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If you have been charged recently with a criminal offence as the state level such as DUI or domestic violence, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns about what will happen next, who you can find to listen to your side of the events, what your legal rights are, and - most importantly - how this unfortunate incident will affect your personal life, your job and your family.
All of these things will be answered when you hire an attorney. The sooner you speak with a qualified lawyer, the sooner you will be able to reduce the effects of the charges against you and take action to help avoid legal mistakes. You need to quickly consult with a Ohio criminal lawyer who has a proven history of defending cases that are similar to yours. You do of course have the right to remain silent until you have sought counsel and the sooner you meet with a potential attorney, the better off you will be. Bear in mind that not everyone who has been charged with a state offense has been found guilty. When you partner with a criminal lawyer, they will be able to protect you and your family throughout this time and give you information on what your various options and legal rights are. Many attorneys will offer a free consultation the first time you meet, so you will be able to get some of this advice up front.
Are You In Need of Trusted Defense for Criminal Charges?
Our criminal attorneys have expertise in a wide variety of criminal offenses from solicitation to kidnapping to DUI. We have lawyers who practice in diverse areas: fraud, weapons charges, theft, probation violations, white collar crimes and many more. You need to act quickly. It doesn't matter if you are already facing charges or you suspect that there may be forthcoming repercussions for a past act, the longer you wait around the more difficult it is to build up a good defense. Our Ohio criminal attorneys know this and they also understand how the justice system works, especially at the state level. They will be able to offer sound advice when you come in for your initial meeting.
Build a Strong Defense for DUIs
One of the most common charges that people will face at a state level is the charge of DUI. The consequences of this can vary and can include everything from a night in jail and heavy fine to a suspended driver's license, alcohol education and other penalties.
If you are charged with a DUI, you will need a criminal lawyer who is knowledgeable about state laws and who has experience handling cases like yours. Our Ohio attorneys will help to determine if you qualify as a first offender, how to design your defense, how this can affect parts of your life like your job, and what penalties you may face.
Concentrated on Different Areas of the Law
Our attorneys concentrate in specific areas of the law. They work in these areas as to gain an extensive knowledge and understanding of the exact criminal charges you face. They know the state laws that will come into play for your case and they know the most effective strategies to help with your defense. We will be able to match you up with the most qualified lawyer on the team who has the experience needed for your specific case.
What You Should Expect from Your Lawyer
At your first meeting, you will be able to speak with your criminal attorney about the facts of the case. He or she will be able to share their expertise of the law as it applies to your situation. You should always be honest and candid when speaking with your lawyer. They must keep all of your information confidential and will work with your best interest in mind. You should always take your lawyer's advice and be patient as you explore the steps of your case.
A Strong Reputation Counts
Our professional lawyers belong to numerous associations like the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Their work history is easy to track and all of them have been fully vetted as we want you to have the most competent and reliable attorney working on your behalf.
Choose Attorneys That You Can Trust
How do you figure out which is the most suitable criminal lawyer for you? The right criminal attorney for you is one who will work to provide you with an informed defense. They will build trust with you, work with the highest ethical standards and bring professional confidence into your case.
Our top Ohio lawyers know will advise you on how to handle your personal case and will do so with care and diligence. Avoid mistakes in the near future by finding a lawyer as quickly as possible during this time in order to protect your rights and give yourself peace of mind. Call today and be connected with a reputable criminal attorney.
Are You Facing Criminal Charges for breaking Ohio Domestic Violence Laws or Any Other State Laws?
In Ohio, a basic knowledge of any criminal charges brought against you can make all the difference in building your defense. Every defendant should have a clear understanding of what specific criminal charges mean and their potential penalties. This knowledge fosters a better attorney-client relationship with your Ohio criminal defense lawyer and enhances your understanding of the potential outcomes of your case.
Seeking knowledge of Ohio criminal laws should not intimidate you, even if you are charged with a serious crime. Instead, you should use that information to begin the process of building your defense. This is essential because, the more serious the crime, the more important it is that you take a proactive stance by engaging a criminal defense attorney in Ohio.
To start, Ohio divides all crimes into two broad categories called felonies and misdemeanors. Every crime, from aggravated assault to public indecency, is classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Not only do these two broad categories denote the severity of a specific crime, but they indicate the potential penalty a convicted individual faces. Misdemeanors carry a maximum prison sentence of one year, while felonies can be punished by a much longer term.
As a state that still imposes capital punishment, Ohio courts may sentence individuals convicted of specific crimes to the death penalty.
Both categories – felonies and misdemeanors – are further divided into more specific classifications. Misdemeanors, the less serious charges, are broken down into first, second, third, and fourth-degree offenses. In the laws of Ohio, they are often designated as M1, M2, M3, and M4 and are punishable by maximum jail terms of 180 days, 90 days, 60 days, and 30 days, respectively.
Similarly, felonies are more narrowly classified as crimes in the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth degree. More serious than any of these are those designated as “special felonies,” those which carry a potential punishment of life in prison, or even capital punishment.
