Criminal Defense Attorneys And Your Rights
IF YOU HAVE CRIMINAL CHARGES brought against you, it is in your best interest to seek representation. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you avoid making legal mistakes that may make the situation worse.
A criminal defense lawyer will explain your rights and navigate the legal field for you. They can advise you on all of your options, and assist in determining your best course of action. They will defend your innocence or help you obtain a better plea bargain.
Types Of Criminal Charges
MISDEMEANOR CHARGES are a less serious category of crimes that have penalties that can include up to six months jail and a $1000 fine or more depending on the offense.
Misdemeanor offenses are categorized on a scale of one to four and also a minor misdemeanor category. A first degree misdemeanor is the most serious.
FELONY CHARGES are serious crimes that are punishable in Ohio by time in prison of a year or more, or by death in some cases. Felony offenses can include serious physical acts, drug offenses, and also theft offenses.
Felony cases can also include mandatory prison time where certain weapons are involved, or if certain more serious offenses are committed. The Ohio Criminal Code breaks down felony crimes into five categories or “degrees” and provides a sentencing range for each category. A first degree felony is the most serious.
The Criminal Defense Case Process
Arraignment is your initial court appearance. You will need to decide how you will plead and what options are available to you. It is best that you speak with your criminal defense attorney before this happens.
You will need to enter a plea. A plea of guilty or no contest will go to sentencing, not guilty go on to pretrial. A criminal defense lawyer can best explain your options.
We will determine what information is needed to properly prepare your case. At this time we will also meet with the prosecutor.
A lighter penalty may be negotiated in exchange for a plea that avoids trial. Experienced criminal defense attorneys can best negotiate with the prosecutor if this route is available.
Evidence will be presented and arguments will be heard. Criminal defense attorneys are trained for this.
If found or plead guilty, penalties will be decided. There are set minimum and maximum penalties for crimes, and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you fight for lower sentencing.