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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need to hire an attorney if I plan on pleading guilty?

Absolutely, you should never plead guilty without consulting an attorney because an attorney can determine if there are any legal or factual problems with your case that would enable you to have your case thrown out, get a lesser charge, or be acquitted.

Is there a difference between probation and parole?

Yes. The only difference is the timing. Both require supervision by state or county officers. Parole occurs after someone has been released from prison. Probation is now community controlled sanction, which occurs when someone does not go to prison. If you violate either, a judge and or parole board, can violate you and send you to jail.

Do I need a lawyer to represent me for a white collar criminal case even if I am innocent?

Absolutely. If you’ve been charged with a white-collar criminal case, somebody believes that you did something wrong. You need to be able to defend yourself.

What should I do if I receive a letter demanding that I turn over my patients’ medical records?

If you receive a request from a medical board investigator, you should contact a lawyer to determine how to lawfully proceed with the board request. While ensuring patient confidentiality and protecting your interests, we have successfully defended many doctors before the medical board.

If a police officer asks me to take field sobriety test, what should I do?

Field sobriety tests are meant to be used by the prosecution and police against people in court to obtain convictions. Law enforcement utilizes field sobriety tests as a tool for conviction because they are extremely difficult to perform and are specifically designed for failure.

Are prescription drug offenses different from other drug crimes?

As far as the law is concerned, yes. Regardless of the type of drug, the sale of any drug, including marijuana, the offense is drug trafficking, which is a felony in the state of Ohio. However, a common difference is prescription drug offenses often result from the person’s addiction to that drug and by that person selling those drugs to make money to support their addiction as opposed to being in the drug trafficking business purely for profit.

Is there a difference between a felony and misdemeanor charge?

Yes. Felonies are more serious than misdemeanors. Felony convictions can result in a prison sentence, while misdemeanor convictions can result in jail time. Both can result in loss of employment, driver license suspensions, fines, and in some instances sexual offender classification and notification requirements. Also, convictions for both stigmatize an individual which can follow them for the rest of their lives.

What is the difference between a dismissal and an expungement?

A dismissal is the favorable termination of a criminal case either by the judge or the prosecution. An expungement enables the trial judge to seal all records regarding your case that are in the possession of the police, prosecution, state agencies, and the courts. Once a judge seals all records of your case, nobody should have public access to that information.

If I get offered a plea bargain, should I take it?

It depends upon many factors. There is no cookie-cutter client or cookie cutter case. We see our clients as individuals whereas the justice system sees them as numbers and statistics. Each case and person is unique, which is why it is so important to consult with a lawyer who can understand all details as it applies to the person, the offense, and collateral consequences.

Should I represent myself in a criminal case?

Absolutely not. There’s an old saying: He who represents himself has a fool for a client”.

What type of crimes does your defense law firm handle?

We defend individuals charged with all misdemeanor and felony offenses in all municipal, state, and federal trial and appellate courts.

A federal agency is investigating me. What should I do?

You should not speak to any federal law enforcement officer without first contacting a lawyer. Any statement that you make to any law enforcement officer can be used against you, in most instances, to criminally charge you and/or convict you. Any false statement, made to a federal agency can lead to an independent and separate prosecution resulting in prison time. If a federal agent shows up at your door without a warrant, immediately tell them to leave and do not answer any questions. Then call a lawyer. Call Zukerman Law.

Do I have to answer every question the police ask me?

It depends. Generally, if you are the suspect of a crime, or the subject and/or target in a criminal investigation you should not speak to the police or any prosecutor without counsel. You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself.

When should I hire a white collar criminal defense attorney?

You should hire a white collar criminal defense attorney if you believe or know that somebody suspects you of criminal wrongdoing or if you made a mistake and wish to remedy the situation without being charged criminally.

What type of options do I have for a DUI case?

We approach each OVI case aggressively by attacking the constitutionality of the traffic stop and attacking the admissibility of all evidence. While each case is different Our aggressive approach maximizes our client to favorable results.

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"I would recommend [Zukerman] to anyone with a problem in the Cleveland area. He has years of experience and does not give up."