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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

An Experienced And Certified Northeast Ohio Criminal Defense Lawyer
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Matthew C. Bangerter | Criminal Defense Attorney | Willoughby, OH

Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

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Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County Ohio, Cleveland criminal defense attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq. has experience with the strategies used by prosecutors to pursue their cases. As a member of the Ohio Bar Association, Lake County Bar Association, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cuyahoga Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, he takes his profession as a Cleveland criminal defense attorney seriously and ensures that he is up to date with the latest case law and trial strategies.

Forensic evidence is incredibly important in criminal cases, and Bangerter’s scientific background gives him an edge when evaluating the forensic evidence involved in a criminal defense case. After earning his Law degree and his MBA and dabbling in Computer Science in graduate school, he is currently working towards his Master of Science degree in Biochemistry. He is one of very few criminal defense attorneys who has actually cloned his own DNA in a lab, so he is well-versed in the scientific evidence involved in various criminal cases.

Matthew Bangerter has been certified by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in the Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) program, and to administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). This specialized training enables him to thoroughly scrutinize the administration of those tests and present the best possible defense in OVI/DUI cases.

Awards And Recognition For Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, Esq.

  • Super Lawyers Rising (2014-2017)
  • Lake County Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Supreme Court Of Ohio
  • Ohio State Bar Seal
  • Ohio Association Of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Ohio Innocence Project

Court Admissions And Licenses

  • Supreme Court Of Ohio
  • United States District Court For The Northern District Of Ohio
  • United States 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals

Speaking Engagements

  • 09/20/2020 — Criminal Defense For Non-Criminal Defense Lawyers, LCBA Continuing Education Seminar
  • 10/26/2014 — From Trial To Appeal To Retrial, LCCDLA Annual Criminal Defense Seminar
  • 05/29/2014 — Defending The Guilty, Rotary Club Of Mentor
  • 2013 — Guest Lecturer, Government, ITT Technical Institute
  • 2010 — Guest Lecturer, Composition II, ITT Technical Institute


  • Bangerter, DNA Basics For Lawyers, OACDL Vindicator Magazine (Fall/Winter 2020).
  • Baker & Bangerter, What Are My Miranda Rights?, Ohio State Bar Association (July 7, 2014).


  • Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) — Certified Administrator By NHTSA And IACP
  • Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) — Certified By NHTSA And IACP
  • Certified By The Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission On Appointment Of Counsel In Capital Cases For Appointment As Co-Counsel For Indigent Defendants Facing The Death Penalty

Board Memberships

  • Board Member, Ohio Association Of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Former Co-Chair, Amicus Committee
  • Board Member, Northeast Ohio Board Of Advocates For The Ohio Innocence Project
  • Secretary, 2017-2018
  • Board Member, Lake Health Foundation, Lake County, Ohio

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Why Choose Fortress Law Group, LLC

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Extensive Experience

Established in 2009, our firm has represented thousands of clients in various kinds of criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure each client is diligently represented and protected throughout the trial.

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Professional and Reliable

We value the trust and confidence each client gives us. The criminal justice system is complex, but we are dedicated to guiding you throughout the process to ensure your rights are protected.
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Comprehensive Criminal Defense

Our team of attorneys is knowledgeable and up to date with all the relevant case law and procedural rules in court, and will ensure all your bases are covered.

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Flexible Consultation Times

Facing a criminal charge is a serious matter. You must communicate with a lawyer as soon as possible. That’s why our communication lines – online and via phone – are available for clients to reach out to us at any time.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Criminal Defense

What should I do during my arrest?

Use your right to remain silent and your right to an Ohio criminal defense attorney judiciously during an arrest. Police making an arrest must read you your Miranda rights, which are your rights as a detainee in an investigation. Named for the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona, arresting officers must Mirandize any suspects taken into custody under arrest.

You must only give an officer your legal name for identification if asked. Otherwise, assume that the police are gathering any additional information they can use against you in court.

What rights do I have when being investigated for criminal charges?

Criminal charges range from minor misdemeanors to severe felonies. Your full rights when under investigation for a crime include the following:

  • Your Miranda rights (right to remain silent, right to an Ohio criminal attorney)
  • Freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures
  • The right to a fair and speedy trial by jury
  • The right to confront an accuser in court

Will I spend time in jail?

Depending on the nature of the charges against you, if you qualify for bail, and if you can raise the funds to pay bail, you may have to wait in jail for trial. Defendants awaiting trial for lesser offenses may be able to return to their daily lives while they wait, but defendants charged with more serious offenses could wait for extended periods in jail without bail or bond.

