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Have you been arrested for a criminal offense or charged? If you are facing any kind of criminal case in the Columbus area, it is critical to hire one of our experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyers who can help you to develop a strong defense strategy for your case.

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At Groth & Associates, we handle a wide variety of criminal defense matters, including but not limited to the following:

  • DUI/OVI defense;
  • Traffic violations;
  • License suspension after a drunk driving arrest or other traffic offense;
  • Drug charges;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Sex crimes;
  • Murder;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Felony cases;
  • Misdemeanor offenses; and
  • Expungement or record sealing.





Convictions for criminal offenses in Ohio can be severe. As such, it is essential to hire a defense lawyer in Columbus who can help you to fight the charges. Examples of possible penalties for criminal offenses under Ohio law include:

  • F-1 felony: up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000, or up to life in prison for murder (and in some cases the death penalty);
  • F-2 felony: up to 8 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000;
  • F-e felony: up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000;
  • F-4 felony: up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000;
  • F-5 felony: up to 12 months in prison and a fine of up to $2,500;
  • M-1 misdemeanor: up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000;
  • M-2 misdemeanor: up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $750;
  • M-3 misdemeanor: up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500; and
  • M-4 misdemeanor: up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.

Beyond possible sentences for criminal convictions, it is also essential to understand that you may face additional repercussions if you are convicted of a crime in Ohio. For many types of criminal offenses, a conviction can limit your ability to obtain certain forms of employment or to work in certain industries. Some convictions can also limit your ability to obtain certain types of loans, including federal student loans. When it comes to many types of sex offenses, you should know that a conviction can result in you being required to register on the sex offender registry, which can significantly limit your ability to live in certain locations in addition to having social consequences. Your best chance at avoiding a conviction is to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Ohio who can assist you with your case.


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The defense strategies that are most applicable to your case will depend upon the particular facts surrounding your arrest, as well as the specific elements of the charge or charges you are facing. For example, defenses to a DUI/OVI in Ohio are often different from defenses to drug charges or sex offense charges, yet there may be some overlap. For example, a violation of your rights against an unreasonable search or seizure under the Fourth Amendment may be applicable in a variety of cases, from drunk driving charges to drug crimes or internet sex offenses. To determine the best defense strategy for your case, you should seek advice from one of the experienced Columbus defense attorneys at our firm.

Generally speaking, the following are common types of defenses to criminal charges that could be applicable to your case:

  • You have an alibi that proves you were not at the location where the alleged criminal act occurred;
  • There was a mistake of fact, meaning that one of the elements of the offense is not met because, for example, you did not have the intent to commit the offense for which you have been charged or you believed the property that you have been accused of stealing was lawfully yours;
  • You acted in self-defense, or in defense of a third party;
  • You were under duress at the time of the offense, meaning that you committed the criminal act because you were forced to do so at the time in some capacity, such as by a third party who threatened violence against you or a family member if you did not commit the act;
  • There was consent in certain types of sex crimes cases, for example;
  • Entrapment occurred, meaning that a law enforcement official induced you to commit the offense for which you are now facing charges; or
  • Your constitutional rights were violated, making any evidence obtained from the violation that has been used to support the charges against you invalid (such as a Fourth Amendment violation).


Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys in Columbus, OH also routinely assist clients with record sealing and expungement. It is important to understand how record sealing and expungement work under Ohio law, and when you can ask the court to seal or expunge a criminal record.

Record sealing is a process through which your criminal record can be hidden from the general public, and in many cases, you will not need to disclose information about the criminal record. However, in some circumstances, an employer or another party may be able to obtain information that is contained in a sealed criminal record. Expunging a criminal record, differently, means destroying the record entirely so that it no longer exists.

In general, Ohio adult criminal conviction records cannot typically be expunged, but they may be eligible for record sealing. Record sealing is possible if a certain amount of time has passed since your conviction (anywhere from 3-5 years for a felony conviction and usually 1 year for a misdemeanor conviction), and if the offense is eligible for sealing. There are additional requirements you should discuss with an attorney. Some types of criminal offenses are completely ineligible for sealing, including OVI/Dui offenses, serious violent crimes, 1st-degree and 2nd-degree felony offenses, most types of sex offenses, and most criminal offenses involving children.

For juveniles, it may be possible to seal or expunge a criminal record depending upon the circumstances.


At Groth & Associates, we tailor our defense strategies carefully to the client’s specific needs and to the facts of the case. Our criminal defense lawyers in Columbus know how important it is to do everything possible to avoid a conviction, and we will work tirelessly to help you beat the charges you are facing. Even if an acquittal or a dismissal of charges seems unlikely, we may be able to help get the charges against you reduced so that the consequences are less severe. Contact Groth & Associates today to learn more about how we can assist you.

Words from our clients

Stevin is by far the best Lawyer that I have encountered. He is professional, knowledgeable, and very patient. I have lived out of the country for the past 5 years and anytime I needed legal assistance he has always been there for me as if I was next door. I would strongly recommend Stevin Groth no matter what the circumstances are. His dedication and attention to detail is what’s appreciated the most. Thanks for all that you have done and you will continue to do for me.


Stevin was very professional and got me the best possible outcome for my case. I would recommend him to anybody that is looking for a great quality lawyer.


I had the pleasure of working with Stevin Groth on a case. He went above and beyond what I expected. I expected the worst and he fought for me way better than anyone would have. Will use again if needed. Cannot express my gratitude enough. Thank you.


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