Facing felony charges or being investigated for a felony is a serious matter. Felonies are the most serious crimes, and you could face a prison sentence.

You might feel hopeless, afraid, and worried about the future. Although you need to take the matter seriously, with legal representation from a skilled defense attorney, you can be assured of an aggressive defense tailored to your particular case.

A Toledo felony lawyer has the knowledge and experience to help you through this stressful time. Reach out immediately if you are arrested or as soon as you realize you are being investigated for this type of charge.

Classification of Felony Crimes

Felony crimes range from the least serious, fifth-degree felonies to the most serious, unclassified felonies. Unclassified felonies carry mandatory minimum prison sentences.

Many crimes could be charged differently depending on the circumstances. For example, distributing cocaine could be a fifth-degree felony if the individual was caught with a relatively small amount of the drug. However, the charges become more severe, and the penalties harsher as the quantities involved increase. In addition, judges can impose more severe sentences if the accused was found in possession of a drug near a school or rehabilitation center.

The process of charging felonies is complex and depends on the facts of a specific case. A Toledo felony attorney can help an accused understand the factors that might influence the severity of the charges they face

Do Not Speak Before Your Attorney Arrives

People who are potentially facing felony charges can help themselves by not speaking to a law enforcement officer or prosecutor without an attorney present. Although police often encourage individuals to believe that answering a few questions could resolve the matter, this is often not the case. The only exception is if a person needs to arrange for the care of their children. Officers can ensure that a friend, family member, or social services agency is there.

Defenses to Felony Charges

Criminal defense is not one-size-fits-all. Every situation is different, and a meticulous Toledo felony attorney must evaluate all the circumstances to craft a defense that will produce the best result.

Civil Rights Violations

In every case, a legal professional will review law enforcement officers’ conduct to ensure that the accused’s rights were respected during the investigation or arrest. If they find indications of misconduct, a judge might dismiss the charge or at least throw out any evidence law enforcement acquired by illegal means.

Insufficient Proof of Required Elements

Each felony charge has certain elements a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction. Defending this type of case often involves challenging the prosecutor’s evidence of one or more elements of the crime. If the prosecutor recognizes their evidence is weak, they might offer a plea to a lesser offense or decide not to prosecute the case.

Diversion Programs

Ohio Revised Statute § 2935.36 authorizes pre-trial diversion programs that allow a person facing criminal charges to deal with underlying personal issues that might have brought them into contact with the criminal justice system.

One example is drug court. Participation allows a drug-dependent person facing fourth or fifth-degree felony drug charges to take part in supervised rehabilitation rather than go to jail. Similar programs addressing alcohol abuse, mental health, family violence, and anger management could resolve felony charges in some cases.

Work With a Toledo Attorney to Defend Felony Charges

Successfully defending felony charges requires skilled legal counsel. The criminal charging and penal schemes in the state are complicated, but they leave room for a savvy advocate to achieve a favorable solution for an accused.

Getting legal advice immediately usually strengthens a defense case. If you are arrested or charged, reach out to a Toledo felony lawyer as quickly as possible.