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Hey kid, your fake ID could get you 3 years in prison

From the "law never ceases to amaze me" file comes this little tidbit: your fake ID could get you a third degree felony in Ohio.

Here is what I read while doing some research:

R.C. 2913.42 Tampering with records. (A) No person, knowing the person has no privilege to do so, and with purpose to defraud or knowing that the person is facilitating a fraud, shall do any of the following:
(1) Falsify, destroy, remove, remove, conceal, alter, deface, or mutilate any writing, computer software, data, or record;
(2) Utter any writing or record, knowing it to have been tampered with as provided in division (A)(1) of this section.
(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of tampering with records.
(4) If the writing, data, computer software, or record is kept by or belongs to a local, state, or federal governmental entity, a felony of the third degree.

So. You and your cousin look alike. You get an ID in your cousin's name. You could be charged as a felon. And not just any fe…
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Help! I've been arrested. What happens next?

I was very fortunate to do a presentation for the Hamilton County Law Library on the basics of criminal law. The library received a grant to make videos of information for community members in search of some legal information.

I decided to give people a sketch of what happens to a person when they've been arrested and a basic timeline of events. I did this based on the experience of what happens to a person when they've been arrested in Cincinnati or Hamilton County.

Hamilton County's Municipal Court is a model for other courts

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says that our municipal court system is more efficient and all around better than the larger system in play in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County

Here is the super duper TLDR version: Study finds that Cincinnati's Municipal Court system is more efficient than Cleveland's because there is one central booking and one Municipal Court that serves the entire county instead of the disconnected and different Courts in Cleveland. 

Here is the TLDR version with a little more information:

First, some background. The municipal courts in all Ohio counties have jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases (assault, theft, minor drug charges) and traffic cases, including most OVI/DUI cases. The municipal courts also set the initial bond for individuals charged with felonies. As part of its Justice for All series, the Plain Dealer examined the system that takes place when a person is arrested here versus what happens when a person is arrested in Cleveland and su…

Disclaimer regarding attorney/client privilege

This content is written by Erik W. Laursen of Laursen & Lucas | Attorneys at Law. The content is provided for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing contained in this site should be construed as providing specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney/client relationship.
My office is in Over-the-Rhine. I love it there. I love it because I get to see things like this wonderful Artworks Project on a daily basis. I used to have a blog called "Cincinnati Daily Photo" where I tried to do what the title says. Periodically, I might drop a neighborhood photo here and remind you that our website is

A quick look at the law and the media

Yesterday I needed to stop in to what is commonly known as Room A. This is the arraignment courtroom located inside the Hamilton County Justice Center. As I was on my way in, I saw representatives from every television station. I also think I spotted an Enquirer reporter. They were there for a defendant named Britney Roll Mayes. More importantly, they were there for the little girl who she is accused of killing: Avery Lee Hobbs. The girl was her daughter. Mayes had previously lost custody of the girl, been incarcerated for child endangering.

The big news of the morning was the fact that Mayes is now seven months pregnant with another child.

I used to work in local news at WKRC-TV, Channel 12. I spoke briefly to one of my favorite local news photographers about the case. News moves quicker than ever. We could only speak briefly because all the channels needed to post to social media about the revelation that the defendant was pregnant. They had to do this quickly - because local news i…

Sometimes you might just want a lawyer because things get weird

Sometimes things get weird.

I had this thought yesterday when a friend called and needed me to cover for him at a misdemeanor arraignment. I didn't even really have to go to an arraignment. I just needed to enter a written plea of not guilty and waiver the person's appearance in court.

Every jurisdiction has its own quirks. Cincinnati is no different. First I went to Room 117 to pick up the form. Then I went to room 113 to give the form to the clerk who had the file. Then the clerk brought that file to 117 and met me back where I started. 

If you didn't already know to do that you might have found yourself confused and running in circles. Local lawyers know these things. They know how to deal with them. So in addition to the big picture, sometimes we just help keep the stress level down with the little stuff.