Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers
When it comes to criminal defense, choosing the right lawyer is crucial. As a family-owned firm, Makridis Law Firm will represent you with the experience of a big-scale firm at a low cost. Our attention to detail and willingness to spend more time on each case sets us apart. Also, when you want to discuss your case, we will always take your call or find time to call you back.
Makridis Law Firm has over 40 years of experience, defending criminal cases in Warren, Ohio. With that, our lawyers have represented many clients on many different criminal cases and understand that each case is unique. We understand that when you are charged with a crime, your freedom and future are at risk. So, it is crucial to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands the penalties you are facing.
At Makridis Law Firm, we will review the charges and all of the evidence against you, and advocate for your rights, even when it seems there is no possible defense. We will do our best to put you in the best possible position to resolve your case favorably.
The State of Ohio has very confusing and harsh criminal laws. Those laws include serious consequences, jail time, fines, costs, etc. Therefore, it is critical that you choose an experienced criminal defense attorney to help defend your rights. Makridis Law Firm is experienced in all areas of criminal defense and does not hesitate to take on cases.
FAQ: Criminal Defense Questions
What happens after a person is arrested?
Generally, when a person is arrested, they are taken to jail to be processed. This includes providing personal information, which the police use to determine if the person has any open warrants and/or criminal history.
If you are being arrested for a misdemeanor, the officer in some cases can decide not to book you in the jail and provide you with a summons to appear in court on a specific date and time.
If you are booked in the jail for a felony, you will be processed and, depending on the charges, either have a scheduled bond that you or a bondsman can pay OR you may have to physically go before a judge in court for bail / bond.
Do I need to speak to the police before or after I am arrested?
If you are being investigated for committing a crime, you have the right to remain silent under 5th Amendment to the U.S. constitution... And you should invoke that right as soon as you are either (1) being investigated for a crime or (2) arrested for a crime. When being interrogated and detained by the police, many times they are looking to incriminate you! Your best defense is to remain silent or respectfully explain that you do not wish to answer any questions without your lawyer present!
Should I give the police my side of the story?
No! You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney before giving any statement to the police. Invoke your 5th amendment right to remain silent and let your attorney talk for you.
Can I exercise my right to remain silent after I have already made a statement?
Yes. If you make a statement, you can always stop talking at any time. Just tell the officer: "I exercise my right to remain silent, and also request to speak with my lawyer. I invoke my right to counsel."
If you have been arrested, simply tell the officer that you exercise your right to remain silent and wish to speak with your lawyer. This forces the police to stop asking questions that might incriminate you. To speak with a lawyer, call Dimitri Makridis at (330) 394-1587.
Was I under arrest if the police did not read me my rights?
Just because you were not read your Miranda Rights, it does NOT mean you were not placed under arrest. It also does not mean your case will be thrown out. It only means that whatever you said before your rights were read to you MAY be suppressed in court.
How long does a criminal case last?
Many factors come into play when determining how long your criminal case might last. For example, your criminal history, the county you are charged in, the judge you are in front of, the prosecutor you are dealing with, and whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. These are all factors that determine how long your criminal case will last.
The complexity of a case will also affect how long it takes. A simple misdemeanor might be resolved within a few weeks or months, while a felony might last for several months or over a year. If the prosecution makes a reasonable plea offer early in the process or there are significant problems in the prosecution's case, the case will likely end much sooner than later.
I'm guilty, do I still need a lawyer?
YES! You may be saying to yourself “why do I need a lawyer, I know I’m guilty. What could they possibly do?”
When you are arrested and charged with a crime, the government is trying to put you in jail, prison, convict you, and take away your rights. This is not something you want to take on alone.
Many times, defense attorneys represent guilty individuals, however, through their training and experience, can work out resolutions that are advantageous to you and would not have been offered if you were not represented by a lawyer.
Other times, there might be a rule or law that keeps certain evidence out of your case. These things can be argued through motions or negotiations to force a deal or get your case dismissed.
Can an attorney defend someone they know is guilty?
