Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Criminal Defense

If you are arrested for any crime in Cleveland, it’s natural to have lots of important legal questions about your situation that you will not be able to answer on your own. Many people placed under arrest are not fully aware of their rights or know what to do in this situation, and many make serious mistakes that negatively impact the outcomes of their cases. If you have been arrested, you need to speak with a Cleveland criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible.

Northeast Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

Criminal charges can result in serious and lifelong consequences, putting your freedom and future at risk. Accordingly, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney like Matthew C. Bangerter, ESQ. in order to learn your legal options and to protect your legal rights.

It’s not hard for the criminal defense system in Northeast Ohio to become confusing, and with so much on the line, you deserve to work with someone you can trust to represent you well. Any charge you face, big or small, causes stress to you, your friends and your family, but it’s important to know that you don’t have to go through this alone. Choose to work with an attorney who will fight for your rights. Matthew Bangerter is a respected and experienced attorney in Northeast Ohio, and he is dedicated to helping clients receive fair and just trials.

Matthew Bangerter has handled hundreds of serious cases in Ohio and understands forensic evidence. This knowledge, along with key experience in law and procedure, helps him understand cases and present the best possible defense.

Forensic evidence is incredibly important in criminal cases, and Matthew Bangerter’s scientific background gives him an edge when evaluating forensic evidence involved in a criminal case. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology and studied molecular genetics and computer science in graduate school. He is one of very few criminal defense attorneys who has actually cloned his own DNA in a lab, so he is well-versed in the scientific evidence involved in various criminals cases.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio, Matthew Bangerter has experience on both sides of the courtroom. He is also a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Matthew Bangerter takes his profession as a Northeast Ohio criminal defense lawyer seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

Get The Legal Help You Need From An Experienced Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer

As a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, Matthew Bangerter understands the importance of a close examination of the evidence and circumstances surrounding your charge. He will closely examine the circumstances surrounding your charges to determine whether everything was handled in the correct manner.

Do not make the mistake of assuming you can represent yourself or explain your side of a complex situation and avoid conviction. You have the constitutional right to legal counsel when you are arrested for any crime, and it is vital that you take full advantage of this right. As soon as you are placed under arrest, anything you say to the police could be used against you, so it is vital to remain silent until you can speak with an experienced defense attorney.

A Cleveland criminal defense lawyer can immediately begin reviewing the circumstances of your arrest and booking to ensure that the police followed all required procedures and respected your rights. They can examine the evidence placed against you, help you prove an alibi if you have been wrongfully accused, or assist you in building the strongest possible defense in their efforts to help you avoid conviction or, if necessary, mitigate the penalties you face in sentencing.

Types of Criminal Cases We Handle

When you are searching for a Cleveland criminal defense lawyer to represent you, it is vital to assess not only a potential attorney’s overall experience with criminal law but also their proven track record of successfully handling cases similar to yours. While every case is unique, it is still crucial to work with an attorney who has represented clients who have faced charges similar to those you currently face. Our firm has successfully defended clients charged with:

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, which is one of the most common criminal offenses in the Cleveland area. Police must follow specific rules for conducting traffic stops for suspected DUI and confirming a suspect’s intoxication. Penalties for DUI conviction can include fines, jail time, driver’s license suspension, and additional penalties assigned at the discretion of the court.
  • Drug offenses. Possession, possession with intent to sell, and trafficking are just a few of the different types of drug offenses you could face if you have been arrested while in possession of a controlled substance. The penalties for drug-related offenses typically vary based on the type and quantity of the drug.
  • Assault and crimes of violence. Attempting or threatening to harm another person while possessing the means to make good on the threat qualifies as assault, while actually making physical contact constitutes battery. Penalties for assault crimes typically depend on the severity of the damage done to the victim and whether the defendant used any type of weapon in the incident.
  • Sex crimes. Any type of sexual misconduct can potentially lead to severe penalties in Cleveland. State prosecutors tend to pursue convictions in these cases very aggressively, and the penalties for conviction can include heavy fines, restitution to the victim, incarceration, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. This status can negatively impact the defendant’s life in many ways for years to come.
  • Federal crimes. If you have been arrested by any federal law enforcement agency, your case will unfold in the federal criminal court system rather than state criminal court. This type of case will typically involve very serious charges, and the defendant could be incarcerated in federal prison if they are found guilty. It is essential to find a defense lawyer who has proven experience with federal criminal court procedures.

It is possible for a defendant to face multiple charges depending on the circumstances of their arrest and whether any law enforcement agencies have built a case before moving to arrest the defendant. The defendant could face a wide range of penalties, and some offenses may be tried as misdemeanors or felonies based on the severity of the offenses. Ultimately, no matter what charges you face, you need trustworthy defense counsel on your side.

Know Your Rights

Every American citizen has the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent once they are placed under arrest. Do not assume that remaining silent will be interpreted as an admission of guilt, even if you know you have done nothing wrong. Once you are informed that you are being arrested, remain silent and comply with the arresting officers’ instructions. Do not answer any questions, sign any statements, or attempt to explain your side of the situation.

You also have the Sixth Amendment right to legal counsel. Do not underestimate the value of having an experienced defense attorney on your side as your case unfolds. Your Cleveland criminal defense lawyer will have the experience necessary to identify the defenses that might be available to you that you may have overlooked on your own. It’s vital to secure defense counsel as quickly as possible after an arrest.

Your attorney will be able to identify whether the arresting officers violated your constitutional rights or if they breached the rules of due process. For example, your case may be dismissed on procedural grounds if the police lacked probable cause to conduct your arrest in the first place, if they did not read your Miranda rights, or if other serious procedural missteps occurred.

What to Expect From Your Defense Attorney

In every criminal case, the prosecution attempts to prove a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and it is the defense attorney’s mission to prevent them from meeting this burden of proof and/or proving their client’s innocence. Your Cleveland criminal defense lawyer can attack the prosecutor’s evidence, present contradictory evidence that supports your side of the case, and highlight procedural mistakes made by the police and prosecution.

If you did break the law, your situation is not entirely hopeless. A good defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution under certain conditions. For example, the prosecutor may agree to a lighter penalty, suspended sentence, or even reduced charges in exchange for your guilty plea. Your attorney can advise you as to whether this type of arrangement would suit your interests.

The Fortress Law Group has years of experience representing defendants in all types of cases, and we are ready to leverage this experience for you in your impending case. It is vital that you reach out to our team as quickly as possible after an arrest for any crime so we can allocate maximum time and attention to building your defense. Our goal is to help you approach your case with confidence and reach the optimal outcome of the difficult proceedings ahead.


Q: What Defenses Can I Use in My Criminal Case?

A: The defenses you can use in your criminal case will depend on the nature of the charges against you. For example, if you were charged with assault but acted in self-defense, you would need to prove that you were only trying to defend yourself. If you are charged with DUI but were not intoxicated, your most viable defenses may be proving that the arrest was unlawful or that your chemical test was not performed correctly.

Q: What Is the Standard of Proof in a Criminal Case?

Q: When Should I Contact a Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Q: What Should I Do if I Have Been Wrongfully Arrested?

Q: What Will It Cost to Hire a Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Discussing criminal allegations can be difficult, but Matthew Bangerter handles every consultation and case without judgment. If you are facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate, contact Matthew Bangerter for a consultation today or call (440) 306-3205 to start planning your defense.