Here are answers to the most common questions in criminal law cases.
Q. When should I contact a lawyer?
A. To protect yourself, you should contact a lawyer whenever you have committed or may have committed a crime. Contact an attorney right away if you are being investigated.
Q. What is an arraignment?
A. An arraignment is the first time you formally appear in court. You will be informed of the charges against you. At an arraignment, you enter a guilty or not guilty plea. If you do not have an attorney, now is the time to get one.
Q. Will I go to jail?
A. This depends on many variables, including:
- The charges you are facing
- Whether you have a record
- Your defense strategy and evidence
- Your life situation, including whether you are employed and have a family
- If witnesses are involved
Q. How long will it take to wrap up my case?
A. This depends on the charge against you. If your case is a misdemeanor, it will be filed in the municipal courthouse. A preliminary hearing will determine whether there is probable cause. You will know after this hearing whether you will be held in custody and if so what your bail is. Most traffic violations and misdemeanors are not considered criminal charges.
In felony cases in Ohio, most courts schedule the initial appearance within 72 hours.
Q. What do you think will happen to my case?
A. This depends on many variables, but I can tell you that I will communicate with you at every step. The decisions, however, are up to you. You will decide whether to accept or reject any offers or plea bargains. You will also decide if you want to take the stand at trial and whether you will testify on your own behalf. As your attorney, I can advise you on these matters, but ultimately, the decision is yours.
Q. Can I talk openly to my probation officer?
A. While being on good terms with your probation officer is most often a good thing, you must remember that anything you say to your probation officer is not confidential and can be used against you in a violation hearing.
Q. How will this affect my future?
A. The best way to protect yourself and your future are to fully understand what you are charged with and what your options are. As your attorney, I will clearly communicate the legal steps, how long they take and how long any jail time might be as well as the bail bond process.
Q. Does having an experienced, local attorney make a difference?
A. I think it does. As an attorney in Columbus, I am familiar with the process, the courts and the people. I have a deep understanding of how things work and what the most likely outcome is going to be. I believe my clients benefit from my decade of local experience.
Not Sure If You Need An Attorney?
Call Bryant Law Offices, LLC, at 614-362-9129 or contact me and I will answer all of your criminal defense questions. I serve the people of Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding communities. Somali translator available.