What proof is needed for a restraining order in Ohio?

What proof is needed for a restraining order in Ohio?

James, a client of mine, recently ended a toxic relationship with the mother of his child. In what he believed was a scorned woman’s attempt to have him arrested, she filed for a restraining order. If granted, the restraining order could have forced James to leave his home, lose temporary custody of his child, and even interfere with his job.

So, how can James protect himself?

While getting a restraining order is important if you feel threatened, Ohio courts require clear evidence before any restrictions are put in place. If you’re the one being accused, it’s essential to know what proof is required and how to respond.

Types of restraining orders and what you need to show.

There are two main types of restraining orders in Ohio:

Temporary Ex Parte Protection Order:

  • Given on the same day a petition is filed.
  • A judge decides if there’s a good reason for immediate protection.
  • Examples considered include threats or harm, sexual abuse, and the accused person’s past convictions for domestic violence.
  • Not much evidence is needed at this stage, and the accused person isn’t there to defend themselves. The order lasts until the full hearing, usually 7 to 10 days later.

Civil Protection Order (CPO):

  • Can last up to five years.
  • Established after a full hearing where both parties present their case.
  • Evidence must convincingly show genuine fear of harm or harassment by the accused person.

Evidence that supports a protection order.

Evidence from the person seeking the order can take different forms:

  • Witness Testimony: Statements from people who witnessed abusive behavior.
  • Photographic Evidence: Photos of injuries caused by violence, with timestamps.
  • Text Messages or Emails: Messages with threatening language or detailing abuse.
  • Video Footage: Strong evidence of abuse or threats was recorded.

How to defend yourself against a restraining order. 

If you’re facing a restraining order, there are ways to defend yourself:

  • Present Evidence Contradicting Claims: Use records of messages or social media to dispute the accuser’s claims.
  • Provide an Alibi: Show proof you were somewhere else during alleged incidents, like receipts, videos, or timestamps.
  • Witness Testimony: Get witnesses who can contradict the accuser’s story.
  • Show No Genuine Fear: Demonstrate that the accuser didn’t see you as a threat, possibly through friendly interactions.


If you’re dealing with a restraining order, give us a call. We will guide you through the process and make sure your rights are protected. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation.

Should I Use a Public Defender or Hire a Private Defense Attorney?

Should I Use a Public Defender or Hire a Private Defense Attorney?

Facing criminal charges can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience, and one of the most critical decisions you’ll have to make is choosing between a private defense attorney or a public defender to represent you. Both options have their advantages and limitations, and it’s crucial to understand the differences to make an informed decision. In this article, we’ll explore the factors you should consider when choosing a private for-hire attorney or a public defender.

1. Expertise and Resources:

Private Defense Attorney:
Private criminal defense attorneys often have specialized expertise in specific areas of the law. They can choose their cases, allowing them to focus on their strengths and build a strong defense tailored to your situation. They also have access to a network of experts, investigators, and resources that can be crucial in building a strong defense.

Public Defender:
Public defenders are committed legal professionals, but they often have heavy caseloads and limited resources. While they possess valuable experience, they might have less time to dedicate to your case, which can impact the depth of their investigation and preparation.

2. Personalized Attention:

Private Defense Attorney:
Hiring a private attorney typically means receiving more personalized attention. Your attorney can give your case the time and dedication it deserves, addressing your specific needs and concerns.

Public Defender:
Public defenders may have numerous cases to handle simultaneously, which can limit their ability to provide the same level of individualized attention. While they will work diligently to represent you, their caseloads may affect the depth of their involvement in your case.

3. Costs and Fees:

Private Defense Attorney:
Hiring a private attorney involves costs, which can vary significantly based on the complexity of your case and the attorney’s experience. However, many private defense attorneys offer payment plans or accept legal aid if you qualify.

Public Defender:
Public defenders are provided by the state or federal government, so their services are typically free if you meet the eligibility criteria. This makes them an accessible option for individuals who cannot afford private representation.

4. Decision-Making Control:

Private Defense Attorney:
When you choose a private attorney, you have more control over the direction of your defense. You can make decisions about plea bargains, trial strategies, and other aspects of your case.