There is a difference between legal guilt and factual guilt. A good criminal defense attorney focuses on providing the best legal defense possible for a client. Just because you may be guilty does NOT mean you don’t deserve a defense.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
In Ohio crimes are separated by misdemeanors and felonies, and then subdivided into degree and offense level. For a basic understanding, when someone is charged with a misdemeanor, the maximum punishment is typically up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Operating a vehicle impaired (OVI / DUI) and some other misdemeanors, have different maximum and minimum penalties associated with them.
IF you are charged with a felony, that means you are facing prison time--meaning any amount of time spent behind bars between 6 months and life in prison.
The length and potential mandatory minimum sentences associated with felonies all depend on a person’s criminal history, charges, whether people were hurt, the amount of damage done, etc.
A criminal record is the best determination as to what maximum and minimum punishments you specifically are looking at.
Should I agree to the search of my vehicle?
No. If you consent to the search of your vehicle, the officer can conduct a full search without a warrant. Anything the officer finds can and will be used against you in court. Do not give the officer consent to search your vehicle, even if the officer insists or pressures you. Simply say "Sir / Maam, my lawyer tells me to never consent to the search of my vehicle."
If I get pulled over, do the police have the immediate right to search my vehicle?
Not necessarily. Police can search your vehicle if you have given consent, if there is probable cause, or if the search is subsequent to an arrest.
If I am arrested, can the officer search me and my vehicle before taking me to jail?
Yes. After placing you under arrest, the officer can legally search you and your vehicle.
Can the police use force to arrest me?
Yes, and as much force as may be necessary to arrest you. But an unreasonable amount of force can be deemed an assault. After an arrest, a police officer may handcuff you, and if you resist in any way, the officer may use whatever force is necessary to restrain you.
What is speedy trial? Should I waive it?
A person charged with a criminal offense in Ohio is entitled to the statutory speedy trial rights provided under Ohio law which provide for very specific time limits to bring your case to trial. The seriousness of the offense determines the speedy trial time. For example, the speedy trial time limit for a first degree misdemeanor is 90 days, but the speedy trial time for a felony is 270 days.
Many times, defense attorneys waive speedy trial in order to obtain discovery (reports, statements, evidence) in the case and to prepare for trial.
Once speedy trial rights are waived, they can be recaptured by filing a demand for speedy trial.
Additionally, certain actions taken by the accused or their attorney can waive speedy trial rights.
What is bail / bond?
If you’ve been arrested, think of bail / bond as your financial commitment to show up for court. A judge determines the amount of bail / bond based on the alleged crime, your danger to the community, and whether they deem you as a flight risk. So your bail / bond money (or other property) is deposited with the clerk of court to ensure your appearance at a future court date. If you return to court, as required, then your bail will be returned at the end of the case (even if you are ultimately convicted). However, if you do not show up at court or otherwise violate your bail / bond conditions, the bail / bond can be forfeited.
Can I be released without bail?
You can be if a judge allows you to appear on your own recognizance, or P.R. (personal recognizance) bond. Many conditions may apply.
What kind of criminal cases does your firm handle?
- Burglary/ Theft
- Child endangerment
- Traffic offenses
- Domestic Violence
- DUI charges
- Drug offenses
- Sexual offenses
- Violent crimes
- Crimes of dishonesty
- Crimes against people
- Probation Violations
- Weapons & Firearms
- And many more
How much does it cost to hire a criminal defense attorney?
The cost to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you varies and there are many factors that impact the pricing structure. For example, two people can be charged with the same exact crime, yet the details of their specific case can be totally different and justify different fees. Additionally, fees change based on the jurisdiction that your case is located in, what type of defense you want to present, whether you want to hire experts, and more.
At Makridis Law Firm, we offer a variety of payment options including payment plans, flat fees, hourly rate payments, structured payment schedules based on specific services rendered, and discounts in certain circumstances.
We accept all major credit cards, cash, check, and many other options.
What can I expect when I hire you?
