Criminal Defense in Cleveland, Ohio
70+ Years of Experience You Can Count On
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is an important decision—one that should not be made quickly. If you’ve been accused of a crime, you should do your research prior to making a decision. Criminal defense attorneys have different skill sets, different experiences, and different training. At Patituce & Associates, we never settle for less than excellence, for our clients or our team. Our team of Cleveland criminal defense attorneys consists of former prosecutors and attorneys with significant legal experience inside and outside of the criminal courtroom.
Find out for yourself how our Cleveland criminal defense firm can help you. Call (440) 471-7784!
How to Choose the Right Attorney
First, discuss your lawyer’s approach to handling your case. No reputable attorney will guarantee results; however, he/she should tell you in a few, direct words how they will protect your rights. Our Cleveland criminal defense lawyers put you, the client, first. We don’t work for the government. We work for you.
Depending on the nature of your case, you might worry that even the best lawyer can’t help. However, if you are facing a felony or misdemeanor, it is imperative that you contact a skilled legal representative right away. At Patituce & Associates, we can show you how spending just 10 minutes discussing your case with a defense lawyer can greatly improve your situation. To take the first step, fill out an online form or give us a call now.
Better than I could have hoped.
"I hired Mr. Patituce and his law firm after a string of unsuccessful attorneys. I wanted to go to his firm in the first place, however, I initially went with an attorney who called himself "seasoned" and who said that a lawyer with "only" four years of experience would put me in prison. The truth is that the "seasoned" attorney never returned my phone calls, never told me what was going on, and every time I saw him at court he was laughing and joking with the prosecutor. Mr. Patituce was none of that, he returned my phone calls within a day at most. Most of the time he called me back within an hour. It was the best decision of my life to hire him. I walked out the door free, rather than going to prison."- A.M.
Types of Cases We Handle
Our firm is well-versed in felony and misdemeanor offenses in Cleveland and across Ohio. We can help with:
- Domestic violence
- Drug crimes
- Federal offenses
- Sex crimes
- Juvenile crimes
- Theft offenses
- Weapons charges
- White collar crimes
The most common mistakes we see are when individuals decide they don’t need or can’t afford a lawyer. Do not make one of these critical errors. When you are facing prison, jail, and the loss of your reputation, you need someone on your side. More importantly, you need someone who can make a difference. See how the criminal defense lawyers at Patituce & Associates can make a difference in your case by calling our office today.
Pre-Arrest Investigation Attorneys in Cleveland, OH
When you are accused of a crime or targeted by law enforcement for a criminal investigation, you need to act right away to best protect your rights and freedom. Do not sit and wait to be arrested and charged for a crime.
With our legal representation retained before you are ever placed in handcuffs, you can start working on your defense before ever going to court. Before filing most criminal charges, the office of a district attorney, or a United States Attorney, must compile an investigative packet that outlines clearly why the charges are justified. “Compelling evidence” is needed, or else the case against you could fall apart.
The goal of our Cleveland criminal defense attorneys is dismantling the opposition’s case before it even has a charge to be formally brought against you. During pre-arrest investigations, we may be able to challenge the supposed evidence and get the case dropped, meaning there would not even be a mark on your arrest record.
Allow us to be your legal guides or advocates for:
- Pre-arrest interviews
- Responding to official written inquiries
- Interactions with law enforcement
Remember: you have the right to remain silent, but this does not mean it is always the best option. We can thoroughly analyze the situation do advise you whether you should cooperate with investigators, or remain respectfully and legally quiet about what is going on.
Trial Litigation: Our Winning Approach
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. Our Cleveland criminal defense attorneys love 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.
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 Criminal Litigation in Ohio
In Ohio, the criminal 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 a DUI case, if the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop the driver, any observations they made or test results 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. It may have been obtained in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights or may 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 & Defenses Built by Our Trial Litigation Lawyers
If we take your case, our Ohio criminal trial 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 a Criminal 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.
Powerful Counsel by Our Cleveland Defense Attorneys
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.
We believe that every single person has the right to due process. Regardless of the nature of the case, we will fight tirelessly on behalf of each of our clients from the beginning of the process until the final verdict.
Are you facing criminal charges in the Cleveland area? Get the defense that you need. Call (440) 471-7784.
Work with Cleveland's FinestMeet the Attorneys of Patituce & Associates
Joseph C. Patituce
Managing Partner / Former Prosecutor
Megan M. Patituce
Partner / Former Prosecutor
Catherine R. Meehan
Office Manager / Paralegal
Aaron A. Schwartz
Facing Criminal Charges?Contact Our Team Today
Results MatterRecent Victories
Charges Avoided Federal Analogue Drug Charges: Unindicted
Not Guilty at Trial Attempted Murder/Felonious Assault: State v. Brandon Betliskey
Felonies Reduced to a Misdemeanor Mortage Fraud: State v. Bankston (Case 554763)
Felonies Reduced to a Misdemeanor Fraud: State v. Bailey
Sentence Reduced to 55 Months United States v. Pugh, 1:16-cr-00291-BYP.
Dismissed State v. Levanduski
Evidence Suppressed, State Lost the Appeal DUI / OVI: City of Cleveland v. Oles
Prosecutor Dismissed the OVI Charges OVI: Bay Village v. Keller
Reduction in Charges and Client Avoided Mandator OVI: State v. Shaver, Elyria
Not Guilty at Trial Felonious Assault / Attempted Murder: State v. Brandon Betliskey
Better than I could have hoped.
"I hired Mr. Patituce and his law firm after a string of unsuccessful attorneys. I wanted to go to his firm in the first place, however, I initially went with an attorney who called himself "seasoned" and who said that a lawyer with "only" four years of experience would put me in prison. The truth is that the "seasoned" attorney never returned my phone calls, never told me what was going on, and every time I saw him at court he was laughing and joking with the prosecutor. Mr. Patituce was none of that, he returned my phone calls within a day at most. Most of the time he called me back within an hour. It was the best decision of my life to hire him. I walked out the door free, rather than going to prison."
What Sets Us Apart?The Patituce & Associates Difference
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.