Cleveland Felony Defense Lawyer

Home /  Cleveland Felony Defense Lawyer

Practice Areas


Cleveland Felony Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested for a felony crime in Cleveland, it is natural to worry about the potential penalties you could face if you are convicted. Any criminal record can interfere with your life in many ways, especially a felony conviction. If you are charged with any type of felony offense, it is crucial that you consult a Cleveland felony defense lawyer and secure reliable representation as quickly as possible after your arrest.

Cleveland Felony Defense Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

Felony criminal charges can have serious and long-lasting consequences. Felony convictions result in prison time — ranging from one year to life — and hefty fines, so felony charges should not be taken lightly. Felony charges can also cause significant damage to your reputation even if you are not convicted, and a felony conviction can affect your ability to obtain a loan, vote, or get a job. Cleveland felony defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. understands that your life is on the line when you are facing felony charges, and he will work to defend your reputation and your freedom.

Ohio Penalties For Felony Convictions

In Ohio, a felony conviction carries a prison sentence of at least one year. Cleveland felony attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. is a knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney who focuses on representing clients facing allegations of Ohio or federal felony charges, such as:

  • Homicide: This term refers to the killing of another person. Murder is the intentional killing of a victim, while manslaughter generally refers to unintentional killings. If you are charged with any type of homicide, your charge will likely qualify as a felony. Penalties for homicide will depend on the severity of the offense and whether the killing was premeditated.
  • White collar crimes. These are nonviolent financial crimes that can potentially harm many victims. Embezzlement, money laundering, corporate espionage, intellectual property theft, and various types of fraud all fall within the definition of white collar crime. Penalties for these offenses can include jail time, heavy fines, and restitution paid to victims of the defendant’s actions.
  • Drug cases. It is possible for a drug-related offense to qualify as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the specific details of the case. Generally, the type of drug and the quantity involved in the case will dictate whether the defendant faces a misdemeanor or felony conviction.
  • Sex crimes. Crimes of a sexual nature are considered particularly heinous by prosecutors and the public, and prosecutors handling these cases tend to pursue convictions aggressively. If you are convicted of any felony sex crime, you are likely to face a long jail sentence along with fines and mandatory registration as a sex offender, possibly for life.
  • Violent crimes. Violent offenses such as assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon, and domestic violence can easily qualify as felonies when defendants have caused actual harm to their victims. It is possible for this type of offense to escalate to attempted murder if the facts show that the defendant willfully attempted to cause fatal harm to the victim.

These are only a few examples of the types of felony cases our firm can represent for clients in Cleveland. We know that if you have been charged with any felony, you are likely to have many difficult questions that you cannot answer on your own, and you will need an experienced attorney’s help to make sense of your situation and build your defense. A Cleveland felony defense lawyer is the ideal asset to have on your side in this situation.

Importance of Forensic Evidence in Felony Cases

Matthew Bangerter is a highly trained and experienced Cleveland felony attorney, so he understands the importance of forensic evidence to criminal cases, especially felony cases. His background gives him an edge when evaluating the forensic evidence involved in a felony case. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology and studied molecular genetics and computer science in graduate school, so he is well-versed in the scientific evidence involved in felony cases.

As a well-connected Cleveland felony attorney, Bangerter also collaborates with highly knowledgeable experts in forensic science, firearms, toxicology, handwriting, computers, accounting, insurance operations, computer technology, and any other applicable disciplines. He carefully analyzes and considers the facts of the case in light of the law and applicable legal theories in order to develop the appropriate legal strategy, while always striving to protect your constitutional rights.

One of the most important functions your Cleveland, OH felony defense lawyer can perform in your case is attacking the prosecution’s evidence. In every criminal case, the prosecution faces the burden of proof, meaning they must prove that the defendant is guilty. The standard of proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt, one of the highest standards of proof in the legal system. This is hard for the prosecution to meet without extensive evidence and witness testimony.

It is your defense lawyer’s job to prevent the prosecution from meeting their burden of proof and to ensure your rights are respected throughout all of your court proceedings. If the police or prosecution violate your constitutional rights, violate the rules of due process, break chain of custody rules with the evidence they present, or otherwise mishandle your case, your attorney is sure to leverage these facts on your behalf in building your defense.

Know Your Rights After Arrest

When the police arrest you for any criminal offense in Cleveland, they are required to read your Miranda rights. This is a formal statement reminding you of the constitutional rights that apply in this situation, and it is very important to know and understand these rights. If the arresting officer does not read you your rights, it is a serious violation that can work in your favor when it comes to building your defense.

The Fifth Amendment ensures your right to remain silent upon arrest. No matter what the arresting officers may claim to the contrary, you are not required to answer questions or sign any statements after arrest and booking. Politely comply with their instructions and do not say anything until you can make your phone calls. The Sixth Amendment ensures that you have the right to legal counsel when you are charged with any crime.

You should notify your family of your arrest and then contact an experienced Cleveland felony defense lawyer as quickly as possible. When you choose the Fortress Law Group to defend you, we will quickly respond to your request for representation and begin our examination of the conditions of your arrest. We can help determine the optimal steps to take toward building your defense.

What to Expect From a Cleveland Felony Defense Lawyer

The Fortress Law Group has successfully defended many past clients in a wide range of complex criminal cases, and we are ready to put this experience to work for you in your impending case. Taking full advantage of your right to defense representation is one of the most important steps you will need to take in building a cohesive defense against the charges filed by the prosecution.

Trust our team to closely examine the circumstances of your arrest and booking. If any violation of your rights occurred, or if the police violated the rules of due process, we will be sure to bring these issues to the court’s attention immediately. If the police or prosecution violate the chain of custody rules for the evidence stacked against you, we can call this into question as well.

Ultimately, no defense attorney can ever promise their client a specific result to their case, even in the most seemingly straightforward criminal cases. However, our firm can promise close attention to detail, responsive communication, and unwavering focus on helping you reach the optimal outcome to your impending felony case in Cleveland.

Expungement And Appeals

If you have been improperly convicted of a state or federal felony, Bangerter can work to launch an appeal of your conviction. If this is your first offense, he can help you seek to have the case expunged, which essentially has the effect of removing the felony conviction from your record. Bear in mind that expungement is only possible for certain offenses under very strict conditions, and this will not be an option for everyone who has been convicted of a crime.

An appeal presents a lower court’s judgment before a higher court with a request for the higher court to determine whether the lower court made a mistake. Filing an appeal is a very long and difficult process, and it is very rare for a higher court to overturn a decision from a lower court. However, if any procedural errors occurred or if the lower court indeed made a mistake of any kind, these issues could work in your favor.

Cleveland Felony Defense FAQs

Q: Is Jail Time Mandatory for a Felony?

A: Jail time is mandatory for many felony offenses in the state. State law enforces mandatory minimum incarceration sentences for many serious felonies, generally those that involve harm to a victim, such as aggravated murder, sexual assault of a minor, and felony-level drug trafficking. In these cases, it may not be possible for a defendant to avoid an incarceration term as an element of their sentence.

Q: Can You Get Probation for a Felony?

Q: What Is the First Time Offender Diversion Program?

Q: Why Should I Hire a Cleveland Felony Defense Lawyer?

Q: How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Cleveland Felony Defense Lawyer?

Contact our Cleveland Felony Defense Attorney Today

If you have been charged with a crime, Cleveland felony defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. can help. Click here for an initial consultation. Call (440) 472-1630 or visit our office 4124 Erie Street Willoughby, OH 44094 to start planning your defense.