The term “disposed” as a case status means a criminal case is over. However, the disposition of a case is different. Disposition refers to how the case ended.

The clerk of court and the prosecutor are not on your side and cannot give you legal advice. The prosecutor is working to obtain a guilty verdict. If you have questions about your criminal case status in Ohio, it is best to contact a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer.

What Happens When a Criminal Case Is Disposed?

Before your criminal case can be disposed of or ended, there must be a disposition. The disposition refers to how the case can be decided. There are several possible dispositions for a criminal case in Ohio:

Dismissal of the Case

The court could dismiss the criminal case. A dismissal with prejudice means you are free, and the state cannot pursue the same criminal charge against you in the future. A dismissal without prejudice also means you are free, but the state could file the charges again based on the same conduct.

The court might dismiss a case because of a lack of probable cause for a technical issue. The prosecutor could also recommend the dismissal if they feel they cannot win the case. There are many reasons why your Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer might file a motion to dismiss with the court. 

A Guilty Plea or Plea of No Contest

You may plead guilty to the criminal charges. If so, the court schedules a sentencing hearing. Your case is disposed after the judge issues a sentence. 

A plea of no contest also results in a criminal sentence. However, you are not admitting that you committed the crime. Instead, you do not intend to fight the charges and accept the judge’s decision regarding sentencing.

A Guilty or Not Guilty Verdict

If you take the case to court, the judge or a jury decides whether you are guilty or not guilty. If you are found guilty, the judge decides the penalty. 

However, if you are found not guilty, you are free. The state cannot bring the charges against you again.

In a criminal case, the state has the burden of proving you committed the crime. The level of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor must convince every juror that there is no other reasonable explanation for the evidence presented in court.

An Appeal of the Decision 

You can appeal the decision if you are found guilty of a crime. However, you must have a basis for the appeal for the court to consider reversing the decision.

What Are the Potential Criminal Penalties for an Ohio Criminal Charge?

The penalties for a criminal conviction depend on the charge. Possible punishments for crimes in Ohio include:

  • You could go to jail or prison. Jail sentences are up to one year, such as a sentence for a misdemeanor. Typically, prison sentences are issued to people who are convicted of felonies.
  • Payment of victim restitution. The amount of restitution depends on the harm caused to the victim.
  • Fines and assessments, which are paid to the court.
  • Probation, which can include numerous conditions and terms.
  • Substance abuse treatment and counseling programs. 
  • Community service, which could be included as a term of your probation.

Judges have discretion when they issue a sentence for a criminal case. However, Ohio has sentencing guidelines for criminal cases. The sentencing guidelines include maximum and minimum sentences.

The sentence for a case depends on the class assigned to the crime. In Ohio, there are five classes of felonies and five classes of misdemeanors. A judge considers a person’s criminal history, the nature of the crime, the harm to another person, and other factors when deciding a sentence. 

Do I Need a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer for the Disposition of My Criminal Case?

All criminal charges are serious. You could face jail time and substantial fines even with a misdemeanor charge. The best way to avoid criminal penalties is to fight the charges with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney

A criminal lawyer protects your legal rights. 

The prosecutor nor the police officers will tell you if mistakes or errors could lead to a dismissal of charges. They will not tell you if the evidence against you is weak. Instead, an attorney investigates the charges against you and gathers evidence to develop a defense strategy.

With an attorney’s help, you could walk away from the charges without any penalties. A lawyer can also negotiate a plea bargain that could include reduced charges and a reduction in the sentence. The best step you can take after an arrest is to stop talking to the police and call a Cincinnati criminal attorney. 

Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (513) 333-0014 or visit us at our Cincinnati law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States