What are some penalties I could face if convicted?

Penalties vary based on the offense.

Misdemeanors. The most minor convictions are fifth-degree misdemeanors. Convictions include a maximum fine of $150 and little to no jail time, depending on the offense. The top-level misdemeanor is a first-degree misdemeanor.

Penalties can include fines up to $1,000 and 180 days in jail.

Felonies. A fifth-degree felony carries six to 12 months in jail or prison, a fine of up to $2,500, and potential community service up to five years after serving time. First-degree felonies are the worst and can include prison time between three and 11 years, plus additional time for related offenses, repeat offenses, or aggravated murder. Convicts can also expect to pay up to $20,000 in fines.

What kind of cases does your firm handle?

When you need a criminal defense attorney in Ohio, turn to Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro. A criminal defense attorney like our founder, Matthew C. Bangerter, can help with your theft, fraud, sex offense, OVI, or gun crime case or appeal. Call (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.


Is expungement the same as sealing a record?

No, they are not the same thing. Sealing a record hides the record's contents but does not erase a conviction or arrest. While most background checks will not be able to see the contents of a sealed record, immigration offices, professional licensing boards, and employers for jobs working with children or requiring security clearance can see sealed records.

An expungement will erase and seal qualifying arrests, convictions, charges, and more so that even organizations that can see sealed records will not find your criminal history on your record.

What can I expunge from my record?

Expungement can remove qualifying convictions, arrests, and other legal records for criminal charges. First- and second-degree felonies do not qualify for expungement, nor do traffic offenses. Qualifying records eligible for expunction include:

  • Arrest records
  • Charges filed against you
  • Acquittals and not-guilty verdicts
  • Third-degree felony convictions or lesser (non-violent)
  • No-bill charges (insufficient evidence)

Am I eligible to request expungement for my record?

If you are seeking expungement as a non-violent criminal, have no current criminal charges against you, have six or fewer felonies on record, and are seeking expungement for a third-degree felony or lesser, you may be eligible to request an expungement of your record.

You must also file for the expungement after the waiting period. Misdemeanors require a waiting period of at least one year, while felonies require at least three years after the final decision.

Does the prosecutor in my case have a role in expungement?

The prosecutor may argue for denial of your request to expunge your record in a hearing before the court. You should hire an Ohio criminal defense attorney such as Matthew Bangerter from our Willoughby, OH, firm to represent your petition for expungement. Contact us at Fortress Law Group for more information about expungement in Northeast Ohio.

If I’m just requesting to expunge my record, do I need an Ohio expungement lawyer?

Ohio expungement lawyers such as Matthew C. Bangerter of Fortress Law Group can tell you about cases where a petitioner filed for an expungement of their record and didn’t realize the prosecutor would argue for denial of their expungement.

Choosing an expungement attorney from our Northeast Ohio firm, Fortress Law Group can help you fight for a clean record in your expungement hearing. Call our offices in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.

Juvenile Crimes

What are the potential penalties for a juvenile conviction (adjudication and disposition)?

Juvenile offenses in Ohio range from minor offenses to serious crimes. If your child receives adjudication and disposition (sentencing) in juvenile court, they could face any of several outcomes, including:

  • House arrest (except for school, work, community service, or counseling if ordered by the court)
  • Juvenile detention
  • Secure holding in a juvenile offender facility
  • If convicted as an adult, county jail or state prison
  • “Blended sentencing” to start in juvenile detention and transfer to an adult facility

Can the courts try a juvenile as an adult in Ohio?

Under certain circumstances, the state may try a juvenile as an adult for especially severe offenses. If a young person over the age of 16 is facing charges for murder, aggravated murder, or a felony sex offense, or if they used a firearm to commit the crime, the courts may try them as an adult.

If a young person age 14 or older is committed to a Department of Youth Services facility, the courts may also decide to try them as an adult for a serious offense. Other circumstances on a case-by-case basis may necessitate the court to try a juvenile as an adult.

Can a defendant file an appeal for a juvenile conviction?

Juvenile defendants have just as much right to file an appeal for a conviction as an adult. There is a time limit for juvenile attorneys to file an appeal, so consider if you want to retain the same juvenile crimes lawyer or if you want to retain a new attorney for the appeal.

Do juvenile defendants have the same rights as an adult in court?

While juveniles have many of the same rights as adults, one significant difference is that juveniles do not have the right to a trial by jury. Instead, their juvenile crimes attorney must present their arguments directly to a judge.

