Were you recently arrested and charged with a misdemeanor in Cincinnati, OH? Misdemeanors are generally less serious than felony charges. Still, you could face jail time, damage to your reputation, and a criminal record if convicted. An experienced Cincinnati misdemeanor lawyer at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help you fight the charges and minimize the potentially harsh consequences of a conviction.
Our lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience. We know how to build the aggressive and effective legal defense you deserve.
How Can Suhre & Associates, LLC Help if You Were Arrested for a Misdemeanor in Cincinnati?
You may be tempted to brush off your misdemeanor charges as “not serious.” In reality, a misdemeanor conviction can impact your life in unexpected ways. You’ll have a criminal record if convicted. A conviction can impact your divorce, child custody arrangements, or ability to find housing.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we’ve been protecting clients who are facing criminal charges for decades. Our team is led by former police officers and prosecutors who know how the other side thinks. That experience works to your advantage.
Hiring our Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers means you’ll have someone in your corner to:
- Help you understand your legal rights and options
- Conduct an independent investigation into the allegations
- Gather evidence that can prove your innocence
- Negotiate with the prosecution to have your charges downgraded or your case dismissed
- Fiercely advocate for a not guilty verdict in court
Your future is too important to trust an inexperienced lawyer. Our lawyers have maintained a perfect-10 Avvo rating for years. We’ve also been recognized by the Super Lawyers rating service and the National Trial Lawyers.
More importantly, we’ve helped countless clients like you beat the charges and move on with their lives. We’re ready to do the same for you. Just call our Cincinnati criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation today.
Overview of Misdemeanor Crimes in Ohio
In the State of Ohio, criminal offenses are classified as felonies or misdemeanors. Misdemeanor charges are generally reserved for less serious offenses rather than violent crimes. Still, a conviction can carry harsh consequences.
Generally speaking, a misdemeanor is any offense where the potential penalty includes less than one year in jail. There are four basic categories of misdemeanors. First-degree misdemeanors are the most serious. Fourth-degree misdemeanors are the least serious offenses.
There are also “minor misdemeanors.” A minor misdemeanor is an offense that doesn’t carry the potential for jail time. For example, disorderly conduct is a minor misdemeanor with a maximum $150 fine.
Common Misdemeanor Offenses
Many different offenses fall into the misdemeanor category in the state of Ohio.
Some common examples of crimes that are typically charged as a misdemeanor include:
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Simple assault
- Resisting arrest
- Loitering for the purpose of engaging in prostitution
- Criminal mischief
- Petty theft
- Harassing a police officer
- Reckless driving
- Possession of very small amounts of marijuana
- Carrying a gun without a proper permit
- Violating a protective order
- Public indecency
- Failure to disperse
- Misdemeanor DUI
- Minor white-collar crimes
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we represent clients who are charged with any type of misdemeanor offense. It’s important to take these charges seriously if you’ve been arrested. Call our law firm as soon as possible to schedule a free case review. Our Cincinnati misdemeanor attorneys are ready to start building your strong defense strategy immediately.
Can a Misdemeanor be Aggravated to a Felony?
Yes. Under Ohio criminal laws, crimes that would otherwise be charged as misdemeanors can be aggravated to felony offenses if certain factors are present. Sometimes, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor initially. Later, the prosecution may elevate your charge to a felony after conducting a full investigation into the circumstances.
Some common misdemeanors that can also be charged as felonies include:
- Repeat offense DUIs
- DUIs with other aggravating factors
- Assault (for example, aggravated assault charges apply when the assault causes serious physical harm)
- Drug crimes
- Domestic violence
- Theft crimes
Whether you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor or felony depends on the circumstances surrounding your offense.
A misdemeanor may be aggravated to a felony if the case involves:
- A young child
- Use of a deadly weapon
- Serious injury to another person
- Larger amounts of drugs
- Higher dollar values
- A protected person, such as a police officer
Felony offenses carry the potential for significant prison time, financial penalties, and damage to your reputation.
What Are the Penalties for a Misdemeanor Conviction in Cincinnati, Ohio?
The penalties for a misdemeanor conviction can vary based on the circumstances. Factors that will influence the severity of your punishment if convicted include:
- The specific offense involved
- Your prior criminal history
- Any mitigating or aggravating factors
- The strength of your defense
Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2929.24, your penalty could include:
- Up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first-degree misdemeanor conviction
- Up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine for a second-degree misdemeanor conviction
- Up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine for a third-degree misdemeanor conviction
- Up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine for a fourth-degree misdemeanor conviction
Minor misdemeanors won’t result in jail time. The maximum punishment you can receive is a $150 fine if convicted.
Depending on the facts, you may also face collateral consequences if convicted of a misdemeanor, including:
- Misdemeanor probation
- Community service
- Electronic monitoring and home arrest
- Court-ordered drug or alcohol treatment
- Court-ordered counseling or anger management courses
- Loss of your ability to own a firearm
- Loss of your driver’s license
- Child custody problems
- Immigration problems
- A criminal record
Judges have significant discretion when assigning penalties. Penalties can also vary widely depending on the type of offense that’s involved. For example, you’re more likely to lose your driver’s license if you’re charged with drunk driving in Hamilton County.
What Is Misdemeanor Probation in Ohio?
Judges don’t have to sentence you to jail if you’re convicted on misdemeanor charges. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor in Cincinnati, your lawyer may be able to fight for probation in lieu of jail time. Probation may also be a condition of a plea bargain deal.
When you’re placed on probation, it still means that you’ve been convicted of a crime. But it’s usually preferable to serving time in jail.
The judge will impose certain conditions that you must follow to stay out of jail. Some of those conditions include:
- Reporting to a probation officer
- Drug and alcohol testing
- Participation in a substance abuse program
- Participation in mental health programs
- Community service
- House arrest
- Requirements that you obtain employment
- Requirements that you obtain education or job training
- Victim offender mediation
Again, the judge has leeway in assigning the terms of probation. If you violate those terms, you could end up in jail.
That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced attorney throughout all phases of the criminal process. Our lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC will advocate for the most favorable terms possible if probation is an option in your case. To learn more about our practice areas, call for a free case evaluation today.
What Defenses Can Be Raised if I’m Accused of Committing a Misdemeanor in Ohio?
As with any criminal charge, it’s important to build a strong defense if you were charged with a misdemeanor. The type of defense that will work varies depending on the charge, your prior criminal record, and the specific facts of your case.
Some defense strategies that can be effective in misdemeanor cases include:
- Lack of evidence to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt
- Unreliable evidence, including challenges to witness credibility
- Challenging the validity of DUI breath, blood, or urine tests
- False allegations
- Mistaken identity and alibi defenses
- Illegal search and seizure
- Lack of probable cause for a traffic stop or search
- Violation of your Miranda rights
- Other violations of your constitutional rights
- Police bias
No two criminal cases are exactly the same. Our lawyers are committed to building a strong and custom-tailored defense in every case we take on. You can count on us to carefully evaluate the facts and do everything possible to create reasonable doubt.
Being arrested for any crime can be frightening. Our lawyers will do everything possible to make it difficult for the prosecution to convict you. We have years of experience handling complex criminal cases like yours – and we’re well-prepared to fight to protect your freedom.
It’s important to start building your case quickly. The sooner we can start investigating, the more likely it is that we’ll reach the best possible outcome in your case. To learn more about how our lawyers can help, call to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Cincinnati Misdemeanor Lawyer
It’s important to speak with an experienced defense lawyer even if you’re facing minor misdemeanor charges. An experienced Cincinnati misdemeanor lawyer can help you avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction. To learn more, call Suhre & Associates, LLC for a free consultation today.