FAQs About Criminal Defense in Ohio
Unfortunately, due to collective popular notions and misleading information surrounding the Ohio criminal court process, many uninformed defendants often end up in the worst possible situation. However, knowing what to expect can make your case feel more manageable and help you navigate the criminal court process seamlessly. To help you, let us answer these and other frequently asked questions about criminal charges in The Buckeye State.
Q: What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
A: A misdemeanor is a criminal charge in Ohio that comprises non-violent or less serious crimes compared to a felony. Conversely, a felony is the most serious type of criminal charge in Ohio. Felonies are usually punished severely. At times, a felony charge may result in imprisonment without eligibility for parole.
Q: Can a warrant be removed?
A: When there is a warrant for your arrest, your possible options include waiting for the police to arrest you, turning yourself in, or retaining an attorney. Your attorney can petition a motion with the Ohio court to have the warrant set aside.
Q: The police didn't read me my rights when I was arrested. Can the charges against me be dropped?
A: Unfortunately, resolving criminal charges is rarely that simple. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to have certain evidence against you thrown out or explore other options to improve your situation and pursue a positive resolution.
Q: I just want this to go away. Should I accept a plea deal?
A: While it may be tempting to plead guilty to a lesser offense for a swift resolution, do not accept any deal without speaking to a lawyer first. It is essential that you understand all the implications of the deal and what it could mean for your future. In addition, working with an attorney can result in a much better deal from the prosecution.
Q: Do I need to hire an attorney if I plan on pleading guilty?
A: Entering a guilty plea automatically waives your right to a jury trial. Even if there's evidence against you or you believe that you're guilty of the allegations, you should still retain a skilled criminal defense attorney to uphold your rights, help fight your charges, and help you avoid the worst possible scenario.
Q: What if I can't afford a lawyer?
A: Criminal charges carry severe consequences that can take you away from your life, your job, and your loved ones. With such high stakes, defendants should always retain a lawyer they trust. Our fees are competitive when compared to other experienced criminal defense firms in the Columbus area. We are committed to providing a high level of service and effective representation to provide value to our clients.
Q: What can I expect when I first meet with my attorney?
A: We can meet with you for a free initial consultation at our office in Columbus, just south of The Ohio State University. We can also meet with you over the phone or at the jail where you are being held. We will explain the potential consequences of the charges you are facing, what to expect during your case, and how we recommend moving forward. When we are done, you will have a plan for how to proceed.
Q: Will my case go to trial?
A: Going to trial depends on whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If your case involves a misdemeanor or felony offense and a plea agreement isn't reached, your case will proceed to trial. In Ohio, a criminal court trial may be a bench trial or a jury trial.
Q: When can I appeal my case?
A: In most cases, a direct appeal must be filed within 30 days of sentencing. There are certain times when a court may grant leave to file an appeal after this deadline, but they are limited. Ideally, you should speak with an appellate attorney before sentencing, but if that is not possible, you should definitely do so as soon as possible after sentencing.
Q: Can I appeal my case after pleading guilty?
A: While you may be able to appeal certain limited aspects of your sentence, in most cases, a guilty plea waives all rights to appeal, which is why it is especially important that you consult with an attorney prior to entering a guilty plea.
Experienced Guidance You Can Trust
The immediate and long-term consequences of a criminal conviction can be devastating. In fact, it can jeopardize your quality of life, liberty, personal and professional reputation, eligibility for government assistance, and other future opportunities. Therefore, when facing criminal charges, retaining a highly-skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney is crucial for proper guidance and to help build your defense.
The team at Wolfe Law Group, LLC has the resources and knowledge to represent and defend individuals facing criminal accusations. As your legal counsel, Attorney Stephen Wolfe will help you navigate the Ohio justice system, fight aggressively to uphold your rights and make sure those allegations don't ruin your life.