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Offices in Cleveland & Columbus, Ohio 216-928-7700

When You Need Skilled Criminal Defense

Helping Our Clients Put Their Charges Behind Them

Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorneys

Experienced Defense Against Criminal Charges in Cuyahoga County 

Have you been arrested for a crime in Ohio? Very early on, Friedman Nemecek Long & Grant, L.L.C. became recognized as one of the most effective criminal trial firms in Ohio and throughout the country. We approach each case with diligence and give our cases 110% of our energy and dedication.

We provide more support and security than smaller law firms while maintaining the personal aspect that larger firms often cannot provide, perfectly filling the niche between the two. Anyone needing an exceptional Cleveland criminal defense lawyer could benefit from retaining our firm. 

Call Friedman Nemecek Long & Grant, L.L.C. today at (216) 928-7700 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our criminal defense lawyers in Cleveland!

What Does a Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

A criminal defense attorney is a legal professional who represents individuals or organizations charged with criminal offenses. Their primary role is to protect the rights of their clients and provide legal counsel throughout the criminal justice process. Here are some key functions and responsibilities of a criminal defense attorney:

  • Case Evaluation and Analysis: A defense attorney will thoroughly review the case details, including evidence, witness statements, police reports, and other relevant information. They will assess the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case and identify possible defenses.
  • Legal Advice: A defense attorney will provide legal guidance and advice to clients at every stage of the criminal proceedings. They will explain the charges, potential consequences, and available options, helping their clients make informed decisions about their cases.
  • Defense Strategy Development: Based on the case's specific circumstances, a defense attorney will develop a strategic defense plan. This may involve challenging the evidence, questioning the legality of the arrest or search, presenting alternative explanations, or exploring plea bargain negotiations.
  • Gathering Evidence and Investigating: A defense attorney will gather evidence supporting the defense's theory. This may involve interviewing witnesses, collecting documents, hiring experts, or utilizing other resources to strengthen the defense.
  • Court Representation: A defense attorney represents clients in court proceedings, including arraignments, bail hearings, pre-trial motions, plea negotiations, trial, and sentencing hearings. They present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and advocate for their client's rights and interests.
  • Negotiations and Plea Bargaining: In some cases, a defense attorney may engage in plea negotiations with the prosecution. They will work to secure the best plea agreement for their clients, considering the evidence, potential penalties, and the client's goals and interests.
  • Trial Preparation and Representation: A defense attorney will prepare a comprehensive defense strategy if the case proceeds to trial. They will examine potential jurors, prepare witnesses, deliver opening and closing statements, and present a strong defense for their clients.
  • Sentencing Advocacy: If the client is convicted, a defense attorney will advocate for the most favorable sentence possible during the sentencing phase. They may present mitigating factors, argue for alternative sentencing options, or challenge excessive or inappropriate penalties.

Overall, the primary goal of criminal defense attorney is to protect client's rights, ensure a fair legal process, and achieve the best possible outcome in cases, whether through dismissal, acquittal, reduced charges, or minimized penalties. 

Contact Friedman Nemecek Long & Grant, L.L.C. today to start your defense with one of our criminal defense attorneys in Cleveland! 


  • Co-Chair of American Bar Association Cyber Committee
  • Former President of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Former President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Legal Educators & Analysts
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Fellow
  • Rule 20 Certified - Lead Trial Counsel Capital Cases
  • Former President of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers
  • Recognized Leaders in the Legal Community
  • Practicing Throughout U.S. & Internationally
  • National Authors & Speakers on Our Team

Recent Case Results

Doing Whatever It Takes to Win
  • Sentence Significantly Reduced $60 Million Dollar Securities Fraud
  • Penalty Reduced to Probation Only $75 Million Investment Fraud
  • Not Guilty 102 Sexual Assault Counts
  • Not Guilty Aggravated Arson
  • Penalties Reduced to Misdemeanor Aggravated Burglary, Attempted Rape, Gross Sexual Imposition, and Kidnapping
  • Probation Sentence Aggravated Robbery With Gun Specifications

Criminal Cases We Handle 

Our dedicated team of Cleveland criminal defense attorneys handles many criminal cases, ensuring our clients receive top-notch legal representation. With a focus on protecting your rights and achieving favorable outcomes, we excel in the following areas:

When you choose our firm, you can trust that our attorneys will work tirelessly to navigate the complexities of the legal system on your behalf. We understand the impact criminal charges can have on your life, and we are committed to providing you with a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances. 

What is the Criminal Process in Ohio?

