Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter North Eastern Ohio

What Are The Most Common Criminal Cases You Handle?


Most common criminal cases are drug related. Drugs are always a big problem. Even if the charges are not drug-related, there are often drugs involved. Whether it is a shoplifting case or a robbery case, for example if someone robs a bank, it is frequently because they are trying to feed a heroin addiction.  Violent crimes are often drug or alcohol driven. The majority of cases have some kind of drug component to them.

How Do People Unintentionally Incriminate Themselves In A Criminal Case?

The biggest way is by making a statement to the police. I always advocate talking to a lawyer before you speak to the police, whether you are guilty or innocent. People will go in and for whatever reason they want to help or they believe they should talk because they think cooperating will make things better in the long run. They end up spilling their whole story to the police, which makes it much more difficult for me to do my job.

What is the Impact of Social Media on Most common criminal cases?

I have had cases in which people are accused of, for example, drug possession, and they put a picture of themselves smoking marijuana on their Facebook page or they will be accused of a drag racing and their whole Facebook profile is all about fast cars and street racing. Sometime they will post pictures of themselves with a big pile of money trying to make it look as if they are living the high life.  I look at all of my clients on Facebook to see what is on there, and you should know the prosecutors and police are doing the same.

How Do People Generally React to Being Arrested For a Crime?

It is a mixture of fear and embarrassment being charged with a crime is a scary, life-changing experience, especially if they have never been in trouble before. Even for a minor case, like someone who shoplifts a candy bar. Down the road you may apply for a job and when they run a background check, it will not say you stole a candy bar, it will say you committed theft.  It will affect your job search as long as it is on your record because no one wants to hire a thief. Even a minor case like that will follow you around for possibly the rest of your life.

It can affect a vacation plan. For example, if you get an OVI or DUI, you will have a hard time getting into Canada. So if you plan a family vacation to Niagara Falls and get an OVI, you will end up ruining that vacation.

The other issue is the embarrassment when your friends and family see what you are dealing with. If it happens to be in the newspaper or if someone happens to look at the courts website there can be some harm to a person’s reputation.

In Ohio, drunk driving is called “OVI” – operating a vehicle while intoxicated – but many people call it DUI or DWI. Even with OVIs a lot of times you can get the charge reduced to what is called a physical control, which is not a driving offense; it just says you were in control of a car, but not necessarily driving it while under the influence of alcohol. Even that can affect entry into Canada, or it can affect your insurance, as well as any job for which alcohol use would raise the red flag.

How and When Do Miranda Rights Come Into Play in a Criminal Case?

The Miranda warnings are supposed to be given when a person is taken into custody, before the police ask any questions. What confuses people is that the courts have said, if you are sitting in the front seat of a police car or if you are pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, you are not technically in custody. We all know what will happen if you just get back in your car and drive away, so in some sense you are in custody, but the courts do not see it that way.

Unless you are being arrested or you are actually in custody, police do not have to read you those warnings.  If you are in custody and they never read them to you, it does not mean your case will be thrown out. It just may mean that whatever you said after that does not get to come into evidence. However, if there is any other evidence in the case and there often is, they can still proceed with your case, just without any specific admissions you made if they asked you questions after your arrest.

For more information on Common Criminal Cases, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (440) 409-7898 today.

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