Ohio Trial Litigation Attorney
Everything from the time a client is charged all the way through acquittal or sentencing falls under the umbrella term “trial litigation.” Our goal is to get our client the best possible outcome. While theatrical stomping and shouting before a jury make for a great lawyer sitcom, it does not generally constitute good lawyering. Patituce & Associates loves a good fight but the best weapon in the fight for justice is a well-researched understanding of the law, close familiarity with the facts of the case, and principled zealous representation of a client’s interests.
Call (440) 709-8088 now to discuss your legal matter.
What Does It Mean When a Case Goes to Litigation?
A criminal case can be resolved in a couple of ways: through a plea or litigation. The first avenue involves your attorney negotiating with the prosecutor to seek a just outcome on your behalf. This process happens out of court.
The second avenue, litigation, is when your case is heard in court, meaning it goes to trial. Your attorney and the prosecutor will present evidence before a judge or jury to support their assertions. While the prosecutor is trying to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, your lawyer will be countering their accusations and defending your innocence.
Although the litigation stage is what many people think about when they hear about a criminal case, most matters aren't actually resolved at trial. The majority are settled out of court through negotiations and plea deals. This is mainly because there is more personal control in talks with the prosecutor. Also, bargaining is often quicker and less costly than taking a case to trial.
The Process of Litigation in Ohio
In Ohio, the litigation process includes the following steps:
- Discovery: The discovery phase is one of the most crucial steps in a criminal case. During this part of the process, both sides exchange the information they have about the matter. This allows each to learn what evidence their opponent has and begin building counterarguments.
- Suppressing evidence: At this stage, the defense attorney may file a motion to ask the judge to have certain pieces of evidence excluded. That means the prosecutor wouldn't be able to use it in court, which could hurt their case against the defendant. Several reasons exist in which evidence may be deemed inadmissible. For instance, in an OVI matter, if the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop the driver, any observations they made or chemical test results obtained could be considered invalid. Or, if law enforcement officials conducted an illegal search in a drug case, paraphernalia or substances they collected might not be allowed in court.
- Challenging the validity or credibility of evidence: Evidence can be challenged in several ways. For example, it may have been obtained in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights or may not be irrelevant or unfairly prejudiced.
- Investigating to gather evidence: Both the defense and the prosecution will investigate the facts of the case. The prosecutor is seeking to get information that supports their assertions, while the defense is looking for things that will challenge the opposition's case. The investigation stage is very involved, as numerous types of evidence can be collected. For example, attorneys may gather physical objects, surveillance footage, or witness testimony, among others.
During the litigation phase of your case, we will demand that the government produce and provide all the evidence against you and any evidence that may be favorable to you. We will review the discovery in your case to determine if any of the evidence against you can be suppressed. We will discuss whether we should challenge the validity or credibility of the state's evidence and whether we should use an investigator to gather our own evidence.
Research and Defenses Built by Our Team
Our Ohio trial litigation attorneys will research the case law surrounding the statutes you are charged with. We will determine defenses that may be available to you, weaknesses in the prosecutor’s legal theory of the case, and other relevant legal issues. We may file motions to limit the admissibility of evidence. Every single one of these steps is crucial whether you ultimately accept a plea deal or proceed to trial. Your lawyer cannot coerce the best possible deal if she does not know the factual and legal strengths and weaknesses of your case.
Risks & Benefits to Proceeding with Trial in Ohio
Accepting a plea or going to trial both have pros and cons. For instance, taking a deal is advantageous in that it is less time consuming than a trial. Additionally, it can mean that the defendant is convicted of a lesser charge or spends less time in jail and or prison. Plea bargains also have their disadvantages. The prosecutor's case might be too weak to prove that the defendant committed the alleged offense and offers a deal that allows them to "win" the case. When the defendant accepts the plea, they lose out on the possibility of being acquitted of a criminal charge.
One of the advantages of going to trial is that the defense has more time to prepare for the case and build a compelling strategy. Litigation also allows the defendant to seek an acquittal. However, when a case goes to trial, the defendant's fate is decided by a judge or jury, meaning they lose the more personal control they had during negotiations.
Your team will meet with you to discuss the possible risks and benefits of proceeding to trial. We will also discuss how we can mitigate the risk of trial by entering a plea. You will be counseled as to the possible consequences of each of your choices. This critical decision is one that must be made by the client with our experienced advice. We are here to answer your questions and to ensure you understand your options.
Handling Your Matter at Trial
If you elect not to take a plea offer, we will proceed to trial. During the trial, the prosecution will present all of the evidence it has collected against you to convince the jury that you are guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Your Ohio trial litigation lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine the government’s witnesses and challenge the prosecutor’s theory. You and your legal team will also have a chance to present your own evidence and arguments during this time.
We believe that every single person has the right to due process. Regardless of the nature of your case, we will fight tirelessly on your behalf from the beginning of the process until the final verdict. Contact Patituce & Associates today.
We Offer No-Cost, Confidential Phone Consultations.
Our Team Has Over 70 Years of Combined Experience.
Our Lead Attorney Is A Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
Our Attorneys Have Taken Cases to Jury Trials Over 200 Times.
We Are the Firm Other Attorneys, Police & Prosecutors Turn To.
We Are Available 24/7.