The criminal process in Ohio generally follows a series of stages from the arrest to the resolution of the case. Here is an overview of the criminal process in Ohio:

  • Arrest: When law enforcement officers have probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed, they can make an arrest. The arrested person is taken into custody and informed of their Miranda rights.
  • Initial Appearance: The defendant is brought before a judge for an initial appearance after the arrest. During this hearing, the judge informs the defendant of the charges against them, advises them of their rights, and may address bail or bond issues.
  • Grand Jury Indictment or Preliminary Hearing: For felony charges, the case may proceed to a grand jury for indictment. The grand jury reviews the evidence presented by the prosecution and determines if there is enough evidence to charge the defendant formally. Alternatively, in some cases, a preliminary hearing may be held to determine if there is probable cause to proceed to trial.
  • Arraignment: At the arraignment, the defendant appears before the court, enters a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest), and is provided with the opportunity to request legal representation if they haven't already done so. The court may set bail or release conditions.
  • Discovery and Pretrial Motions: During this stage, the defense and prosecution exchange information and evidence through a process known as discovery. The defense may file pretrial motions to challenge the admissibility of evidence or seek other legal rulings.
  • Plea Negotiations: The prosecution and defense may engage in plea negotiations to resolve before trial. This can involve discussing potential plea bargains, reduced charges, or sentencing agreements.
  • Trial: If the case does not resolve through a plea agreement, it proceeds to trial. The trial involves the selection of a jury, opening statements, presentation of evidence, witness testimony, cross-examination, closing arguments, and jury deliberation. The jury must reach a unanimous verdict for a conviction.
  • Sentencing: If the defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty, the court proceeds to the sentencing phase. The judge determines the appropriate penalties based on Ohio law, considering factors such as the nature of the crime, the defendant's criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
  • Appeals: After conviction, the defendant may have the right to appeal their case to a higher court if there are grounds for appeal, such as errors in the legal process or constitutional violations.

It's important to note that the specific procedures and timelines can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, the jurisdiction, and other factors. Consulting with a Cleveland criminal defense lawyer is critical for guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Penalties for Criminal Charges in Ohio

The penalties for criminal charges in Ohio can vary depending on the specific offense, its severity, and the case's individual circumstances. Ohio categorizes crimes into different classes and assigns corresponding penalties. Here's a general overview of the potential penalties for criminal charges in Ohio:


Misdemeanors are less serious offenses and are divided into three classes: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree.

  • First-degree Misdemeanor: Maximum jail term of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Second-degree Misdemeanor: Maximum jail term of up to 90 days and/or a fine of up to $750.
  • Third-degree Misdemeanor: Maximum jail term of up to 60 days and/or a fine of up to $500.


Felonies are more serious offenses and are classified into several degrees: first, second, third, fourth, and fifth-degree, as well as unclassified felonies.

  • First-degree Felony: Punishable by a prison term of 3 to 11 years and/or a fine of up to $20,000.
  • Second-degree Felony: Punishable by a prison term of 2 to 8 years and/or a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Third-degree Felony: Punishable by a prison term of 9 months to 3 years and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Fourth-degree Felony: Punishable by a prison term of 6 to 18 months and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
  • Fifth-degree Felony: Punishable by a prison term of 6 to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Unclassified felonies may have penalties specific to the offense, and the sentencing range can vary widely depending on the offense's severity.

It's important to note that these penalties are general guidelines and can be subject to enhancement or reduction based on various factors, such as prior criminal history, aggravating or mitigating circumstances, and statutory enhancements.

Additionally, certain offenses, such as murder or drug-related offenses, carry specific penalties and can result in longer prison terms, including life imprisonment or even the death penalty.

It's crucial to consult a criminal defense lawyer in Cleveland who can provide accurate and up-to-date information regarding the specific penalties associated with your charges.

Contact Our Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyers Today 

If you are facing criminal charges in Ohio, our team of experienced attorneys is here to provide you with exceptional legal representation and relentless advocacy. As dedicated Cleveland criminal defense lawyers, we understand the gravity of the situation and are committed to protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case. With our extensive knowledge, strategic approach, and unwavering dedication, we will tirelessly fight to defend your rights, challenge the prosecution's evidence, and navigate the complex legal system on your behalf. Trust our firm to provide you with the expertise and personalized attention you deserve during this challenging time! 

Contact Friedman Nemecek Long & Grant, to schedule a consultation with our criminal lawyer in Cleveland!

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    "Ian is the Best - Period!"
    I was facing life in prison for a crime I did not commit. After an initial conviction during a bench trial, Ian was able to get me a new trial based upon previously undiscovered evidence and I was found not guilty by a jury at the second trial almost immediately upon beginning deliberations. Ian saved my life.
    - Former Client
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    If you need a bulldog on your case, you have Ian and his team. They never give up.
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