Home Feedback
Criminal Law
Personal Injury
Wrongful Death
Auto Accidents
Landlord /Tenant Law
Buying a Home
Legal Terms
Attorney David P. Drew
3435 Kent Rd., Suite #2A
Stow, Ohio 44224
Akron: (330) 689-1529
Fax: (330) 688-2999
Alliance: (330) 777-4240
Bedford: (440) 399-0199
Berea : (440) 625-2800
Canton: (330) 777-4241
Cambridge: (740) 994-3577
Cleveland: (216) 744-2755
Columbus: (614) 437-5244
Elyria: (440) 625-2799
Lisbon: (330) 777-4242
Mansfield: (419) 989-6730
Medina: (330) 777-4243
Northfield: (330) 777-4244
Painesville: (440) 210-7255
Ravenna: (330) 777-4245
Sandusky: (440) 625-2788
Toledo: (419) 989-6737
Warren: (330) 777-4246
Criminal Law


You can tip the scales of justice in your favor by hiring a competent and experienced lawyer. When your freedom is on the line Attorney David P. Drew can give you an aggressive defense.  Law enforcement officials have the duty to protect the community they serve, its citizens and their property. By law, they have various rights in order to perform their duties. They must make arrests when necessary to uphold law and order.  Citizens have certain rights when they are arrested. Even though you never expect to be arrested, you should know these rights.

Let's take for example:

Suppose you are walking down a street when, suddenly, a police officer confronts you and announces, "You are under arrest!" "But officer, what did I do? I was just walking home," you say.
  "A person of your description, carrying a sack like you have in your hand, just robbed a drugstore on Main Street -- two blocks away. He was reported heading in this direction. I'm arresting you on suspicion of robbery," the police officer replies.
Legally you have just been arrested.

In the example above, the police officer had good reason to believe that you may have been involved in the robbery. In a few minutes, it may be obvious that you are innocent but, on the other hand, you may have to establish your innocence by other means. Such an arrest may be for a felony, which may be punishable by imprisonment in the penitentiary, or death. Burglary, robbery, and murder are examples of felonies. Such an arrest may also be made for misdemeanors, such as petty theft, assault, or making menacing threats.

When Can a person Be Arrested? 

A police officer may arrest a person:

  • If the officer sees a person violating a law, whether city ordinance, or a state or federal law.  The law may be a serious crime (felony) or a lesser offense (a misdemeanor). The important thing is that the police officer sees the violation.
  • If the officer has good reason to believe a crime has been committed and that the person arrested committed it.
  • If the officer has a warrant for the arrest of certain person.
  • A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge or a clerk of courts directing a law enforcement officer to make an arrest. If someone swears that you have committed a crime--felony or misdemeanor --and files the proper papers, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. (However, this is a serious matter. A person making a false claim for your arrest can be arrested and charged with a violation of the law, as well as become liable for a false arrest suit filed by you.) If a warrant has not been issued, a police officer cannot legally arrest you for certain misdemeanors, such as trespassing, unless a violation was committed in the officer's presence.

On minor traffic offenses the officer may not arrest you, but must give you a traffic citation, unless you refuse to sign the citation showing you have received it.  (A citation given for a traffic violation is not an arrest. The ticket is a summons to appear in court on the charge.)

What Are My Rights If Arrested?

  • If you are arrested by a police officer without a warrant, you have the right to be told why you are being arrested.
  • If you are arrested in a warrant, you have the right to read the warrant to make certain it is for you, that a judge signs it, and to see the charge against you.
  • You may refuse to take a lie detector test, but you may not refuse to be fingerprinted or photographed. (Note: In cases where a person is charged with operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Ohio law provides that your driver's license may be taken away for one year if you refuse to take a breath, urine, blood test when arrested.)
  • You have the right to have your attorney present at any “line up.”
  • You have the right to contact a lawyer of your choice, or some person who can contact your lawyer or arrange bail.
  • You are not limited to one telephone call, but are permitted a reasonable number in effort to contact the proper person.
  • You have the right to a reasonable opportunity to consult with your lawyer in private.
  • You also have the right to give your attorney or another person a reasonable opportunity to arrange bail before you are put in jail.
  • You have the right to be brought before a judge as soon as practicable after your arrest.
  • You have the right, except when charged with a crime punishable by death, to have a judge set the amount of bail for your release.

