Facing Violent Crime charges in Cleveland?

Your life could take a turn for the worst when you get convicted of a violent crime. Even if claims of a violent crime are erroneous, or the product of an accident, the accused may lose education opportunities, have limited career options, and even be ineligible for government aid. A conviction for a violent crime might lead to a number of penalties, including immediate incarceration. If you live in Cleveland, you need a Cleveland violent crime lawyer who will help you avoid heavy penalties by identifying mitigating factors or defenses that will lead to reduced charges or withdrawal of the charges.

What do violent criminal charges entail?

The following are violent criminal charges that are most pursued in Ohio:

  • Domestic Violence
  • Homicide, which falls under statute (2903.02 Ohio Revised Code)
  • Voluntary (2903.03 Ohio Revised Code) and Involuntary Manslaughter (2903.04 Ohio Revised Code)
  • Abduction
  • Kidnapping (2905.01 Ohio Revised Code)
  • Robbery (2911.02 Ohio Revised Code)
  • Assault (2903.13 Ohio Revised Code)
  • Burglary
  • Aggravated assault (2903.12 Ohio Revised Code)

What are the penalties for violent crimes in Cleveland, Ohio?

Violent crimes in Ohio may attract very heavy punishments and lengthy prison sentences; even misdemeanor violent crime violations can result in jail time and/or fines. There are also a mandatory prison sentences for several violent offenses. As per the Ohio Revised Code, here is a list covering the fundamental sentencing standards for suspected violent crime offenders. However, the penalties may change based on the complainant, the severity of the act, and whether the perpetrator has a prior criminal record.

  • A conviction for a misdemeanor of the first degree can cause up to 180 days in prison and/or up to a $1,000 fine.
  • Felony of the Fifth Degree – An individual convicted of this level of a felony faces a sentence of half a year to one year in prison and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.
  • Fourth-degree felony – This form of a felony attracts penalties that include a jail term of up to a year and a half and/or fines that can accrue to $5,000.
  • Third Degree Felony – Violence charges of this degree can result in jail sentences ranging from one to five years, as well as penalties of up to $10,000.
  • Second Degree Felony – These violations carry sentences of between two and eight years in jail and/or fines of up to $15,000.
  • First Degree Felony – Persons convicted in this degree may face sentences of three to eleven years in prison and/or up to $20,000 in fines.
  • The jury can put a person accused of, or one who has pleaded guilty to capital murder, to death or life imprisonment, as well as a fine of up to $25,000. Persons convicted of or who have pleaded guilty to homicide face a sentence of 15 years imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding $15,000. However, if the murder victim was under the age of 13 or the crime was explicitly sexual, the defendant faces a mandatory prison term.

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What counter-measures can you potentially take?

After being arrested and charged with a violent crime in Ohio, there are several defenses and other variables which can lessen your charges or even lead to the charges being dropped. It is critical to consult the facts with your criminal defense attorney, who could be able to assist you in identifying any extenuating circumstances and potential defenses.

  • Rationale – This argument applies to events that we might ordinarily deem criminal violations, but are not because they were necessary or allowed by law. If the conduct is essential in an emergency to avoid urgent public or private injury, there may be justification for conducting a violent crime.
  • Property Defense – If a person reasonably believes the other person has committed or is about to undertake property harm, they might well be able to fight back. If someone reasonably believes an invader is planning to conduct a crime after illegally breaking into a house, residence, or inhabited vehicle, lethal force is justified.
  • Lack of awareness – For several violent crimes, inflicting harm on a person or executing the crime intentionally is essential. If the alleged perpetrator did not have the requisite information when conducting the crime, the jury may drop or lower the charges to a somewhat less serious offense.
  • Act of Self-defense – If an individual genuinely believes someone’s action may inflict death or significant bodily harm, then they can use force against the individual who first takes action against them.

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Cleveland Violent Crime Attorney Near You

Facing violent crime charges? Worried about what the criminal process will look like? If you are unsure of what to do next and need help navigating Ohio’s laws, contact The Botnick Law Firm today for a free case evaluation.

Your future is at stake. Call us now to get the help you deserve. An experienced Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyer can help get you through this.

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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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered a violent crime?

A violent crime occurs whenever anyone physically harms or threatens to harm another person. This includes offenses such as the use of a weapon to attack another individual. The authorities will classify conduct as violent if the perpetrator obviously meant or plans to physically hurt someone, whether or not the victim was hurt.

Is violent crime a felony?

When a crime involves action that poses a severe danger of injury to someone, it is classified as a felony. The potential penalties will vary depending on the case. Violent crimes tend to be pursued more aggressively, compared to nonviolent offenses, because of their nature. An individual with a violent felony conviction might face harsh consequences, including the death sentence in some places, besides extended prison time.

Do I need a lawyer for a violent crime charge?

Assault, burglary, homicide, and manslaughter are among the most severely prosecuted crimes. Whenever these crimes are prosecuted as federal offenses, the penalties affiliated with a guilty verdict can be severe, culminating in years in prison, a life sentence, and perhaps even a death sentence in severe cases.

If the authorities arrest you for a violent crime, or you are subject to a federal violent crime investigation, you need the legal assistance of an experienced federal criminal defense attorney. Their reliable and best possible defense will increase your prospects of a good resolution in the case.

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