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Cincinnati Misdemeanor Attorney
People often fail to take misdemeanor charges seriously. Although these offenses are generally less serious than felonies, you may not realize that even misdemeanors are punishable with incarceration and hefty fines. Additionally, misdemeanor convictions are still marks on your criminal record, and will have serious repercussions on your future. Potential employers, banks, and landlords may make adverse decisions against you based on a prior misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record.
An experienced Cincinnati misdemeanor attorney can help you face these charges head-on. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you are facing a very uncertain future and will experience a lot of anxiety and stress. However, you do not have to face law enforcement and prosecutors on your own. Our dedicated Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck, and Associates are ready to stand with you as your advocates. We are skilled and compassionate attorneys who can help fight for your rights and gain a favorable resolution to your criminal case.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today at (513) 338-1890 so we can help you with an effective strategy for your defense against a misdemeanor charge.
Degrees of Misdemeanors
Prosecutors in Cincinnati pursue misdemeanor charges aggressively, and depending on the seriousness of the offense, you may be charged with one of five different degrees of misdemeanors. Under the Ohio Revised Code, the following are the penalties accorded for each degree:
- First-degree misdemeanors are the most serious of these offenses and are punishable by up to 180 days of jail time. You may also be fined up to $1,000. Common examples of these crimes include petty theft (under $500), carrying firearms without a permit, aggravated menacing, driving under the influence, domestic violence, and assault.
- Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 90 days of jail time. The court may also impose a fine of up to $750. These misdemeanors include vandalism, shoplifting, and obstructing official business.
- Third-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days of jail time. You may also be fined up to $500. Common examples of these offenses include negligent assault, possession of a gun with a suspended license, or sexual imposition.
- Fourth-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 30 days of jail time. The court may also impose a fine up to $250. Consuming alcohol while in a motor vehicle, public indecency, and selling or donating contaminated blood are all examples of fourth-degree misdemeanors.
- There are also minor misdemeanors for which there is no jail time involved, but you will have to pay fines. Some traffic violations are the most common minor misdemeanors, as well as disorderly conduct and failure to provide assistance to a law enforcement officer.
Additional or Alternative Penalties
Judges have the discretion to impose additional or alternative penalties, depending on the offense involved. The judge may impose weekend jail time, probation, or house arrest depending on the circumstances. For offenses involving motor vehicles, a judge may decide to suspend or revoke your driver’s license. Finally, if the offense involves alcohol or drug abuse, a judge may impose rehabilitation, treatment, or counseling as conditions for release.
If you are convicted, a judge may order a pre-sentence investigation by a probation officer. The officer will compile a report that a judge will use to determine the appropriate sentence. Information relevant to this report, in addition to the circumstances of the crime and victim statements, will include family background and responsibilities, employment history, community ties, and prior criminal history. Each case is unique, and a Cincinnati misdemeanor attorney can help you determine potential penalties and seek diversionary measures, if possible.
Talk to an Experienced Cincinnati Misdemeanor Attorney
When you are charged with any crime, the stakes are high for you and your family. Often, the criminal justice process is a confusing one for people who find themselves the target of prosecutors. If you are convicted, your life will change drastically, even if the charge is a misdemeanor.
You should not wait to get the help of a criminal defense attorney because you need to ensure your rights are protected from the very start. Having an attorney at every step of the way may help ensure a favorable outcome to your case. Police and prosecutors have the resources of the state in trying to gain convictions, so you need someone by your side who will aggressively defend your case.