Anyone who finds themselves on the wrong side of the law is likely to feel a little nervous about what comes next. You might have been caught stealing, fighting in public, or found with drugs or drug paraphernalia.
After being charged with a misdemeanor, there can be a long process to follow that might be unnerving and scary to manage on your own. Fortunately, you don’t need to navigate the legal system by yourself. Reach out to an Ohio defense attorney for help, and ask them some of the following questions.
What Are the Likely Sentences for a Misdemeanor?
The average misdemeanor defense attorney gets asked about likely sentences for misdemeanor crimes quite a lot. The answer can differ state by state, but in Ohio, a fine and jail time can depend on the crime and circumstances surrounding it.
A first-degree offense, such as drug possession, may come with a prison term of 180 days in county jail and a $1,000 fine. Second-degree convictions, like obstructing official business, may require a $750 fine and 90 days in jail.
Third-degree convictions can result in 60 days in jail with a $500 fine, while fourth-degree convictions can result in 30 days and a $250 fine. If you receive a minor misdemeanor conviction, you may not need to do jail time and can receive a fine of up to $150. All of these misdemeanors may go on your criminal record.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Misdemeanor Charge?
You may think that a misdemeanor is so minor that you can fight or handle the charges on your own. However, hiring an Ohio lawyer may be in your best interest. Misdemeanors are still crimes, and you will have a criminal record if you plead guilty or no contest and are found guilty at trial. Lawyers understand how the legal system works and can form a powerful defense to achieve the best possible outcome with the least amount of stress.
Have You Handled Cases Like Mine?
When you’re looking at several hundred dollars in fines and possible jail time, it’s only natural to question whether your chosen lawyer has handled cases like yours. With this information, you can decide whether they have the expertise and experience necessary to support you through the legal process.
What Strategy Would You Use?
Every person’s case is different, which means that different strategies can be used to achieve a desirable outcome. After reviewing your case for drugs, assault, or something else, your lawyer may have an idea of how they would handle your case and potential strategies for the best outcome.
How Long Will It Take?
No attorney can be fully certain of how long your case will take. However, they can review the facts of your situation and crime to estimate a timeframe based on the strategy they’ll use in court. This information may not be entirely accurate but may allow you to make plans for your current situation, such as saving money for legal fees.
Navigating the legal system for a misdemeanor can be daunting, especially if you don’t have an attorney by your side. Now might be the right time to contact an Ohio lawyer and ask them some of these questions above.