Facing Criminal charges in Cleveland?

Are you facing criminal charges or a criminal investigation in Cleveland, OH?

Do you need a good Cleveland criminal defense lawyer for your legal representation?

As an established criminal defense law firm in Cleveland, Ohio, we’ll fight to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your felony or misdemeanor case.

Our OH criminal defense lawyers will prepare your trial, negotiate with prosecutors for a plea agreement, or present your case to a judge and jury. If you need legal counsel to fight your criminal offense, contact The Botnick Law Firm for your criminal defense representation.


Cleveland criminal defense cases are serious, and the severity of the outcome of those charges depends on whether you’re being charged with a felony or misdemeanor.

Ohio criminal law classifies a misdemeanor as a criminal offense that can be punished by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.

The penalties for a misdemeanor will vary depending on the type of misdemeanor you’re facing:

  • Minor—$100 fine
  • Fourth-degree—$250 fine / 30 days in jail
  • Third-degree—$500 fine / 60 days in jail
  • Second-degree—$750 fine / 90 days in jail
  • First-degree—$1,000 fine / 180 days in jail

Felony convictions in the State of Ohio have more severe consequences than misdemeanor convictions, with the following punishments:

  • Fifth-degree—$2,500 fine / 6-12 months in prison
  • Fourth-degree—$5,000 fine / 18 months in prison
  • Third-degree—$10,000 fine / 9 months-5 years in prison
  • Second-degree—$15,000 fine / 2-8 years in prison
  • First-degree—$20,000 fine / 3-11 years in prison

Murder and aggravated murder charges carry extreme sentences of 15 years to life and life with the possibility of parole.

Depending on the crime you commit, you’ll also face various collateral consequences, and you’ll need an attorney. Don’t wait. Schedule a free consultation.

In some cases, your criminal conviction will prevent you from voting. In other cases, you may be barred from practicing your profession or owning a gun. You may even face deportation if you’re not a U.S. citizen.

The charges will go on your permanent record, making it difficult to get a job, see your children, receive security clearances, or qualify for federal aid. It can also raise your insurance rates or, in certain instances, require you to register as a sex offender.

That’s why you must find the right criminal defense lawyer in Cleveland, OH, to help you protect your legal rights. Whether you’re facing drug crimes, sex crimes, or other criminal charges, turn to the Botnick Law Firm for help from a Cleveland defense attorney. We will discuss the way forward in a free consultation.

Top-Rated Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney

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Let us connect you with the very best Cleveland criminal defense attorney for your case. Our team of Cleveland criminal defense lawyers knows how to navigate Ohio’s legal system to ensure that your constitutional rights are upheld.

You don’t have to—nor do you want to—take on a criminal charge without an attorney by your side. Don’t plead guilty to your criminal offenses without first talking to a knowledgeable Cleveland criminal defense attorney, especially one who is a former prosecutor.

A criminal defense lawyer can help you with a wide range of criminal cases and practice areas, including but not limited to the following:

  • Traffic offenses. Traffic offenses, such as DUI/OVI, reckless driving, or a hit-and-run, are some of the most common criminal charges in Ohio. While these offenses may seem minor, they can have severe consequences if convicted, including fines, jail time, and loss of your driver’s license.
  • Property crimes. Property crimes involve property and may include burglary, theft, arson, or vandalism charges.
  • Violence. A violent crime can be severe and may include charges such as homicide, aggravated assault, battery, domestic violence, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and aggravated battery.
  • Weapon charges. A weapons charge may include a variety of deadly weapons, including handguns, knives, or other objects that might be lethal.

We are criminal defense lawyers with the experience juveniles and adults need when facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Cleveland or throughout the State of Ohio. You can rely on us for your legal issues.

Your case deserves the legal representation of a Cleveland criminal defense attorney that will use the law to protect your rights. We’ll develop a defense strategy that offers the best chances of having criminal charges dismissed, lowered, or changed to a lesser charge.

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer


A criminal defense attorney will tell you that your criminal charges are severe but only tell a small part of the story. As a top-rated criminal defense team, we’ll use your case’s details to determine your best course of action.

A few of the defense arguments our Cleveland criminal law attorneys employ are:

  • Entrapment. The enticement, persuasion, or coercion of someone to commit a crime they wouldn’t typically commit.
  • Mistake of Fact. A mistake, misunderstanding, or misperception of a situation that would render the defendant innocent.
  • Mistake of Law. The defendant’s understanding of the law differed from what the law stated.
    Involuntary Intoxication. The defendant may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol due to the actions of someone else when the crime was committed.
  • Coercion. The defendant was forced to commit the crime through direct threats or manipulation of the defendant’s emotions.
  • Insufficient Evidence. The evidence presented to the court is not enough to prove the defendant guilty because it doesn’t prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Whether white collar crime or not, having a criminal background can cause your life to be negatively impacted in several ways. A conviction of either a misdemeanor or a felony can affect your freedom and finances through incarceration, required probation, and court fines and fees.

A felony conviction will appear on criminal background checks, impairing your ability to purchase firearms or to vote. It can also make it difficult for you to find a job or secure housing, as potential employers and landlords also have access to criminal background checks.

Let our Cleveland criminal defense lawyers help you understand your legal options and develop a strong attorney-client relationship. We can provide answers to the questions you have about your Ohio criminal justice issues.

If you are charged with a crime, call the Botnick Law Firm. Secure your legal representation by scheduling a free consultation with our law office today.