Are you facing criminal charges in Ohio? Find your Ohio criminal defense attorney here.
Five Common Crimes Charged in Ohio
Most crimes in Ohio are defined and detailed at length in the Ohio Revised Code, but this may not make these crimes easy for the layperson to understand. Often, Ohio criminal attorneys are called upon to simply explain the meaning of a specific crime or charges that are not clearly understood.
For this reason, the Criminal Lawyer provides basic information about crimes for which people are commonly charged in Ohio. However, if any of this information is unclear, or if you need it to be applied to a specific set of circumstances or charges, you should contact an Ohio criminal defense lawyer for advice and representation.
Domestic Violence in Ohio
Domestic violence is not only a commonly committed crime in Ohio but one that is treated with significant severity by both civil and criminal courts. It is one of several offenses referred to as crimes against the family – such as bigamy and unlawful abortion – for which a convicted person will face significant punishments in the state. Similarly, the criminal penalties for those convicted of domestic violence in Ohio are serious.
By definition, Ohio domestic violence laws prohibit an individual from knowingly causing harm to another family member or recklessly causing serious harm to a family member. It is also considered domestic violence to threaten imminent harm to another family member if there is a reasonable basis for the belief that such harm will happen.
Whether or not violence or the threat of violence is considered domestic violence depends on whether the victim is a family member of the accused person. The statutes in Ohio define family members quite broadly. They include spouses, former spouses, parents, foster parents, children of the actor, children of a person related to the actor, parents or children of a spouse, and natural parents of a child of the actor.
The length of incarceration or seriousness of other punishments for domestic violence is determined by the severity of any harm caused to a victim, whether the accused individual has a record of prior domestic violence convictions, and the circumstances under which that harm occurred. In certain instances – such as domestic violence directed against a pregnant woman – the identity of the victim is also important. Based on these factors, domestic violence charges in Ohio may be entered as a second-degree misdemeanor, first-degree misdemeanor, or even a felony. At a minimum, conviction of domestic violence charged as a second-degree misdemeanor can be punished by 30 days in jail.
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Ohio Drunk Driving Laws
In Ohio, driving under the influence, or DUI is uniquely called operating under the influence – often shortened to OVI. While the name is different from that seen in other states, the prohibition on drunk driving is essentially the same. Ohio drunk driving or OVI is defined as operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
Individuals who are under the age of 21 can be charged with OVI if they are found to be operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or higher. Ohio also imposes increased criminal penalties on individuals who drive with a significantly elevated BAC. Known as aggravated OVI, the statutory level that will result in charges for this heightened offense is 0.17%. Often, conviction of a charge of aggravated OVI results in a felony OVI in Ohio.
Both administrative and criminal penalties are imposed upon an individual convicted of OVI in Ohio, often including the potential of incarceration. In fact, in Ohio, a first DUI will result in a mandatory 72 hours in jail, which can only be reduced through a commitment to a diversion program or performance of community service. If you are charged with aggravated DUI, the minimum sentence will be seven days in jail.
A second or subsequent DUI offense that occurs within six years of a prior DUI conviction will result in more substantial penalties. For a second offense within this period, the minimum sentence is 10 days but could rise.
Find the top Ohio DUI lawyers.
Ohio Assault Laws
In certain states, the crimes of assault and battery are separate crimes with distinct meanings; however, the Ohio assault laws cover both the crimes of attempted physical harm and actually causing physical harm to another person. All of these prohibited activities are simply referred to as assault, although Ohio does differentiate among differing degrees of assault, distributing them across three separate statutes. These various degrees of assault are assault, aggravated assault, and felonious assault.
In addition to separating assault into these three basic categories, the crime of assault will also be designated as a specified degree which can be a misdemeanor or felony.
Assault is the least serious of these offenses and it is also referred to as simple assault. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, and it is punishable by up to six months in jail. Simple assault is charged when an individual:
The two important elements of the assault definition are the intention of the actor and the severity of harm that was caused to the victim.
Aggravated assault is a more serious crime and a fourth-degree felony. The potential criminal penalty upon conviction of aggravated assault ranges from 18 months to six years in prison. Two sets of circumstances raise a situation from simple assault to aggravated assault. These occur when, under the influence of sudden passion or in a fit of rage, an individual:
The most serious assault charges are referred to as felonious assault. Felonious assault is said to have occurred when an individual causes or attempts to cause serious harm to someone or to an unborn child, or when he or she causes or attempts to cause serious harm by use of a deadly weapon. The difference between aggravated assault and felonious assault is that the perpetrator of a felonious assault does not act in sudden rage.
Felonious assault is a second-degree felony, which is punishable by a minimum of two and a maximum of eight years in prison.
The Ohio sexual assault laws are addressed in a separate statute within the Ohio Revised Code, and individuals charged with this crime should immediately seek the assistance of an Ohio lawyer familiar with sexual offenses.
Find the best Ohio assault lawyers.
