

Arraignment

An arraignment is typically a defendant’s first appearance before a judge. It is not a trial, and no witnesses will testify. A defendant is not convicted at the arraignment. Instead, the judge will read out the charges and the defendant enters a plea. A defendant can request a public defender at that time or have their own attorney present. A judge also informs a defendant of other important rights, such as the right to bail and the right to remain silent.

Under Ohio law, your arraignment must happen within days of your arrest—within 48 hours is standard. If the prosecutor needs more time, then they need to point to extraordinary circumstances that support holding you for longer.

If you do not have an attorney, we strongly encourage you to enter a “Not Guilty” plea and request a lawyer immediately. In some cases, the prosecutor will need to convince a judge that they have probable cause for charging you.

Speak with Groth & Associates Today

Our criminal defense attorneys can swing into action and represent you if you have been arrested or received a summons. Contact us to schedule your confidential consultation.

How to Drive Safely in Snowy or Icy Conditions in Ohio

By | Car Accident, Ohio, Toledo | No Comments

As a driver in Ohio, you need to be ready for anything. While winter days can be sunny and bright, snow and ice are also in the forecast this season, too. Whether you’ll be traveling for the holidays, commuting to work, or just running errands, knowing how to safely navigate roads can go a long way in keeping you safe and well. Here are some tips for driving safely in snowy or icy conditions in Ohio. 

Always Take it Slow

The number one tip for driving in snowy and icy conditions is just to slow down. The faster your vehicle is traveling, the greater the risk that it loses traction with the road and you’ll lose control. By slowing down, you reduce your risk of an accident. While you may not arrive at your destination as quickly, knowing that you’ve avoided serious injuries and property damage costs is well worth it.

Prep Your Vehicle Before Heading Out

Another tip for driving in winter weather is to prep your vehicle before heading out. Be sure to top off your fluids, and make sure you have a full tank of gas (in the event that you do slide off the road, having the ability to run your engine to stay warm while you wait for help is important). Of course, make sure that your vehicle has an ice scraper in it, and, depending on your car type and where you’re going, consider upgrading to snow/all-weather tires or at least putting chains on your car. As an extra precaution, pack a first aid kit, some non-perishable food items, water, and a blanket, too.

Don’t Stop; Be Consistent in Acceleration and Braking

Some mistakes that drivers make when trying to navigate snowy and icy roads are stopping too frequently, slamming on the brakes if they start to slip, and being unsure about how much to accelerate, especially when traveling up hills. Here are some tips:

  • Be consistent in the amount of force you apply to your brakes and your gas pedal. Accelerate and decelerate slowly
  • When roads are really bad, try not to stop if you can help it. When you are approaching a light, try to slow down well in advance and wait out the light so that you can keep rolling through, rather than having to stop and start again.
  • Don’t power up hills, but don’t fail to apply enough power, either. If you try to accelerate too quickly, your wheels will spin. The best way to approach a hill is to travel a little bit more quickly as you approach the hill, and then allow inertia to carry you up over the top as you consistently apply power to the gas. 

Increase Your Following Distance

Anytime that road conditions are iffy–whether that means snow and ice or just a lot of traffic–you should increase your following distance. Giving yourself extra space between the vehicle in front of you means that you have time to react if the other car spins out, gets stuck, stops suddenly, etc. 

Call Our Ohio Car Accident Lawyers Today

If you’re in a car accident this winter, our Ohio car accident lawyers at the office of Groth & Associates can help you to file your claim and recover a settlement. Call us today for a free consultation.

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