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Criminal Law

Criminal Law

Facing a criminal charge is a complicated situation to be in. It can be intimidating and overwhelming for anyone. There is no need to face it alone. As a former prosecutor, I have an intimate understanding of the criminal justice system. I will be there to guide you through every step of the process and vigorously defend your interests and rights. My job is not to pass judgment on you. It is to listen, to recognize your desires and objectives for the case, and then to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

Adult Felony and Misdemeanor Offenses
There are two general classifications of criminal offenses, felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the more serious classification and are handled in the Court of Common Pleas. The potential punishments depend upon the level of the felony, with a fifth degree felony receiving up to twelve months in prison and a first degree felony receiving three to ten years in prison. Misdemeanors are handled by municipal courts, county courts, and mayor's courts. Punishments range from a fine of up to $150 for a minor misdemeanor to a sentence of up to 180 days in a local jail for a first degree misdemeanor.

For all crimes, you are guaranteed numerous rights by the U.S. Constitution, the Ohio Constitution, and various laws passed by the Ohio Legislature. Not all of these rights are commonly known and understood. Having an experienced, knowledgeable attorney is the surest way to ensure your rights are protected.

While most cases are resolved prior to trial, everyone has the right to demand one. At trial burden is on the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crimes you are charged with. You need an experienced trial attorney to vigorously present your side to the judge or jury. Your attorney is your voice during a trial. With my experience from thousands of cases and nearly a hundred trials, you can be confident you will receive the best defense possible.

Juvenile Law
A juvenile is a person under the age of 18. In certain situations involving more serious crimes, it is possible that a juvenile can be charged as an adult. But, most juvenile cases are handled by the Juvenile Court. There are significant differences between juvenile and adult cases, including both the punishments for the crimes and the rights of the accused. Having been a prosecutor in a juvenile court, I have the knowledge and experience to provide the best possible defense.

OVI / DUI
Commonly referred to as DUI, the crime of drinking and driving in Ohio is labeled “operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol (OVI). The OVI statute is perhaps the most complex criminal statute in Ohio. For every two words in the laws about homicide, there are 100 words in the OVI statute. Being charged with driving under the influence is a serious matter that has long-term effects on your life. The minimum punishment for a first time offender is three days in jail. Punishments increase for repeat offenders and prior convictions are considered for up to twenty years and can ultimately result a prison term measured in years. You need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to protect your rights and guide you through this complicated process.

Traffic Offenses
Some traffic offenses are minor matters, like a speeding ticket, and can only result in a fine. Others, like leaving the scene of an accident, can result in up to 180 days in jail. But all traffic offenses can ultimately lead to the suspension of your license. In today’s society, driving is a necessity. If you lose your license, your ability to lead an independent life is severely curtailed. Let me work to protect your license, minimize any suspension, and secure driving privileges so that you can continue to work or go to school.

Appeals
Generally, a person convicted of a criminal, juvenile, or traffic offense has the right to appeal their conviction. The timeframe to file your notice of appeal is only thirty (30) days. If you are going to appeal, you need to make that decision quickly. After that, it becomes a lengthy and drawn out process that takes many months to complete. Navigating this complicated process and achieving a successful appeal can rest on having a skilled and knowledgeable attorney handling your appeal.

In addition to a traditional appeal, there is what is called a motion for post-conviction relief. This is an avenue to challenge a conviction after the time for an appeal has passed. It is, however, much more limited as to what can be challenged. For example, any issue that could have been challenged on a direct appeal cannot be raised in a motion for post-conviction relief. Generally, there needs to be new evidence unavailable at trial or a new constitutional ruling that would have changed the outcome of the trial.

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