Ohio has several laws prohibiting certain types of conduct. For example, causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person could result in an assault charge under Ohio Revised Code § 2903.13. The state (of a prosecutor working on the state’s behalf) will pursue criminal charges against you if you are alleged to have violated any of the laws. You have several rights allowing you to challenge the accusations against you and receive a fair trial.
Although you can handle your case yourself, having a criminal defense attorney assist can make the process more manageable. A lawyer can take care of the details of your case and ensure that your rights are protected. Additionally, they can help you understand your charge and your option for fighting it, giving you the information you need to make informed decisions about how to proceed.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Dayton, schedule a consultation with a member of our team at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC by calling (937) 685-7006 or submitting an online contact form today.
What It Means to Be Charged with a Crime
A criminal case begins when a person is alleged to have violated a law. A prosecutor makes a formal charge after reviewing the evidence law enforcement officials have gathered against the accused.
The formal accusation initiates the criminal justice process, which is designed to determine whether the accused actually committed a crime and, if so, what punishment is appropriate. The accused has the opportunity to defend themselves in court.
Your Right to Face Your Accuser and Have a Fair Trial
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution set forth the rights of the accused in criminal matters. Under the Fifth Amendment, all persons are entitled to due process of law and cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property without going through the proper legal channels.
The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to a fair trial, including the right to:
- Confront witnesses,
- Be present at trial,
- Cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses,
- Have a public trial, and
- Be represented by counsel.
In addition, the defendant has the right to know the nature of the charges against them.
These constitutional rights help to ensure you are treated fairly and not subject to unjust punishments.
What to Expect During the Legal Process
The legal process is complex. You may go through several hearings, encounter legal jargon, and must follow certain rules and laws.
When defending against charges, you may be scheduled for a trial where you and the prosecutor can present evidence before a judge or jury. The prosecutor will try to convince them of your guilt, and you can counter their arguments.
If the judge or jury is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the alleged offense, you could be found guilty and sentenced.
The potential penalties can include the following:
- Victim restitution,
- Loss of driver's license, and
- Other sanctions the court deems appropriate.
However, if you are found not guilty, you will be free to go.
The Benefits of Having a Lawyer Represent You
The United States Constitution recognizes and protects the rights of persons accused of crimes. Despite these protections, the criminal justice system is not perfect. Individuals might not fully understand their constitutional rights or law enforcement officials might overstep their boundaries.
While no one wants to find themselves in court, there are countless benefits to having an attorney represent you if you do. For starters, an attorney can discuss your legal options and give you the information you need to make confident choices. They can also help you understand what happens when accepting a plea or going to court.
A lawyer can make a substantial difference in a criminal case. They not only inform you of your rights but protect them. Your defense attorney can identify overreaches of authority and insist on ensuring you are treated fairly throughout the process. If any miscarriages of justice have occurred, your lawyer can file motions to exclude evidence from your case.
Most importantly, an attorney will give you the opportunity to share your side of the story. By getting a full picture of what happened, your lawyer can develop a defense strategy tailored for you.
An attorney can also pursue a favorable outcome – whether that be a dropped or reduced charge, lenient sentencing, or not guilty verdict.
Going through a challenging and emotional time like this is difficult enough. With legal counsel, the process is much easier to navigate. A lawyer can provide the support your need.
Schedule a Consultation with Our Firm
If you have been charged with a crime, contact an attorney as soon as possible. A criminal case can be complex and daunting, but having an experienced attorney can alleviate some of your burdens.
At L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC, we fight hard for our clients, delivering the legal representation they need. Speak with one of our Dayton lawyers by calling (937) 685-7006 or contacting us online.