Starting on July 10, 2014, a new and updated Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) called "Intervention in Lieu of Conviction" statute will become effective. This statute is very important because if you are charged with certain crimes, and you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crime, the Court can give you intervention in lieu of a conviction.
However, you need to understand that this statute does NOT give you a "James Bond 007 License to Commit Crimes While Drinking or on Drugs." Put simply, the statute does not help out the person who happens to drink one too many drinks one night, decides to drive home while intoxicated, gets arrested, then wants to use this new law because they were "drunk." This statute is intended to help those who are in need of intervention.
What does this statute mean?
First things first, what the heck does "in Lieu" mean? Basically, take out the "in Lieu" part, and add the words "in the place of." So the new law becomes—Intervention in the place of Conviction. So, the statute is trying to tell us that for those who need some type of intervention—inpatient or outpatient drug/alcohol treatment programs—they can be given this program rather than be convicted of the crime.
The statute states that if "the court has reason to believe that drug or alcohol usage by the offender was a factor leading to the criminal offense with which the offender is charged," then the Court will look into whether the offender should be given intervention rather than their conviction. This is great news because rather than the Court just handing out convictions for alcohol or drug-related criminal activity, they are trying to help attack the problem at the source—the drugs and alcohol.
How does it affect me?
With all this being said, if you have or are being charged with a crime where drugs and or alcohol were one of the main factors for you committing the crime, you may be able to get help for your addictions, rather than face jail or prison time. There are a few exceptions, or certain crimes that make you unable to use this statute to your advantage. Additionally, your record can be sealed after the completion—making it seem like this crime never happened. The Meranda Law Firm, LTD. can help you understand everything; see if your case fits into this new law, and if applicable, we can help to seal your record!
How can I get it?
After consulting with The Meranda Law Firm, LTD. about your case, and we feel that you can in fact use the statute to your advantage, we will need to fill out a few motions on your behalf, and then the Court will make a decision on your case. There are a lot of important pieces of information that need to be in your motion for Intervention in Lieu of Conviction. Let The Meranda Law Firm, LTD get you the help you need!