Serving North East
Ohio since 1974
No Recovery. No Fees.
DUI / OVI & Criminal FAQs:
What is a misdemeanor traffic or criminal offense in Ohio?
In Ohio, there are generally five degrees or levels of misdemeanor offenses, ranging from first degree or level one (the most serious) misdemeanors through fourth degree or level four misdemeanors, and minor misdemeanors (the least serious). The potential penalty for a misdemeanor
offense depends upon the degree or level of the particular
misdemeanor, and usually ranges from a fine only up to a year
in jail and/or a fine. Some convictions for certain
misdemeanor offenses require mandatory and/or
minimum sentences and/or license suspensions.
In addition to, or as an alternative to,
typical sentencing for a misdemeanor
offense, the Court may also
impose probation, community
service, or treatment/counseling programs.
Should I discuss the facts of my case with anyone other than my lawyer?
No, for the same reasons discussed above. Most matters that you discuss with your lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege. Discussions that you have with anyone else may not be protected and may be used against you in your case.
What can I expect at my arraignment?
Misdemeanor arraignments are conducted in open court. The Court will either read the complaint to you or state the substance of the charge(s) against you. The Court will inform you of certain rights that you have, potential penalties that you face, and various pleas that you can enter. The Court must also determine that you know and understand those rights, potential penalties, and pleas. If there are several other defendants to be arraigned at the same time as you, the Court may address you and the other defendants as a group in explaining those rights. Many courts will play a pre-recorded explanation of those rights when there are multiple defendants being arraigned. If you are in jail at the time of your arraignment, the Court may conduct your arraignment via video, rather than having you appear in person. Eventually, the Court will ask you how you plead. Until you have had a chance to speak with a lawyer who can explain to you the possible consequences of entering a “guilty” or “no contest” plea, it is suggested that you consider entering a “not guilty” plea at the arraignment.
If I have been charged with and/or arrested for a misdemeanor offense, should I represent myself?
Usually, the answer is “No” . There's an old adage that goes something like the following; “He who chooses to represent himself has a fool for a client.” While we don't mean to offend anyone by reciting that old saying, there is usually some truth to it. It's just common sense that most defendants are better protected and the judicial process runs more smoothly when they are represented by competent legal counsel who is familiar with the courts and prosecutors, and as well, competent representation who are well-versed in the law and the rules of the particular court in which a defendant's case is pending.