Most criminal cases settle out of court. Defense attorneys file various motions to challenge the different types of investigative techniques or evidence that is obtained by law enforcement. Sometimes, that evidence is thrown out and sometimes it stays and we proceed to a trial. The majority of the time, cases settle through a plea agreement. That plea agreement is typically a mitigated sentence on behalf of the defendant. Less than 20% of cases in the criminal court system actually go to trial. However, your lawyer should always be prepared and willing to go to trial on your behalf if necessary.
How Does A Prior Arrest Or Conviction Impact My Current Criminal Case?
If you have been arrested previously and you were not convicted, that will not have a huge impact on your current case. If you have a prior conviction, that‘s another story. You need to get a defense attorney who knows how to navigate the system in your favor. Prior convictions tend to show that you haven’t learned from your previous mistakes, especially if you haven’t followed through on any of the sanctions that were placed against you. A prior conviction will play a role if your case goes to sentencing, so you need to be aware that any prior convictions may increase the penalties on your new case.
Are There Any Alternative Punishments To Jail That I Can Get Into?
There are a plethora of alternative punishments to jail or prison. In the majority of the cases that we handle, the individual does not go to jail or prison. Community service can be a factor in lower level misdemeanors. You may do some community service or you may be placed on probation. Probation is the most typical outcome for someone who doesn’t go to jail or prison. They are placed on probation for one to five years. During that time, you are on a probationary period where you have to obtain your GED if you don’t have a high school diploma. You have to gain employment or stay employed. You have to stay up to date with any court costs or fines you owe. You may have to perform community service or meet additional sanctions as part of your probation.
There are also other programs that the court has instituted to help people get treatment instead of punishment. In Ohio, courts have a program called Intervention in Lieu of Conviction, commonly called ILC. In certain statutory situations you are placed on strict probation and you are given ILC. If you follow all of the rules that you were given by the court, after one year your felony conviction will be wiped away, as if it never happened. Ohio also has certain charges that can carry diversion, meaning the court will put you into a program that helps place you on the right track, whether that is helping you secure a job, receive counseling or treatment, and provide you with a supportive social circle. If you get charged with a criminal offense in Ohio, don’t feel that you are going to jail or prison right away. There are several programs in place that can help you get back on track and avoid jail or prison.
What Should I Look For In Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney?
When you are looking to hire a criminal defense attorney, you need to sit down face to face with that attorney. You can’t just talk to their staff; you need to talk to the attorney who is actually working on your behalf. I think it’s a red flag if you call an office to hire a specific attorney and when you go in, you meet with someone else. I think you should also go to several attorneys to get their opinions and to get a feel for which one you are most comfortable with.
Fees are also a factor. If the cost is very high or very low compared to the other attorneys you’ve called, you should eliminate those options. If you are hiring an attorney who is charging a fee that seems too low, it’s probably too good to be true and you may be getting a less experienced attorney. If you are hiring an attorney who is charging you a fee that’s extremely high, there is a good chance that you might not even get to see that attorney and one of their less experienced attorneys will be handling your case. In our office, we only take about 25% of the cases that we are contacted about because we know that we only have so much time in which to create a one-on-one relationship with our clients.
For more information on your Criminal Case, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (937) 888-2909 today.