Is juvenile court a criminal court for minors?

Juvenile defendants don’t face criminal charges for offenses in juvenile court. Juvenile court is part of the civil court system. However, if tried as an adult, they will face criminal charges in a jury trial.

Should we hire a juvenile crimes lawyer for our child’s case?

Not just any Ohio criminal defense attorney is suitable to represent a child in juvenile court. Matthew C. Bangerter, an experienced juvenile crimes attorney with our firm at Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro, can review your child’s case and help you build a defense. Call our offices at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.

Gun Crimes

What should I do if I’m facing gun charges in Ohio?

Contact a gun crimes attorney immediately if you’re facing gun crime charges in Ohio. Your Ohio criminal defense attorney will analyze your case and determine the reason for your gun charges, such as:

  • Illegal firearm possession
  • Illegally carrying a firearm in a gun-restricted area like a school safety zone, courthouse, or a place of worship
  • Possessing illegal firearms like military-grade ammunition or weapons, zip guns, or defaced firearms
  • Depending on your case, violating Ohio’s gun control laws can count as a misdemeanor or felony and lead to heavy fines and lengthy imprisonment. Your Ohio gun lawyer will work with you to build a legal defense strategy and protect your rights.

Who is ineligible to carry guns in Ohio?

Under Ohio laws, anyone 21 or older may carry a gun without a permit. Individuals who cannot carry firearms in Ohio include:

  • Felons and fugitives
  • Individuals convicted of certain violent crimes
  • Illegal immigrants
  • Individuals with a drug crime record
  • Former service members with a history of dishonorable discharge
  • Mentally incompetent individuals

Can I have my gun rights restored if I have a criminal record that prohibits me from carrying guns?

In many cases, yes, you might be able to restore your gun rights, depending on the specific charges on your record. Working with experienced gun case lawyers like Matthew C. Bangerter can improve your chances of getting your firearm rights restored.

How did concealed carry laws change in Ohio?

Until June 2022, Ohio residents had to apply for a concealed carry permit with the local sheriff’s office. Also, if the police pulled a driver over, the driver had to inform the officer of their firearm possession and produce a concealed carry permit.

Today, firearm permits are no longer necessary in Ohio, and drivers who get pulled over don’t need to disclose they’re carrying a gun unless a police officer asks them directly.

How can an experienced Ohio gun lawyer help my gun crime case?

Gun charges in Ohio can result in hefty fines, time in jail, a criminal record, and revocation of your gun rights. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help get the charges against you reduced or dismissed and defend your right to carry firearms.

Matthew C. Bangerter, a seasoned gun crimes attorney at Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro, has many years of experience handling gun trials in Ohio as a former prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer. To schedule a case review, call his offices at (440) 340-1740.

Burglary & Trespass Offenses

What penalties could I face following a burglary or criminal trespass conviction in Ohio?

If you stand accused of burglary or trespassing, contact burglary and trespass offenses attorney Matthew C. Bangerter as soon as possible. Burglary and trespassing are serious criminal charges that can lead to severe penalties in Ohio.

For instance:

  • Breaking and entering with the purpose of theft is a 5th degree felony that can lead up to a year in prison and fines up to $2,500.
  • Trespassing in an occupied building with criminal intentions may count as a second-degree felony, with penalties of up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Aggravated burglary (burglary that involves assault or carrying a deadly weapon) may lead to first-degree felony charges, up to 11 years in jail, and a fine of up to $20,000.

What is the difference between burglary and trespassing in Ohio?

Trespassing is unlawfully entering another person’s property, even if you had no criminal intent. Burglary, typically a more serious charge, is trespassing with the purpose of committing another crime, like theft.

Ohio also recognizes breaking and entering, which the state’s criminal law defines as entering non-residential, unoccupied premises (like an abandoned storeroom or warehouse) with a felony or theft intent.

What strategies can a burglary lawyer use to defend me against burglary or trespassing charges?

Depending on your case, your burglary and trespass offenses attorney may:

  • Challenge the prosecution’s assertion of your criminal intent—that is, deny that you meant to commit a felony like theft or assault
  • File a Motion to Suppress to eliminate illegally obtained evidence (like the results of an unlawful search) from your trial
  • Show that you didn’t know your actions count as trespassing – for example, a No Trespassing sign may not have been clearly visible
  • Your attorney may represent you at trial or negotiate a plea bargain in exchange for reduced charges and/or penalties.

Can an Ohio criminal defense attorney influence the outcome of my case?