Public Defender:
Public defenders are obligated to act in your best interests, but their ability to make strategic decisions may be influenced by the policies of their office and their caseload. You still have a say, but you may have less control over the direction of your defense.

The choice between hiring a private defense attorney and using a public defender is a critical decision that should be based on your specific circumstances and needs. Private attorneys offer expertise, personalized attention, and flexibility, but they come at a cost. Public defenders provide legal representation without direct fees, but their caseloads may limit their ability to dedicate as much time to your case.

Ultimately, the decision should align with your financial situation, the complexity of your case, and your comfort level with your chosen attorney. Consult with a legal professional to make an informed choice that will best serve your interests in your criminal defense case.

Looking for legal help? Call Akamine Law for a FREE case review.

Can I Fight A Probation Violation Charge?

Can I Fight A Probation Violation Charge?

Probation serves as an alternative to incarceration, offering individuals a chance to rehabilitate and reintegrate into society while under court supervision. Unfortunately, probation violations can happen, and these can lead to legal consequences. If you face a probation violation charge in Ohio, you might wonder if you can fight it. In this blog, we’ll explore the process of challenging a probation violation in Ohio and the key factors to consider.

Understanding Probation Violations in Ohio

Probation in Ohio typically involves a set of conditions that you must adhere to while serving your probation term. Common conditions include regular check-ins with a probation officer, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, maintaining employment, and avoiding any new criminal charges. When you fail to meet these conditions, it’s considered a probation violation.

Probation violations can be categorized into two types: technical violations and substantive violations.

  • Technical Violations: These involve breaking the rules of probation that do not involve new criminal activity. For example, missing a meeting with your probation officer or failing a drug test could be a technical violation.
  • Substantive Violations: These involve new criminal activity while on probation. Committing a new crime, no matter how minor, can result in a substantive violation.

Fighting a Probation Violation

If you’re facing a probation violation in Ohio, you have the right to challenge the charges. The process involves several steps:

  1. Notice of Violation: You will receive a notice of violation, detailing the alleged violations and the potential consequences.
  2. Hearing: You have the right to a hearing where you can present your case. It’s important to understand that the burden of proof is lower in probation violation cases compared to regular criminal trials. Instead of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the standard of proof is typically “preponderance of the evidence,” meaning that it’s more likely than not that you violated your probation.
  3. Legal Representation: It’s highly advisable to seek legal representation. An experienced attorney can help you build a strong defense, challenge evidence, and present your case effectively.
  4. Evidence and Witnesses: Gather evidence or witnesses supporting your case. This may include alibis, character references, or proof that you were making a genuine effort to meet your probation conditions.
  5. Negotiation: In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate with your probation officer or the prosecutor to reach an agreement. This could involve modifying your probation conditions rather than facing more severe consequences.

Possible Outcomes

When fighting a probation violation in Ohio, there are several potential outcomes:

  • Dismissal: If you successfully challenge the violation, it may be dismissed, and you can continue your probation as originally ordered.
  • Modification: In some cases, the court may modify your probation conditions or extend the probation term.
  • Revocation: If the court finds you in violation of your probation, it can revoke your probation and impose more severe penalties, such as incarceration.

Challenging a probation violation charge in Ohio is possible, but it can be a complex and challenging process. It’s crucial to take the situation seriously, seek legal representation, and be prepared to present a strong defense. Additionally, always aim to comply with your probation conditions to avoid future violations, as maintaining a positive record can be crucial to your success in these cases.

Remember that the outcome of your probation violation hearing will depend on the specific circumstances of your case and the evidence presented. If you’re facing a probation violation, consult with an experienced attorney to guide you through the process and advocate on your behalf.

If you or someone you love has been accused of violating probation, don’t face the charges alone.

Defense attorney Nathan Akamine will help you. He is a former Franklin County Prosecutor and he has successfully defended clients at probation violation hearings for 20+ years.