If you are charged with a misdemeanor, the clerk of courts may set bail, and if no judge is available, the police officer may, at police headquarters, accept bail in accordance with a schedule established by the judge.

(If you have question regarding your arrest at any time – ask it. Do not jeopardize your rights!)

What is My Duty if Arrested?  
Even though you are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty - you may actually have done nothing wrong – it is your duty as a citizen to act in a responsible manner. Trying to run away or resist arrest is not only unlawful, but also foolish.

What are the Rights of the Police?
While you are under arrest, the police have the right to photograph you, to take your fingerprints, and to search you. 
The police are not doing anything wrong by asking you questions, so long as they fully warn you at the beginning of the questioning of: 

  • Your right to remain silent.
  • Your right to have an attorney present for consultation if you agree to answer questions.
  • Your right to have an attorney appointed if you are charged with an offense where jail is a possible punishment and cannot afford to pay an attorney.
  • Your right to stop answering questions at any time.
  • That your statements can be used against you in court.  

The police may not use promises, threats, or force to get you to answer questions. Remember, you may ask questions at any time during the procedure. Whether you are innocent or not, a lawyer can advise you of your rights and possibly help you avoid being punished for something you didn't do. Even if you think you are guilty, there is a possibility you are accused of a crime more serious than you have actually committed. 

What Are my Rights in Court?
When you are brought into court, it is the duty of the judge to inform you of:

  • The nature of the charge against you.
  • The identity of the person making the complaint (and permit you or your attorney to read a copy of the complaint).
  • Your right to a continuance (postponement of the proceedings) to secure an attorney if you cannot afford to pay an attorney.
  • Your right to an appointed attorney if you cannot afford to pay an attorney.
  • The effect of the pleas which may be entered.
  • Your right to trial by jury and the need for making a written demand for such a trial.
  • The nature and extent of possible punishment on conviction and your right to a preliminary hearing if the charge against you is a felony. 

What are the Charges and the Pleas?

  • You should ALWAYS get the advice of a lawyer before you plead, especially if faced with felony charges. You can refuse to enter any plea until you have the advice of a lawyer. Even a plea of “not guilty” may deprive you of certain legal means of defending yourself against the charge.
  • If you are charged with an offense where jail is a possible punishment and are without money to hire a lawyer, the court must appoint one for you.  
  • If the charge against you is a misdemeanor and you choose to go through the matter without employing an attorney, the court should advise you that you might plead:
  • Guilty - meaning you are guilty of the charge as filed. If you plead guilty, you waive all rights to trial and to appeal. You admit that you've committed the crime. The court will proceed to sentence you.  
  • Not Guilty – meaning you believe you are innocent of the charge as filed.
  • No Contest – meaning that you agree to let the judge make a finding of guilt or innocence after an explanation of the facts. It is not an admission of guilt, which can be used against you in any other proceedings, either criminal or a civil action for damages.

What is My Lawyer's Duty?  The Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio State Bar Association require a lawyer who has taken on the defense of a person accused of a crime to defend the person regardless of the attorney's personal opinion about the guilt of the accused. If this were not the case, innocent persons, victims only of suspicious circumstances, might be denied proper defense. A lawyer who has undertaken the defense of an accused is bound, by all fair and honorable means, to present every defense that the law of the land permits. Those provisions are made so that no person may be deprived of life or liberty except though due process of law. 

If you live in Akron, Stow or surrounding cities in Ohio, do not discuss your case with anyone.  Don't delay, call Attorney David P. Drew today to schedule a consultation so that he may advise you of your rights and how we will aggressively defend you.  

Please call Attorney David Drew today: (330) 689-1529