Criminal Defense Attorneys in Columbus, Ohio

At Heckert and Moreland Co. LPA, we are dedicated to fighting for the rights of those that have been accused of or charged with a crime. We know that this can be a very difficult and frustrating time of your life, so we will work closely with you and strive to meet your needs and reach a positive result.

If you live in Central Ohio contact us today to schedule a free consultation immediately so we can begin working on your case. As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we work with a wide range of different criminal charges, including both felonies and misdemeanors.

Misdemeanor Charges

Misdemeanor charges can involve many different crimes, however, you must remember that certain acts can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on their severity.

There are several offenses that are classified as misdemeanors, but here is a list of the most common misdemeanor charges with which you will need the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney:

  • Threatening to assault or cause harm to someone
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Minor drug charges 
  • Theft (depending on the value)
  • Traffic violations (i.e., speeding, driving without a license, OVI (drunk or impaired driving))

In the event that you are convicted, you could be facing jail time, fines, or both. Within misdemeanors, there are different levels of punishment that will determine your jail sentence or fine amount.

Ohio’s Degrees of Misdemeanors & Their Penalties

If you’re charged and convicted of a misdemeanor crime in Ohio, you will be given one of five degrees of punishment and their corresponding maximum penalties:

  • 1st Degree: 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,000 (may be higher for an OVI) 
  • 2nd Degree: 90 days in jail and a fine of $750
  • 3rd Degree: 60 days in jail and a fine of $500
  • 4th Degree: 30 days in jail and a fine of $250
  • Minor Misdemeanor: A maximum of $150

In addition to these legal consequences, you can be affected in your personal, professional, and academic life. When applying for college, jobs, or even housing, your conviction could prevent you from getting into your school of choice, company, or home that you were striving for. 

Though misdemeanors can have serious, long-lasting consequences, they often do not compare to those of felonies.

Felony Charges

Certain crimes could be determined to be a misdemeanor or felony. For example, if you’re charged with assault, it would likely be a misdemeanor if you were only threatening to hurt someone. If you went through with the threat and physically hurt that individual, on the other hand, it could be classified as a felony depending on the means used or the damage inflicted. 

Felony charges can result in lengthy court proceedings. As experienced criminal defense attorneys in Columbus, Ohio, we are not afraid to go to court as long as it’s in your best interest. We have represented clients with the following criminal charges, among others:

  • DUI
  • Drug distribution or manufacturing
  • Robbery
  • Grand theft auto
  • Domestic violence & child abuse
  • Aggravated assault
  • Murder
  • Rape

Regardless of your charge, we will be there to fight for your rights and your freedom from serving harsh prison sentences or large fines.

Ohio’s Felony Classifications & Their Penalties

Much like misdemeanors, felonies have several different “levels” or “classes” to determine your punishment, ranging from first to fifth degree felonies as well as unclassified felonies. Here are examples of felony levels and their respective maximum punishments:

  • Unclassified Felonies: Life in prison and $25,000 in fine.
  • 1st Degree: 11 years in prison and $20,000 in fines
  • 2nd Degree: 8 years in prison and $15,000 in fines 
  • 3rd Degree: 36 months in prison and $10,000 in fines
  • 4th Degree: 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines 
  • 5th Degree: 12 months in prison and $2,500 in fines 

Felony punishments are much more severe than misdemeanor punishments.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 7 in 10 convicted felons either serve time in prison or jail, and those sentences averaged almost five years. 

To increase your chances of avoiding a criminal conviction and harsh penalties, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately.  

Schedule a free consultation with us today by filling out the brief submission form below or simply giving us a call.

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Central Ohio

Our firm — Heckert and Moreland Co. LPA — has determined attorneys with decades of crucial experience representing the criminally charged. Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, we can work with you to address your legal needs.  Our Columbus, Ohio office serves all of Central Ohio and will travel throughout the state.  Schedule a free consultation today