The Difference Between a Bench Warrant and Arrest Warrant

The Difference Between a Bench Warrant and Arrest Warrant

No warrant that you receive should be ignored. It will still exist in your file and failing to act on these official court records will complicate your case and could cause jail time.

What is an arrest warrant?

An arrest warrant must first be approved by a judge before it can be executed, but only after investigators present their findings with compelling evidence. Once the arrest warrant has been issued, law enforcement agents have the power to search for you and place you under arrest.

Following your arrest, you’ll be processed (booked) at a police station to establish proper identification, and your fingerprints and facial photographs (mugshot) will be taken by the police for entry into the legal database.

What is a bench warrant?

Bench warrants are issued for “failure to appear” or capias warrants and are the most frequently issued type of warrant. They are different from arrest warrants in that they are not issued at the beginning of criminal proceedings, but rather issued for your failure to appear at a hearing at a specific point in the criminal process.

When a bench warrant is issued, a police officer may not necessarily visit your home to carry out (execute) a bench warrant, but if an officer engages you over something else, like a traffic infraction, and runs your name through the computer, he/she will find the bench warrant and probably detain you.

How do I know if a warrant has been issued?

In either case, you can take proactive measures to find out if a court issued a warrant against you. You can search the court database online, or hire a criminal defense lawyer to do it for you. Your appearance date will be specified in the court’s paperwork, along with any penalties for missing it.

Search the public record using Franklin County Municipal Clerk Lori Tyack’s Court Access and Search Engine (CASE).

PLEASE NOTE: all individuals with outstanding warrants are strongly encouraged to contact a criminal defense attorney.

5 Ways to Fight Drug Possession Charges

5 Ways to Fight Drug Possession Charges

If you’re facing drug charges, the uncertainty of your future can be scary. You could be facing severe penalties.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself and prove your innocence.

1. Knowing search and seizure

What were the circumstances surrounding your arrest? If the police entered your home or car without probable cause, a warrant, or your permission, then they violated your Fourth Amendment rights.

As such, any drugs or substances taken as evidence cannot be used against you in court. After the substances are dismissed as evidence – the charges usually follow.

2. Obtaining the chain of custody

Evidence collected by the police will begin a sequential chain of custody. Chain of custody is the movement and location of physical evidence from the time it’s obtained until the time it is presented in court.

Evidence rooms and labs can get extremely busy. It’s not unusual for the police or prosecution to misplace evidence while it goes between detectives and evidence rooms. We’ll examine the proof of the chain of custody. If the prosecution cannot find the substances seized from you, they must dismiss your charges.

3. Proving ownership

Circumstantial evidence may be enough to detain you, but it also creates doubt in a jury’s mind. There is a possibility that drugs found in your home or car don’t belong to you. Prosecutors will link any illegal items found in your possession to you, but a skilled defense lawyer will help break that link.

4. Lab analysis

If the police took something from you that they suspected was drugs, but you know it’s not, the lab results should come back negative. But what if the seized substances come back positive as an illegal drug?

As your lawyer, we’ll question crime lab results. It’s possible that the substance they seized was lost in the chain of custody, or that the prosecution may have submitted the wrong evidence to the lab. The results of a crime lab may be the salvation you need to prove your innocence.

5. Were you framed?

While most officers of the law are upstanding members of the police force, there are those that are unethical. If you think you’ve been framed, talk to a lawyer and give them the specifics of your arrest.

Let’s look at two examples;

  • Entrapment
    Entrapment happens when a law enforcement agent has you commit a crime you wouldn’t normally do. An officer of the law cannot force you to buy, sell, take, or hold drugs under any kind of threat.
  • Planted Evidence
    Planted evidence is an item that has been placed at a scene. Planted evidence is not admissible in court. As technology advances, more police departments are using body cameras for the protection of both the accused and the police. However, some have covered their cameras or turned them off when they do something they shouldn’t.

A good lawyer will know to request all body camera footage, question officers if the cameras were turned off, and get all radio transmissions and texts during your arrest. It’s also a good idea to review the disciplinary history of the arresting officer(s).

Protect your freedom

Together we will fight to protect your freedom, your future, and your reputation.