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Earlier this summer, an Ohio resident was arrested for drug trafficking in Michigan. Although the suspect lives in Ohio, where authorities found a large amount of incriminating evidence, he will be detained and tried in Michigan. Thus, he will need to hire a criminal defense lawyer who is licensed to practice in Michigan.
After receiving tips that Buddy Randall Parker of Fairfield, Ohio was in possession of large amounts of crystal methamphetamine, the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team began a painstaking, one-month long investigation into the allegations. The investigators realized that Mr. Parker had an extensive criminal history for committing both drug and weapons offenses.
When the investigators learned that Mr. Parker was transporting a load of meth from California into Kalamazoo, they laid a trap. During the arrest, the police found a loaded handgun on Mr. Parker, and two other guns inside of his car along with more than 5 pounds of meth valued at over $300,000.
To bolster their case, the Michigan authorities asked the Sheriff’s Office of Butler County, Ohio to conduct a search of Mr. Parker’s house, during which they found another pound of meth, more weapons, body armor, and $10,000 in cash.
Mr. Parker has been charged with delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, felon in possession of a firearm, and felony firearm, and carrying a concealed weapon. The Kalamazoo County District Court set his bail at $2 million.
Mr. Parker may be a resident of Ohio, but he will be tried in Kalamazoo County, Michigan because that’s where he was apprehended with illegal drugs and weapons. That being said, the Michigan prosecutor may use the incriminating evidence found in Ohio to prosecute the Michigan case against Mr. Parker.
In the United States, lawyers are licensed to practice only within the specific state in which they passed the bar exam. Some states allow lawyers from other states to practice in their courts, but in most cases, a lawyer will need to pass the bar exam in each state in which he or she desires to practice law. There’s good reason for this: the laws and trial procedures in each state are different, so lawyers need to become authorities in local laws to be effective legal advocates.
When you get arrested and charged with a crime in a state where you do not live, you will have to look up and hire a criminal defense attorney licensed to practice in that state. Similarly, if you get charged with a crime in federal court—a level of jurisdiction that is distinct from state courts—you’ll need to find a lawyer who is licensed to practice in federal courts.
At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we provide top-notch legal representation to people facing criminal charges in Columbus, Ohio and its surrounding areas. Our Columbus criminal defense lawyers are experienced, compassionate, and tenacious. If you’re facing Ohio criminal charges, call us today at for a free and confidential consultation of your case.