The criminal justice system is complicated. Therefore, it is no surprise that we hear many questions during our free initial consultations. At Arenstein & Gallagher, we believe that it is important to always answer or discuss any legal matter you feel is important to your case. In that spirit, we have included some answers here that may help you to better understand your legal issue.
Why should I hire an attorney?
It may be more expensive to fight a minor charge, but the cumulative effect of multiple offenses over time leads to greater and greater penalties. Therefore, it is always best to reduce a charge or get it dismissed. In addition, the justice system provides public defenders; however, their caseloads are extremely high, which makes it hard to provide an adequate defense. Public defenders are also assigned, which means you do not get to pick your attorney.
What are some of the biggest mistakes to avoid if I face criminal charges?
Be polite to the authorities, but do not volunteer any information that could be considered incriminating. Similarly, do not post any pictures or messages online that could later be used against you by the prosecution.
What is the difference between probation and parole?
Probation is a type of sentence where you are allowed to stay in your community under certain conditions, such has holding a job, not associating with certain people or reporting to a probation officer. Parole is the supervised release of an individual after their sentence in prison has been completed.
What is a white collar crime?
This term generally refers to business or financial charges that fall under fraud. Examples include internet crimes, insider trading, tax evasion, theft from employer or identity theft. There is no physical injury or threat of physical injury.
Am I guaranteed a trial before a jury?
Yes, if the charges amount to a jail sentence that is longer than six months. Usually this is a felony charge.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge?
A felony is the more substantial of the two, with a minimum sentence of six months under state rules and one year under federal jurisdiction.
Can I appeal the decision made by a judge?
An appeal can be heard before the Ohio Courts of Appeal and then the Ohio Supreme Court. Federal cases go through the federal legal system — we have won cases before the federal appellate courts. We are also skilled in habeas corpus matters, which is a specialized area of appeals tied specifically to criminal law. Our firm also practices post-conviction litigation if there is new evidence, the results were unsatisfactory, trial counsel was ineffective, there was prosecutor misconduct or another issue came to light.
My child was arrested and charged as a minor. Will that criminal record stay with them into adulthood?
It depends on the charges. Juvenile courts have their own set of rules, but sometimes charges do carry over. The child can also be tried as an adult.
How much are your fees?
Our fees depend on the case. Factors include the charges, the potential length of the trial, and other details unique to your case.
Do Not See The Answer To Your Question?
It is important to remember that laws are living documents that change over time. The most up-to-date information comes from speaking with a lawyer about your legal issue. Contact our office in Cincinnati to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation with a lawyer. Call 513-823-3012 or use our Contact page to reach us.