If you are charged with a crime of violence in this state, reach out at once to an Ohio criminal defense attorney for the legal help you will need.
A crime in which someone uses, threatens to use, or tries to use physical force against someone else is considered a violent crime in Ohio. Violent crimes often lead to injuries or death for victims and bystanders. The State of Ohio makes punishing these crimes a priority.
Furthermore, it is not difficult in our state to be accused of a violent crime – or to be the victim of a crime of violence. According to FBI statistics, more than 36,000 violent crimes were reported in Ohio in 2020. Specifically, which crimes are considered crimes of violence in Ohio?
If you are charged with committing a violent crime in Ohio, what are your rights? What steps will you need to take? What will an Ohio criminal defense lawyer do on your behalf? If you will keep reading this brief discussion of violent crime in Ohio, these questions will be answered.
Which Specific Crimes Are Considered Violent Crimes?
The list of crimes that are considered violent crimes under Ohio law includes but is not necessarily limited to arson, assault, forcible rape, kidnapping, robbery, manslaughter, murder, and resisting arrest with violence. Violent crimes may be committed with or without weapons.
A conviction for a crime of violence may be penalized quite harshly. Even a misdemeanor violent crime conviction may be penalized with a jail term, and many violent crimes in Ohio require mandatory prison time for a conviction. Offenders may also face “extra-legal” penalties.
Any criminal record may make it difficult for you to find housing or employment. If you hold a professional license, a conviction for a violent crime may trigger disciplinary action by your licensing board. If you’re not a U.S. citizen, a violent crime conviction could lead to deportation.
If you are convicted of a violent crime, your loved ones could be devastated. Your career could be destroyed. You may lose the right to own a firearm, and you could also lose the right to vote.
Could You Be Wrongly Arrested for a Violent Crime?
Assault is wrongly charged more than any other violent crime. When fights or violent disputes happen in bars, parking lots, and other public settings, police officers may simply take into custody everyone who was involved – including the crime victims.
Judges, divorce lawyers, and defense attorneys in Ohio know that domestic assault allegations are made falsely for a number of reasons such as revenge or to gain an advantage in a divorce proceeding. Sometimes false domestic violence claims are made for no discernible reason.
If you are falsely arrested for a crime of violence, do not try to explain what happened to the police. Anything that you say may be used against you. Instead, tell your defense attorney what happened, and let that attorney speak on your behalf.
If You Are Charged With a Crime of Violence
If you are placed under arrest and charged with a crime of violence, you must exercise your rights. Be cooperative, but be firm about your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent. You can say, “I would prefer not to answer your questions until my lawyer can be here.”
Your lawyer should be an experienced Delaware County criminal defense lawyer, because you will be placing your fate and your future in that lawyer’s hands. Don’t consider trying to defend yourself. Too much is at stake, the law is too complex, and a mistake could send you to prison.
You cannot delay calling an attorney who will defend you at every step of the criminal justice process and get the best possible outcome for your case. If you are charged with a crime of violence, make the call to a Delaware County defense attorney as quickly as possible.
The sooner you retain an attorney, the more time that attorney will have to examine the evidence and develop an effective defense strategy on your behalf. The prosecutor goes to work on your case from the moment you’re charged, so you must retain a good defense attorney without delay.
How Will an Attorney Defend You Against a Violent Crime Charge?
To win a criminal conviction against you, a prosecutor must prove that you are guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” There are several ways that an Ohio criminal defense attorney can defend you in a violent crime case. The first step is attempting to have the charge dropped or dismissed.
A violent crime charge can sometimes be dropped or dismissed if there is insufficient evidence against you or if the police violated your constitutional rights during an investigation, search, arrest, or interrogation. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer may tell the jurors that:
- You acted in self-defense or to defend someone else.
- Your action was not willful and you had no criminal intent.
- Someone else committed the crime, and you’re a victim of misidentification.
- No crime happened, and the allegation was fabricated by the purported victim.
Your lawyer’s strategy will depend on the details of the charge. Sometimes, the key to prevailing is to locate and question any witnesses immediately. Their statements may contradict the alleged victim’s claim. Your attorney can then compile evidence in support of those witness statements.
Should You Accept a Plea Deal?
If you’ve been charged with a violent crime, and you’re not guilty, if the case against you can’t be dropped or dismissed, you should insist on a jury trial. But if the state’s case is persuasive and your conviction is inevitable, your lawyer may negotiate and may recommend a plea deal.
In most plea deals, a defendant pleads guilty to a reduced charge in return for a lesser sentence. Your lawyer will try to negotiate a plea deal that you can live with. Discuss it with your lawyer before you accept a plea offer, and if you’re innocent, reject any plea offer and insist on a trial.
In cases of violent crime, a Delaware County criminal defense lawyer will work to uncover and to offer the court exculpatory evidence, to suppress any evidence gathered illegally, to challenge witnesses who are unreliable, and to provide aggressive, effective representation on your behalf.
Every person who is charged with a crime of violence in Ohio deserves to be represented by a qualified, experienced, defense attorney. Whether you are innocent or guilty, if you are charged with committing a violent crime, call today.
Written by The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC
- Dr. Benjamin Jackoby
- Dr. Hank Jackoby