At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our Ohio criminal defense attorneys know what you’re facing and how to help.
Whether it’s a felony charge or a misdemeanor charge, we focus on preserving your criminal record and avoiding a conviction.
The Franklin County criminal justice system is full of people who didn’t take their cases seriously. Don’t take risks with your future or make a statement without your criminal defense attorney. Instead, get representation from the best criminal defense attorney possible – one with what it takes to protect you, preserve your record, and secure the best possible outcome.
As a criminal defense law firm based in Columbus, Ohio, our attorneys provide people throughout central Ohio with high-quality, aggressive representation when they need it most. At LHA our Columbus criminal attorneys handle cases involving OVI charges, drugs charges, assault charges, and any other misdemeanor or felony charge. Whether you are in the Short North, Bexley, Upper Arlington, Whitehall, Dublin, Worthington, Groveport, or anywhere in between, our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Columbus, Ohio can help.
Our criminal lawyers have likely represented someone in a similar situation. Let us help you as well.
Cases we handle
Free Consultation With a Criminal Lawyer Near You
Charged with a crime in Franklin County or elsewhere in Central Ohio? Call us at (614) 304-3402, or submit a request online and let us explain how our Columbus criminal lawyers can fight for you. You can also view our 400+ 5-star reviews on Google to see what previous clients have to say about our criminal defense work.
Our Criminal Attorneys Help With OVI / DUI Charges
A drunk driving arrest can adversely affect your entire life. Imagine asking for a leave from work to serve a jail sentence or explaining why you can’t attend your child’s nearby play because your license was suspended. When you think about possible jail time, license suspensions, and fines associated with your OVI charges, it can feel hopeless. But whether it is your first DUI offense or you’ve had priors, we have a team of OVI lawyers in Columbus, Ohio who can help. Calling our Columbus criminal lawyers could be the difference in keeping your license, a lesser charge, or getting your charges dismissed. Arrested and charged with an OVI in Franklin County or elsewhere in Central Ohio, call (614) 500-3836 right now.
Our Defense Attorneys Help With Drug Charges
Don’t become a statistic in the war on drugs. Aside from long prison sentences for small amounts, a criminal conviction can result in other drastic penalties. Finding employment will be difficult, even with a misdemeanor on your record. For students at Ohio State or any other school, a conviction could exclude you from financial aid. However, it is important to remember that you have options. Our Columbus criminal lawyers will pursue every avenue so drug charges do not ruin your future.
We Defend Against Assault & Domestic Violence Charges
Every day, people across Franklin County and from all walks of life find themselves charged with domestic violence and assault. These allegations can negatively impact your life, reputation, and freedom. Whether you live in Gahanna, New Albany, Columbus, Grandview Heights, or Hilliard these criminal charges are pursued aggressively as either misdemeanors or felonies. A lot will be going through your mind, but being charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty. You deserve a chance to tell your story. By consulting with a criminal defense attorney near you, you can set the record straight.
Our Defense Attorneys Handle Traffic Violations
Some offenses like speeding tickets are quickly addressed with a small fine or participating in a safety class, but many Ohio drivers learn the hard way that not all traffic issues are created equal. If you find yourself charged with a criminal traffic violation in Franklin County, like reckless driving or vehicular assault, you will face serious consequences in traffic court, like fines, higher insurance premiums, loss of your license, or even jail. These violations need to be handled carefully with help from an experienced Columbus criminal defense attorney.
Our Criminal Attorneys Defend Against Sex Crimes
Sexual allegations stir up a lot of emotion and anger. They are also frequently prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A criminal conviction usually carries heavy prison time, inclusion on the registered sex offender list, and irreparable damage to your reputation. But unfortunately, false accusations and misunderstandings happen all the time. Your rights deserve protection, and you need to be aggressive in your defense with a criminal lawyer in Columbus, OH who knows what to do.
Cases Our Columbus Criminal Attorneys Handle
DUI charges in Columbus can adversely affect every facet of your life. Imagine asking for a leave from work to serve a jail sentence or explaining why you can’t attend your child’s play because your license was suspended. When you think about possible jail time, license suspensions, and fines, it can quickly feel hopeless. But whether it is your first experience with the law or you’ve had priors, our Columbus defense lawyers can help. Calling LHA could be the difference in keeping your license, a lesser charge, or getting your charges dismissed. If you’ve been arrested and charged with an OVI, call (614) 500-3836 right now.
