Criminal Defense

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What should I do during my arrest?

Use your right to remain silent and your right to an Ohio criminal defense attorney judiciously during an arrest. Police making an arrest must read you your Miranda rights, which are your rights as a detainee in an investigation. Named for the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona, arresting officers must Mirandize any suspects taken into custody under arrest.

You must only give an officer your legal name for identification if asked. Otherwise, assume that the police are gathering any additional information they can use against you in court.

What rights do I have when being investigated for criminal charges?

Criminal charges range from minor misdemeanors to severe felonies. Your full rights when under investigation for a crime include the following:

  • Your Miranda rights (right to remain silent, right to an Ohio criminal attorney)
  • Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right to a fair and speedy trial by jury
  • The right to confront an accuser in court

Will I spend time in jail?

Depending on the nature of the charges against you, if you qualify for bail, and if you can raise the funds to pay bail, you may have to wait in jail for trial. Defendants awaiting trial for lesser offenses may be able to return to their daily lives while they wait, but defendants charged with more serious offenses could wait for extended periods in jail without bail or bond.

What are some penalties I could face if convicted?

Penalties vary based on the offense.

Misdemeanors. The most minor convictions are fifth-degree misdemeanors. Convictions include a maximum fine of $150 and little to no jail time, depending on the offense. The top-level misdemeanor is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Penalties can include fines up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail.

Felonies. A fifth-degree felony carries six to 12 months in jail or prison, a fine of up to $2,500, and potential community service up to five years after serving time. First-degree felonies are the worst and can include prison time between three and 11 years, plus additional time for related offenses, repeat offenses, or aggravated murder. Convicts can also expect to pay up to $20,000 in fines.

What kind of cases does your firm handle?

When you need a criminal defense attorney in Ohio, turn to Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro. A criminal defense attorney like our founder, Matthew C. Bangerter, can help with your theft, fraud, sex offense, OVI, or gun crime case or appeal. Call (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.