If you face criminal charges in Cincinnati, anything less than a dismissal can be disappointing. Retaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer to fight for your future could be in your best interests if you hope to get your criminal charges dismissed.
What Is a Dismissal in Ohio?
For criminal charges to be dismissed in Ohio, your criminal record should reflect that the criminal charges previously filed against you were dropped. This means a jury or judge never adjudicated your charges.
This differs from a “not guilty” verdict where your case was heard before a jury or judge. A dismissal would terminate the criminal case against you even if your case was not heard at trial.
Many criminal charges are dismissed, or the defendant will enter a pretrial diversion program or plea agreement with the prosecuting attorney.
However, if you pled guilty or accepted a plea agreement, this would be reflected on your criminal record. A dismissal is the only way to show you were arrested but your case was later dismissed.
Can Dismissed Charges Be Expunged in Ohio?
Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2953.52, if a defendant was found not guilty or the criminal charges against you were later dismissed, you have the opportunity to get your record sealed immediately. This means there will be no waiting period as there would for someone convicted of a misdemeanor or felony offense.
However, if a grand jury heard your case and reported a “no bill”, they did not decide to move forward with prosecution, and you will be required to wait a minimum of two years before you can apply to get your record expunged.
Some of the factors the court will take into consideration when determining whether to expunge your record include:
- Whether you have existing criminal charges pending
- Whether you were found not guilty, your case was dismissed, or the grand jury returned a “no bill”
- Whether your case was dismissed with or without prejudice
- Whether the prosecutor has filed an objection to your expungement petition
- Whether it is in the interests of the government to have access to your records
How to Get Criminal Charges Dismissed in Cincinnati
Say you are hoping to get your OVI charges dismissed in Cincinnati, there are several ways you could do so. These include:
- Showing you were the victim of an illegal search and seizure
- Showing there is a lack of evidence
- Arguing constitutional rights violations
- Working with the prosecutor
- Entering a pretrial diversion program
Illegal Searches and Seizures in Ohio
If you were the victim of an illegal search of your home, yourself, or your property, the charges against you could be dismissed. Police must have a search warrant or probable cause to search.
Any evidence police may have obtained during an illegal search should be tossed out at trial against you. If the prosecutor’s case relies on illegally obtained evidence, your criminal defense attorney could get your charges dismissed.
Lack of Evidence
The prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt if they hope to obtain a guilty verdict. However, if there is a lack of sufficient evidence to prosecute your case, the state may dismiss the charges against you with or without prejudice.
Civil Rights Violations
You have specific rights under the U.S. Constitution. Some of your civil rights include:
- The right to remain silent
- The right to an attorney
- The right to not incriminate yourself
- The right to protection against illegal search and seizure
- The right to cross-examine witnesses at trial
- The right to evidence the state is going to use in their attempt to prosecute you
If your attorney can show your constitutional rights have been violated, you may be able to get your charges dismissed.
It is up to the prosecutor whether your case moves forward. If your attorney can show there is not sufficient evidence to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, it may not be in the prosecutor’s best interest to move forward with your case.
The state may also be willing to allow you to enter a plea agreement where you complete specific terms or requirements in exchange for pleading guilty or no contest. Then, once you meet the terms of the agreement, the charges against you are dismissed.
However, failure to complete the terms of the program could have a devastating impact on your case and result in a criminal conviction.
Entering a Pretrial Diversion Program: Are You Eligible?
You could be eligible for pretrial diversion if you are a first-time, non-violent offender. If you complete the terms of the pretrial diversion program, similar to the conditions of a plea agreement, the charges against you could be dismissed altogether.
Some of the terms you might need to meet include:
- Paying restitution to victims
- Attending court-ordered group therapy
- Completion of a drug or alcohol treatment program
- Community service hours
- Attending mental health counseling
- Abstaining from drug or alcohol use
- Random drug and alcohol testing
- Home detention or electronic monitoring
Meet With a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
When you are ready to get the criminal charges against you dismissed, reach out to an experienced Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates. Our team will closely evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine how to secure a dismissal.
Find out more about your next steps when you contact our office for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. You can complete our secured contact form or call us today at (513) 338-1890.