Possession of a Controlled Substance
In the Ohio Revised Code, a lengthy statute details the crime of possessing a controlled substance. In short, the law states that it is an offense to knowingly obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance in the State of Ohio. The rest of the criminal statute is focused on detailing the differing grades and degrees of this single crime.
The exact offense committed and potential punishment upon conviction for possession of a controlled substance depends on several factors, including how much of the drug the individual had in his or her possession, which controlled substance the individual possessed, where the individual was arrested, and whether the individual had a record that included prior drug convictions. Based on consideration of these circumstances, possession of a controlled substance can be charged as anything from a minor misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.
In Ohio, every controlled substance is categorized on a schedule. The most dangerous and addictive drugs – including narcotics and opioids – are Schedule 1 drugs, while less dangerous substances – such as the stimulant called ephedrine – are ranked as Schedule V drugs. For the most part, the technical names of these drugs are unknown to the general public, who recognizes these drugs by their street names. However, Ohio attorneys who handle drug defense can recognize the position of controlled substances on the Ohio schedules in an instant.
Penalties for possession of a controlled substance are as broad as the potential charges themselves. Consider the charges for heroin. If an individual has one to five grams of heroin, he or she will be charged with a fifth-degree felony which is punishable by six to 12 months in jail. Alternatively, an individual convicted of possession of 50 to 250 grams of heroin, a second-degree felony, will be sentenced to two to eight years in prison, while possession of more than 250 grams is a first-degree felony, punishable by three to eleven years in prison.
Recent years have seen a push to lessen the punishment for those found to be in possession of marijuana, and these efforts have resulted in significant decreases in both the severity of marijuana possession charges and the potential sentences that accompany those charges. Currently, possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana is still considered a minor misdemeanor, which is punishable only by a fine. That means the minor offense of marijuana possession in Ohio is now a non-jailable offense.
Find out more about possession from an Ohio criminal defense attorney.
At the onset of this description, it is essential to understand that the terms homicide and murder are not synonymous. Homicide is the killing of one human being by another, while, under Ohio law, a charge of murder requires that the killing of another person to have been intentional. Within the murder laws of the state, the issue of intent on the part of the actor is extremely important because it is the differentiating factor between being charged with the most severe and heinous crime in the state and a lesser crime.
Given that Ohio still sentences egregious murderers to the death penalty, mitigating – or lessening – circumstances surrounding a murder charge is essential.
Murder itself is divided into two degrees under Ohio law. Murder in the second degree is the less serious of those offenses. This charge is levied when an individual commits a murder that is intentional and not committed in the heat of passion. This is the way Ohio law defines voluntary manslaughter and it means that the murder was not planned or premeditated. Certain instances of felony murder – a killing that occurs during the commission of or flight from a separate felony – can also be classified as a second-degree murder.
First-degree murder – the more serious murder charge – is an intentional and unjustified murder that is particularly egregious due to certain circumstances. It is also called aggravated murder in Ohio. An aggravated murder charge is applicable when the individual:
This is the harshest crime that one can commit in Ohio, and it is punishable on that basis. However, murder sentences in Ohio are not always straightforward. First of all, the prosecutor has the discretion to seek the death penalty in the event of a conviction but is not required to do so.
Second, in Ohio, a conviction for murder is subject to its own, specified penalties and punishments which are set forth in a dedicated section of the Ohio Revised Code that simply covers murder convictions. The reason for separating these punishments from all others is based on the severity of murder itself and the inability to punish murderers appropriately under the limitations of the Ohio sentencing schedule which mandates a maximum prison term of 11 years.
While a conviction for second-degree murder will incur a sentence that may extend up to life in prison, first-degree murder is a capital crime. In Ohio, aggravated murders are still sentenced to the death penalty.
Find criminal lawyers in Ohio who handle defense to murder charges.
The lawyers who comprise the Criminal Lawyer are prepared to defend a variety of crimes in Ohio. Our experience is not limited to the most commonly charged crimes in the state and extends to the defense of federal crimes and appellate level defense. Whether you are seeking a lawyer to defend you against such serious charges as murder or based on a less severe misdemeanor such as possession of a controlled substance, we can help.
Importance of Experienced Ohio Criminal Attorneys
Whether your goal is winning a not guilty verdict in court or negotiating a plea bargain, you want an experienced attorney on your side. The prosecution has extensive knowledge of Ohio criminal law and procedure, while defendants are most often unfamiliar with information beyond the basics of their own criminal charges. This fact leaves defendants at a significant disadvantage, but that can be balanced by hiring a competent defense lawyer.
Often, the best criminal defense attorney in Ohio is the local lawyer who has amassed a wealth of prior experience in representing cases substantially similar to yours. This lawyer is often able to offer advice and adapt the appropriate defense strategies for you, based on his or her extensive knowledge and familiarity with criminal law in Ohio. This experience makes an immense difference in the potential outcome of your case.
If you are looking for a criminal attorney in Ohio, but don’t know where to turn to find the right defense lawyer, turn to the Criminal Lawyer.
[Disclaimer – this is not legal advice.]
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