Explaining the Criminal Defense Process
Legal Representation for Criminal, Traffic, DUI/OVI Charges
Our firm offers free initial consultations for anyone looking for legal representation for a criminal, traffic DUI or OVI matter. We firmly believe that finding counsel should be an easy and worry-free process. The attorneys at Probst Law Office are hard-working and confident in their abilities to offer the highest standard of legal defense and we look forward to sharing our expertise with you.
Appearing in court for an arraignment can be a nerve-wracking and overwhelming experience. Courtrooms are often packed with people waiting for their case to be called. Unfamiliarity with court procedures can result in waiting long periods of time to have your case called and, worse yet, having the charges and facts read aloud to a packed courtroom. This can be an embarrassing and mortifying experience. By hiring an attorney from Probst Law Office, you are guaranteed to have someone appear for you at your arraignment hearing. We assist clients in navigating the court system, having their cases heard swiftly, protecting their constitutional rights, and obtaining limited driving privileges for driver’s license suspensions. Under many circumstances we are able to appear on behalf of clients at arraignments without our clients having to come to court at all.
In every criminal, traffic, DUI or OVI case, a Judge will set a bond, the purpose of which is to ensure an individual’s future appearance in court as well as to uphold public safety. Bonds are typically set in one of 3 ways: recognizance bond, appearance bond, and surety bond. A recognizance bond requires that an individual sign a bond and agree, by way of their signature, to appear at all future court dates. When an appearance bond is set, an individual is able to post 10% of the bond amount in cash. Upon completion of a case, 90% of a posted appearance bond is returned to an individual. When a surety bond is set, an individual is required to retain a bail bondsman or surety to post the bond. A bail bondsman requires 10% of the bond amount as their fee for posting the bond, which will never be returned to the individual. Judges often have preset bond amounts depending on the level of a misdemeanor or felony. The attorneys at Probst Law Office believe that it is extremely important to appear and advocate on behalf of clients at bond hearings. This is our opportunity to emphasize to a court the positive attributes of a client’s personal life, work history, and lack of a criminal record. We have achieved great success advocating on behalf of clients at bond hearings for bond amounts that are less than preset amounts often followed by Judges.
Pretrial hearings are often the first time an individual appears before the Judge assigned to their case. It is also the first time an individual comes face to face with the prosecuting attorney. Prosecuting attorneys represent the State of Ohio as well as agents of the State, including; law enforcement officers. Although most prosecutors are honorable, they are nonetheless trying to convict individuals charged with criminal and drunk driving offenses. At Pretrial hearings, it is necessary to file Motions to preserve constitutional rights, schedule future hearings, and negotiate settlements and appropriate resolutions to cases. Having an attorney to help with these processes is vital. Additionally, it is the goal of the attorneys at Probst Law Office to make sure our clients don’t get pressured by prosecutors to waive constitutional and statutory rights, give up valid legal defenses, and prematurely plead guilty to criminal, traffic, DUI or OVI offenses.
Suppression hearings are scheduled court hearings at which a Defendant is able to raise constitutional errors and defects in arrests and search warrants in order to have evidence thrown out or excluded from a case. Suppression hearings are held on the record in front of a Judge. When constitutional defects and violations in a case are raised, the prosecutor has the burden of establishing probable cause for the arrest or search and seizure of evidence. The prosecutor will frequently attempt to establish probable cause by calling the arresting officer to the stand to testify. This is our opportunity to thoroughly question and cross-examine law enforcement officers and other witnesses. Having an experienced attorney to request and handle this type of hearing can make all the difference in your case. We have achieved significant success holding suppression hearings and excluding evidence in cases stemming from:
- Illegal traffic stops for minor traffic offenses
- Illegal traffic stops in OVI or drunk driving cases
- Illegally subjecting individuals to submit to field sobriety testing in OVI or drunk driving cases
- Improper collection, transport and storage of evidence in OVI or drunk driving cases, such as breathalyzer results, and urine and blood testing results
- Improper administration or field sobriety testing by law enforcement officers
- Illegal detention of individuals during traffic stops
- Illegal canine or drug dog searches of vehicles in marijuana drug possession and drug trafficking cases, as well as other illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin
- Unconstitutional and illegal searches stemming from search warrants for illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin
Attorney Michael Probst has successfully completed training for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) DUI and OVI detection and Field Sobriety Testing. He has significant experience reviewing cases for improper administration of field sobriety testing in DUI, OVI and drunk driving cases, and improper arrests stemming from non-compliance with NHTSA standards.
Today, more than ever before, more cases are negotiated to settlement by way of a plea bargain. The art of obtaining an advantageous settlement for our clients stems from hard work and a strong defense in order to gain leverage in a case. When a client enters a plea, they will be giving up all of their important and fundamental constitutional and statutory rights, including the right to a jury trial, the right to force the State of Ohio to prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses at trial, the right to remain silent or testify at trial, the right to subpoena witnesses, and all rights regarding an appeal. Excellent negotiation skills is a must in order for any defense attorney to obtain a favorable plea offer. Having a solid understanding of courtroom procedure is also imperative so that clients entering a plea are not exposed to surprises stemming from attorney inexperience.
If in the event a client’s legal matter cannot be resolved by way of a suppression hearing or plea hearing, it will then be necessary to have a trial. Having an experienced trial attorney to handle trials and jury trials is absolutely vital to protecting your rights. Too often individuals hire inexperienced attorneys to handle their criminal legal matters and end up with jail sentences and court fines that could have been mitigated and reduced significantly. The attorneys at Probst Law Office have proven trial experience and are dedicated to getting the best results for their clients. As a former assistant prosecuting attorney, Attorney Michael Probst gained a tremendous amount of experience sitting first chair during jury trials of defendants charged with serious felony offenses. Attorney Probst now uses his vast experience defending individuals charged with misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses, as well as traffic, DUI and OVI cases. As defense counsel, Attorney Michael Probst has sat first chair in jury trials for very serious felony criminal offenses, serious misdemeanor offenses, as well as DUI and OVI offenses. Additionally, Associate Attorney Colin Maher, has a significant amount of jury trial experience in misdemeanor criminal cases as well as traffic, DUI and OVI cases, stemming from his position as an Assistant Public Defender. If you have been charged with a crime in Columbus or Central Ohio, you need to speak with experienced legal counsel who has proven trial experience and who will fight to get a positive result for you. I encourage you to contact me, an Ohio defense attorney, online or call 614-232-8890 for a free initial consultation.