You can expect an experienced and qualified attorney fighting in your corner from day one. At Makridis Law Firm we have established and maintained relationships in the Trumbull and Mahoning County legal communities and built a reputation for being a hard-working firm that actually cares about their clients. We will always do what is in the best interests of our clients and get them the best result possible based on the circumstances.
Should I represent myself in a criminal case?
It is not advisable to represent yourself in a criminal case. You may be taken advantage of based on what you do not know. The experienced lawyers at Makridis Law Firm are here to help.
What should I do if I am falsely accused of a crime?
If falsely accused of a crime in Trumbull or Mahoning County, you need to immediately contact an attorney at Makridis Law Firm and we will help you.
What is the difference between a dismissal and an expungement?
A dismissal means the State or judge dropped the charges against you. Sometimes, it means there was not enough evidence to convict you or move forward with your case. An expungement (or sealing) ensures all records of that charge / conviction are sealed from public record.
What is the difference between an acquittal and not guilty verdict?
“Not Guilty” means a jury found you not guilty of the charges or indictment presented. An acquittal means you are free from all charges brought against you.
What are the elements of a crime?
Every crime has a specific set of elements that a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of that crime. There is sometimes a specific mental state needed and always some act or set of acts that constitute the elements of a crime.
What happens if I commit a crime in Ohio, but I live in another state?
States have jurisdiction to prosecute any crime that occurs within their boundaries. If you have been charged with a crime but are not a resident, you must still face those charges in Ohio.
Why am I facing multiple charges when I only did one thing wrong?
Sometimes numerous charges can be brought against a person for one incident if multiple laws were broken during that incident.
Can a law enforcement officer detain you without arresting you?
Sometimes. If there is reasonable suspicion that you are involved in criminal activity, a police officer may lawfully ask for name, address, or date of birth.
Can I talk to friends & family about my case?
We understand that being charged with a crime is very stressful and challenging. It is essential to surround yourself with the proper support system. BUT, it is also important to realize that the things you say–even to friends and family–may be used against you in your case. The last thing you want is the prosecutor to use the information you say to friends & family against you.
For this reason, it is best not to discuss your case with anyone but your lawyer. It is also absolutely essential to avoid posting about your case on social media, discussing it with any victim, or their family as well.
What should I do if there is a warrant for my arrest?
The first and most important thing to do is to remain calm and not panic. Gather all of the relevant information pertaining to the warrant, such as what jurisdiction the warrant is in and what the alleged crime is, and then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.
A criminal defense lawyer, such as Dimitri Makridis at Makridis Law Firm, will review the facts of your case and the circumstances surrounding the warrant to provide legal guidance on next steps. If there is another person involved in the case, such as a co-conspirator or a victim, do not contact them.
Only a practicing lawyer can best advise you on what to do next. The usual practice is to attempt to get the warrant set aside or turn yourself in to avoid further penalties. Call Dimitri Makridis at (330) 394-1587 to discuss.
What should I do if I think the police are going to arrest me?
If you believe the police are going to arrest you, or that criminal charges are imminent, remain calm and contact an attorney who specializes in criminal defense immediately. It is important that you take swift action and have a plan in place in case you do receive charges, whether you believe they are justified or not.
Do not try to hide from the police, do not leave the state, and do not commit any other crimes. If you are on probation, parole, or are in pre-trial supervision, abide by all terms of your supervision. An experienced criminal defense attorney will advise you on the proper steps moving forward.
Therefore, it is best that you an experienced criminal defense attorney ahead of time so that they can prepare in the event that you do receive criminal charges. Do not wait until after the police arrest you to speak with a lawyer.
What should I do if the police try to question me?
Having the police question you can be stressful and cause a lot of fear and anxiety. These are natural reactions, whether you are part of a formal interrogation or police stop you on the side of the road. We often hear from clients that they talked to the police because they felt pressured, afraid, or were unsure.
Know that you have a right to remain silent and that you do not have to answer any questions from the police without a lawyer present. Do not allow the police to tell you otherwise. If they attempt to question you, request to speak with your attorney and politely inform them that you will not be providing any answers without your lawyer present.