Process step-by-step

  • 01.
    Initial Arrest

    01. Initial Arrest

    The process to charge someone that’s been accused of a crime begins with an arrest. If the police have reason to believe that someone has committed a crime, the accused can be taken into custody. Police will usually start by asking basic questions like name and address to identify a person, and then they’ll often pivot to more specific questions related to the incident. At some point during this, you should have been read your “Miranda warnings.”

  • 02.
    Reading Your Rights

    02. Reading Your Rights

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court. Those are your unwavering rights that must be recited upon taking someone into custody. Take note of when these rights are read to you, as it could be helpful information for your attorney.

  • 03.

    03. Booking

    When you’ve been taken down to the station, police will fingerprint you and get your photograph to update their records. Once this is done, you should be granted the opportunity to contact your criminal defense lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a loved one to book a consultation with a lawyer on your behalf. It’s important that you do NOT disclose any details about your case over the phone with your loved ones, as those calls are monitored.

  • 04.

    04. Investigation

    After you’ve made it through the booking process, the police may begin conducting their investigation with you. Depending on the situation, this might include a personal search, collecting samples, interviewing/interrogating, police lineups, etc.

  • 05.
    Court Appearance

    05. Court Appearance

    You’ll be held at the station until you can be brought before a judge. The initial court appearance will happen within 48 hours or less of the arrest. Here, the judge will review the case and decide if there’s any reason to keep you in holding or if bail can be granted. If bail is granted, you’re allowed to be released upon certain conditions.

  • 06.

    06. Hearing

    Depending on the seriousness of your allegations, you may have a preliminary hearing at which a judge can determine whether enough evidence exists to charge you with that level of crime. You’ll be able to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, your case will be sent to trial. You may get the opportunity to enter a plea deal. That’s something your attorney will advise you on.

  • 07.

    07. Discovery

    In the discovery stage, the case against you is made much more transparent. The prosecutor will share the evidence they have against you with your defense attorney. During this time, your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be. All of the evidence on the table will be considered, and your lawyer will work with you to form the best plan for your defense.

  • 08.

    08. Trial

    If a plea deal is unable to be reached, the case will enter trial. During the trial, the prosecutor begins by presenting the case to the jury. They share any evidence they have against you and have witnesses make their statements for the prosecution. This can be tough to sit through. Afterward, it’s your lawyer’s turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. Your lawyer can question the prosecutor’s witnesses and all of the evidence that was used against you. There are many different strategies that your lawyer will use to defend you during the trial.

  • 09.

    09. Sentencing

    In a best-case scenario, you will have been found not guilty by the end of the trial, and the charges against you have been dropped. If you are found guilty, the judge must determine what your sentence/penalties will be. The sentencing will happen at another hearing, usually a few weeks after your trial ends.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Prison TIme
Maximum Fine
First Degree
3-11 years
Second Degree
2-8 years
Third Degree
9-36 or 12-60 months
Fourth Degree
6-8 months
Fifth Degree
6-12 months

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Jail Time
Maximum Fine
First Degree
Up to 180 days
Second Degree
Up to 90 days
Third Degree
Up to 60 days
Fourth Degree
Up to 30 days
Minor Misdemeanor

Cleveland Criminal Defense

What should I do if I've been arrested for a crime in Cleveland?

If you’ve been arrested, it’s crucial to exercise your right to remain silent and ask for a lawyer immediately. Avoid discussing the details of your case with law enforcement until you have legal representation. Contact our experienced Cleveland criminal defense attorneys at the Botnick Law Firm as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected and to begin building a solid defense strategy.

Why should I hire a criminal defense attorney?

Hiring a criminal defense attorney is essential because they have the experience and knowledge to navigate the complexities of the legal system. A criminal defense lawyer can thoroughly investigate your case, offer legal advice, identify potential weaknesses, negotiate with prosecutors, and fight to reduce or dismiss your charges. Without proper legal representation, you may be at a disadvantage in court and risk facing severe consequences.

Will my case go to trial?

Whether your case goes to trial depends on various factors, including the strength of the evidence against you and the negotiation efforts of your attorney. Our team always aims to explore all possible avenues for resolution, including negotiation and plea agreements. However, if a fair resolution cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to take your case to trial and present a compelling defense on your behalf.

How can I afford a criminal defense attorney?

At the Botnick Law Firm, we understand the financial concerns individuals may have when seeking legal representation. We offer flexible payment plans and strive to provide high-quality legal services that are affordable and accessible. During your initial consultation, we will discuss the fees and payment options available to you.

Can I trust the information I share with my attorney to remain confidential?

Absolutely. As your legal representatives, we are bound by the attorney-client privilege, which ensures that any information you share with us remains confidential. This privilege lets you be open and honest with your attorney, enabling us to build the strongest defense possible for your case.

Ohio Courts System

We have successfully represented clients across Northern Ohio. If you are facing criminal charges, we can help you too. Don’t delay. The district attorney is building their case against you right now.

The Prosecutor will not take your charges lightly — Will you?

Experienced in all Northeast Ohio Courts and Northern District of Ohio


  • Cuyahoga County
  • Geauga County
  • Lake County
  • Lorain County
  • Portage
  • Summit
  • Medina
  • Erie
  • Stark
  • Trumbull
  • Mahoning
  • Ashtabula

Major Cities

  • Cleveland
  • Parma
  • Lorain
  • Elyria
  • Lakewood
  • Euclid
  • Mentor
  • Cleveland Heights