Criminal Law FAQ's

Q: A police officer has just called me. He invited me to come to the police station to let the police know my side of the story. Should I go to the station to let the police know I have been wrongly accused of the crime?

A: No. Although the officer may be polite and courteous when inviting you to share "your side of the story" it's not a good idea to speak to the police directly. If you want the police to know your side of the story, tell them through your attorney. The law provides you a right to remain silent. You do not want to provide a statement to the police that may later be used against you. If an attorney talks to the police on your behalf, those statements cannot be used against you. And remember, if the police already had enough information to arrest you, they would not need your side of the story.

Q: Should I hire a lawyer even if I know I was speeding?

A: Yes. Sometimes a speeding ticket isn't just a speeding ticket. Depending on your prior driving record or your rate of speed for the most recent ticket, the penalties can affect your ability to drive. Many times a criminal defense lawyer is able to successfully negotiate a plea bargain that can result in no points assessed to your license.

Q: There is an error on my traffic ticket. The police officer wrote the wrong date on the ticket. Does that mean the ticket is not valid?

A: No. If a police officer makes a mistake writing information on the ticket the prosecutor can fix the error at court.

Q: My license was suspended for not having current insurance coverage. The Judge said my suspension will remain for 6 months from the day I was stopped. When the 6 months is up and I have new insurance, can I drive again?

A: Not yet. Before you have a valid driver's license you must first pay a reinstatement fee with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Q: I just got charged with my first drunk driving offense. I refused to give a breath sample. The police took my license right there. My first court date is in a couple of days. Can I get driving privileges from the judge at my first court date?

A: No. Under Ohio law, even if it is your first offense, a person who refuses the breath test is not eligible for driving privileges until 30 days from the date of the offense. If it is your first offense, and you took the breath test it's a different story. If you were at or above .08% and below 0.17% you are eligible for driving privileges after only15 days of the offense.

Q: The police have charged me with possession of drugs. The drugs were in my car but they belong to someone else. Can they really charge me with drugs that were not mine?

A: Yes. It does not matter who owns the drugs. It is a question of who possess the drugs.

Q: About a month ago I was charged with domestic violence for allegedly causing physical harm to my spouse. Now, my spouse does not want to press charges anymore. Can we just get the case dropped?

A: No. The government is the only one who gets to decide whether to dismiss the charges pending against you. Although the fact that your spouse no longer desires prosecution will likely be helpful in your defense, that fact alone, does not mean the charges against you will be dismissed.

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