Absolutely, yes. Working with an experienced burglary and criminal trespass attorney can determine the outcome of your criminal trial, and possibly your entire future.

Criminal attorney Matthew C. Bangerter at Fortress Law Group in Willoughby, OH, has a stellar track record of defending clients against burglary or trespassing charges. As a former prosecutor, Bangerter knows how burglary and trespassing trials work and what legal strategy would be optimal for your case.

To schedule a case review with an experienced burglary and trespass offenses attorney in Cleveland Metro, call (440) 340-1740.

Drug Crimes

What penalties could I face for drug crime charges in Ohio?

If you’re facing drug crime charges in Ohio, contact an experienced drug crimes lawyer like Matthew C. Bangerter at Fortress Law Group as soon as possible. Drug possession, manufacturing, or trafficking charges could lead to harsh legal penalties, depending on how Ohio law classes the crime and whether it’s your first or repeat offense.

For instance:

  • Possessing a small drug amount for personal use could count as a first-degree misdemeanor, with potential penalties of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Drug manufacturing or cultivation may get charged as a felony and land you in prison for up to 10 years.
  • Drug trafficking near minors could count as a first-degree felony and lead to hefty fines and many years or even a lifetime in prison.

Are drug crimes eligible for expungement in Ohio?

In many cases, a skilled drug crimes lawyer can help get your drug crime record sealed. As long as your conviction appears on your public record, it can limit your career, education, and housing opportunities. Expungement can allow you to turn over a fresh leaf and rebuild your life.

What legal strategies can my drug crime lawyer use to defend me against drug charges?

Our criminal attorney can examine your case’s circumstances and the evidence the prosecution brings against you to determine the optimal legal defense strategy.

Possible defenses may include:

  • Arguing that law enforcement sourced some of the evidence against you using illegal means, like an unwarranted search
  • Pointing out breaches of police procedure, like failing to read you your Miranda rights before questioning you
  • Working to prove that the illegal substance in your house or car wasn’t your property but belonged to someone else, like a roommate

Your lawyer can advise you whether to insist on a trial or accept a plea deal in exchange for lesser penalties. For instance, we may work with the court to replace your jail sentence with a rehab program.

Why is it so important to choose the right drug crime defense lawyer?

Drug charges put your entire future at risk, so it’s crucial to start working with a seasoned Ohio criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Criminal attorney Matthew C. Bangerter of Fortress Law Group is a former prosecutor who uses his knowledge of forensics and years of trial experience to craft efficient legal defense strategies for drug crime cases.

Call his offices at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review with an experienced drug crimes lawyer in Cleveland Metro.

Violent Crimes

What are the possible legal consequences of violent crimes in Ohio?

Violent crimes like assault or manslaughter are some of the most serious criminal charges in Ohio, so you’ll need a competent violent crimes lawyer to argue your case and protect your rights.

Potential penalties depend on the specific charge against you and whether Ohio law classifies the offense as a misdemeanor or a felony. For instance:

  • An assault that counts as a first-degree misdemeanor may lead to a $1,000 fine and 180 days of incarceration.
  • Offenders guilty of a fifth-degree felony violent crime may spend up to a year in jail and pay up to $2,500 in fines.
  • Second- or first-degree felony violent crimes may lead to heavy fines and many years in prison, up to a lifetime—or even a death sentence for murder charges.

How can I defend against violent crime charges?

Depending on your case, your violent crimes lawyer may suggest several possible defense lines. First, your attorney will scrutinize every bit of evidence the prosecution brings against you, looking for inadmissible or unlawfully obtained evidence.

Your lawyer may also build a defense strategy based on the circumstances of the violent incident, for example, acting in self-defense, out of fear, or to protect others.

Should I go for a jury trial or accept a plea bargain?

Choosing a jury trial vs. a plea bargain is a critical decision you’ll need to make with your lawyer’s help. While a trial involves legal risks, it’s usually the preferable option if you know the accusations against you are false.

In other cases, you may accept a plea deal—that is, plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges and/or a less severe sentence. Keep in mind that many violent crime convictions are ineligible for expungement in Ohio and may affect your entire future, including career prospects and reputation.

How can an Ohio criminal defense attorney help my case?

Choosing the right violent crime lawyer can determine the outcome of your case. Your violent crime defense attorney can protect your rights, advise you on the optimal legal defense strategy in your circumstances, and represent you at trial.

Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter of Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro leverages his background as a former prosecutor, his deep knowledge of DNA and forensics, and his courtroom experience to defend good people accused of bad things. To schedule a case review with violent crimes lawyer Matthew Bangerter, call his offices at (440) 340-1740.

