TRAFFIC OFFENSES AND MISDEMEANORS
Ohio recognizes three categories of offenses for which a person can receive jail time. The most serious of these offenses are felonies, and they are discussed under the heading "Felony Offenses". Less serious offenses are misdemeanor criminal offenses and traffic offenses. The fact that such offenses are less serious than felonies does not mean they cannot have a significant impact on your life. That is why it is important that you take such offenses seriously and get an experienced attorney to represent you.
The least serious traffic offenses are those that are minor misdemeanors. For such offenses you cannot get any jail time but you can get a fine, court costs and points on your license. Examples of such offenses are failure to use turn signals and driving too slowly. For such offenses the fine cannot exceed $150.00. The most serious traffic offenses, such a DUI (now known as OMVI) and driving under suspension are first degree misdemeanors and can carry fines of up to $1000.00 and up to six months in jail. Perhaps more importantly, your driver's license can be suspended for a period of time or even revoked. It is important that you have a lawyer help you with these cases. If you can't afford one, the court will appoint one for you. In addition to the fine and court costs, you can also be made to pay for your stay in jail, the fees of your court appointed lawyer, and a hefty reinstatement fee.
There are five categories of misdemeanor criminal offenses. They, too, range from minor misdemeanors to first degree misdemeanors with fines and jail term limits as listed above. However, there a many hidden punishments associated with these crimes. For example, possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia will result in the suspension of your driver's license for six months. A conviction for domestic violence will result in you forever being barred from having a firearm. Hunting and fishing offenses can result in the loss of your right to hunt or fish for a period of time. These are serious sanctions and you would be wise to find out what a lawyer can do for you in these cases.
No lawyer wins all his cases. But I have had a lot of successes in getting cases dismissed or charges reduced. Remember that is the State's case that is on trial. Frequently there are weaknesses in the State's case that we can use to help you. Call my office for an appointment to discuss your case before you decide to just plead guilty.
To learn more, visit our Fayette office!
104 East Main Street P.O. Box 40
Fayette, OH 43521