Theft & Fraud

What penalties might I face if I get a theft or fraud conviction in Ohio?

A conviction of theft, burglary, fraud or another related crime in Ohio may involve heavy penalties. It calls for assertive legal defense by a skilled theft & fraud attorney.

The offense’s classification and potential penalties will depend on how much the stolen property is worth. For instance:

Petty theft: When the property is worth under $1,000, the charge is petty theft, a misdemeanor that may lead to a fine of $1,000 and 180 days of incarceration.
Felony theft: If the property is worth between $1,000 and $7,500, convicted individuals may face a felony theft charge, with potential fines of up to $2,500 and 6-12 months in prison.
Grand theft: Stealing property worth between $7,500 and $150,000 is grand theft, a fourth-degree felony. Convicted persons may pay up to $5,000 in fines and spend up to 18 months behind bars.

What are the pros and cons of a plea deal vs. pleading not guilty in a theft or fraud criminal process?

If you believe you face wrongful theft charges, your attorney may source relevant evidence to defend you against the accusation. In other cases, a plea deal might allow you to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor and possibly even qualify for a diversion program for first-time offenders, which may help with record expungement.

Matthew C. Bangerter, an Ohio theft & fraud attorney at Fortress Law Group, can help you decide which approach to use in your legal defense and what outcome you might expect with either option.

Can I get a theft or fraud conviction expunged from my criminal record?

If you answer specific legal criteria, an experienced Ohio theft lawyer like Matthew C. Bangerter can help you get a theft or fraud conviction expunged, and your record sealed, even if you faced felony theft charges. This legal procedure, known as sealing of record, removes your conviction history from all public records. Expungement can help you start afresh and prevent past mistakes from harming your reputation, employment prospects, or housing options.

How can an Ohio criminal defense attorney help in my theft or fraud case?

Working with an experienced theft and fraud lawyer is the first step toward protecting your legal rights and minimizing penalties. Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter of Fortress Law Group, a former prosecutor with deep knowledge of DNA and forensics, knows how to choose the optimal strategies for powerful legal defense. Call his office at (440) 340-1740 in Cleveland Metro for a case review.

Sex Offenses

What defense options do I have if accused of a sex offense in Ohio?

A sex crimes attorney with our firm, Fortress Law Group, can review your case and its evidence to determine if you had an alibi when the offense occurred and if the DNA evidence demonstrates that you weren’t present. If the case alleges the involvement of other potential suspects, we can review the likelihood that a known cohort of the other suspects might have been involved.

What are common sex crimes and penalties if convicted in Ohio?

Sex crimes fall under three tiers in Ohio. Tier I is primarily for minor sex crimes, while Tiers II and III are for more serious offenses. Whichever tier a conviction falls under dictates when and how often a sex crimes convict will have to update their sex offender registration.

Common misdemeanor sex crimes include:

  • Sexual imposition
  • Voyeurism (fifth-degree felony if the victim is a minor)
  • Public indecency (can be a felony, depending on circumstances)
  • Procuring prostitution (a felony if the prostitute is underage)
  • Solicitation for prostitution
  • Displaying or disseminating matter harmful to juveniles (a felony in some cases)

Common felony sex crimes include:

  • Rape (first-degree felony)
  • Sexual battery (third-degree felony)
  • Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Gross sexual imposition (third- or fourth-degree felony)
  • Importuning (fifth, fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Child pornography (fourth, third, or second-degree felony)
  • Compelling or promoting prostitution (fourth, third, second, or first-degree felony)

Can I appeal a sex crime conviction?

You may have your Ohio criminal defense attorney file an appeal after a conviction for a sex offense. If you feel that your defense attorney failed to represent you well in your case, contact us to have experienced sex crimes attorney Matthew C. Bangerter manage your appeal.

Be aware that you only have 30 days to file an appeal or an extension for an appeal to the court.

How do I find an experienced sex crime lawyer to defend me?

If you need a sex offenses attorney to represent you in Northeast Ohio, turn to our experienced team at Fortress Law Group, led by Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter. Since 2009, we’ve represented many people accused of sex offenses. Our strategy is to assess forensic evidence, look for witnesses, and secure an alibi to disprove the prosecution’s accusations. Call our offices in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.


Is there a difference between DUI and OVI?

Operating a vehicle while impaired is a serious offense that endangers the lives of yourself and others on the road.

DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” while OVI stands for "operating a vehicle while impaired.” Despite meaning essentially the same thing, the state of Ohio refers to any act of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs as an OVI.

What happens if I get a second OVI charge?

OVI charges include impairment by any drugs or alcohol. You could get a first conviction for alcohol and a second conviction for marijuana later, even if you had no alcohol in your system at the time of the second arrest.
Ohio carries a range of penalties for a first, second, and third offense, including:

  • First offense. License suspension of one to three years, three days to six months in jail, $375-$1,075 in fines
  • Second offense. License suspension of one to seven years, ten days to six months in jail, $525-$1,625 in fines
  • Third offense. License suspension of two to 12 years, 30 days to one year in jail, $850-$2,750 in fines

What arguments can I make against an OVI charge?

An OVI defense attorney with our firm, Fortress Law Group, can review your arrest report and determine if the officer had a reason to perform the traffic stop in the first place. We can also look for evidence to support whether the officer properly administered the field sobriety test, interpreted the test results correctly and whether the breathalyzer was functioning properly.

What about getting an OVI conviction under 21?

An underage driver with a BAC of over .02% convicted of an underage OVI offense would face penalties for a fourth-degree misdemeanor. An experienced Ohio OVI lawyer like Matthew C. Bangerter can help you avoid up to 30 days in jail, up to $250 in fines, and a suspended license between three months and two years.

Do I need an OVI defense attorney?

Arguing your own case or using a public defender could result in an undesirable outcome for your trial. An experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney knows what to look for in the arrest procedures and evidence.
OVI and DUI attorney Matthew C. Bangerter is well-versed in forensic applications in evidence. He can review your bloodwork and breathalyzer report to find any inconsistencies. Contact his offices at Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.


What is the appeals process in Ohio?

After the conclusion of your case, your criminal appeals attorney must file your appeal or request an extension within 30 days. Most appeal lawyers in Ohio file an extension to have more time with the case notes for an appeal. Once the court receives the appeal, the prosecuting attorney reviews the petition and the court transcripts to draft a counterargument.
When the prosecuting attorney finishes their brief, three appellate judges will read the defendant’s and prosecutor’s brief and hear oral arguments from both attorneys. They will vote on whether to uphold or overturn the original court’s decision.

What reasons can I use to file an appeal?

You can’t file an appeal just to seek a “not guilty” decision. Courts usually uphold a jury’s decision unless the evidence in the court transcripts suggests the original trial procedures were incorrect or unfair. An appeal is a way to potentially rectify an error in the court procedure in your case.

Some issues in successful appeal cases include evidence that shouldn’t have been permissible, an error in the court procedure, or allowing damaging testimony from an unreliable witness. Our criminal appeals attorney, Matthew C. Bangerter at Fortress Law Group, will advise you on the best approach.

What happens if the appellate judges reverse the original court decision?

An appeal does not turn a guilty verdict into a not-guilty verdict. Instead, an appeal determines whether the original trial followed the appropriate procedures. Winning your appeal usually results in remanding the case to the lower court for a new trial.

Be aware that the appeals process typically takes over a year. Both sides and the judges need to review your trial procedures to determine an appeal decision.

Do I need an Ohio criminal defense attorney to file my appeal?

If you represented yourself in your original case or weren’t happy with your defense attorney’s performance during your trial, you should call an experienced appeals attorney, such as Matthew C. Bangerter of Willoughby, OH, to represent you. The legal briefs and forms you need to file for an appeal require extensive knowledge of Ohio court procedures.

Bangerter, a criminal appeals attorney from Fortress Law Group, can review your case from arrest, discovery, and trial procedures to determine what arguments exist for your appeal. We have represented people in criminal trials and appeals since 2009 across Northeast Ohio, and we’re ready to take on your case, too! Call for a case review at (440) 340-1740

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Complete the form if you’re looking for the best Northeast Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney. As a former Assistant Prosecutor in Lake County, Ohio, Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew C. Bangerter, Founder of Fortress Law Group, LLC, has experience with prosecutors' strategies. In addition, his scientific background gives him an edge when evaluating forensic evidence. Contact us today for a case evaluation with a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney.

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Whether you’re charged with a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony, the prospect of facing trial is stressful. Worse, there’s also the possibility of jail time if things don’t go well for you in court. To help you face these legal adversities, you need an attorney who can work on an effective defense strategy and make sure your civil rights are upheld throughout the process. A Willoughby criminal appeals attorney at Fortress Law Group, LLC provides clients with comprehensive legal representation from trial to appeal, if needed.
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