Don’t become a statistic to the war on drugs. Aside from long prison sentences for small amounts, a conviction can result in other drastic penalties. Finding employment will be difficult, even with a misdemeanor on your record. For students at Ohio State or any other school, a conviction could exclude you from financial aid. However, it is important to remember that you have options. Our criminal defense lawyers will pursue every avenue so criminal charges do not ruin your future.
Assault & Domestic Violence
Assault & Domestic Violence
Every day, people across Franklin County and from all walks of life find themselves charged with domestic violence and assault. These allegations can negatively impact your life, reputation, and freedom. Whether you live in Gahanna, New Albany, Columbus, Grandview Heights, or Hilliard these charges are pursued aggressively as either misdemeanors or felonies. A lot will be going through your mind, but being charged with a crime does not mean you are guilty. You deserve a chance to tell your story. By consulting a local defense attorney, you can set the record straight.
Some offenses like receiving a speeding ticket are quickly addressed with a small fine or participating in a safety class, but many Ohio drivers learn the hard way that not all traffic issues are created equal. If you find yourself charged with a criminal traffic violation like reckless driving or vehicular assault, you will face very serious consequences, including substantial fines, higher insurance premiums, loss of your license, or even jail time as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. These violations need to be handled carefully with help from a skilled and experienced Columbus defense attorney.
Sexual allegations stir up a great deal of emotion and anger. They are also frequently prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. A conviction usually carries heavy prison time, inclusion on the registered sex offender list, and irreparable damage to your reputation. But unfortunately, false accusations and misunderstandings happen all the time. Your rights deserve protection, and you need to be aggressive in your defense with a Columbus criminal lawyer who knows what to do.
Columbus Criminal Defense FAQs
I Need a Criminal Lawyer. What’s an Initial Consultation Like?
Our free and confidential consultation is merely a chance to talk about what happened and how our criminal defense attorneys can help. It’s informal, but if you have and documents that the police gave you, let us know. Basically, we’re trying to assess your criminal charges, what happened, who said what, and anything that may help or hurt your criminal case.
Should I Answer Police Questions If They Want To Talk To Me?
No. Never speak to the police without a defense attorney. There’s a reason you have the right to remain silent. When you’re a suspect or person of interest in a crime, the police will use anything you say against you. They can twist your words, lie to you, and, despite your best intentions, you could make your situation a lot worse.
I’ve Been Offered a Plea Deal. Should I Take It?
Prosecutors and police may offer you a plea to make the case easier on them…not you. Any offer made should be evaluated by an experienced criminal defense attorney who is looking out for your best, long-term interests.
The Franklin County Criminal Justice System: Process & Penalties
The local Franklin County court system is intimidating, but our criminal lawyers make sure you’re prepared. Most criminal charges are handled by the Franklin County Common Pleas Court – General Division, located at 345 S High St, in Columbus.
The decisions you make (especially early on) regarding your criminal case are extremely important. When you are represented by Luftman, Heck & Associates, you can be sure that our Columbus criminal defense attorneys will provide you with comprehensive guidance at every step.
At this point, you may be under investigation or already charged with a crime. You may have an arraignment scheduled or pressing questions about your legal options. Should you plead guilty?, When is it time to make a statement to the police?, and Will you go to jail? are all valid concerns.
If your case is in Franklin, County, you can find your information here.
Please select between the two options below to see how your criminal case may progress:
1. Your Arrest
If there is sufficient evidence to suggest that you committed a crime, this is called “probable cause” and law enforcement will place you under arrest. Once in custody, you will be entered into the system and typically questioned, to gain more evidence and strengthen the case against you. This is where the right to speak with an attorney is imperative. By retaining a Columbus, Ohio criminal defense attorney early, you can ensure your rights are protected after being arrested and avoid self-incrimination.
After someone is convicted or pleads guilty to a crime in Franklin County, a judge will impose a punishment based on the nature of the crime, reports by the defense and prosecution, and statements from any victims or family members. The sentence you receive can involve fines, incarceration, probation, treatment programs, house arrest, or any combination of these. While a judge has some discretion in sentencing in Ohio, there can also be mandated minimums. By working with a criminal defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio, you can present a case for a lighter sentence, lower fines, probation, or any other alternatives.
3. The Impact on Your Criminal Record
Unfortunately, when someone is convicted and completes their sentence, it is rarely the end of the road. Criminal convictions typically remain on your criminal record forever, with a damaging stigma. For example, employers will normally shy away from hiring someone with a theft conviction or an OVI if the position involves handling money or driving. Additionally, securing suitable housing can be hindered depending on your record. That makes it important to carefully consider all your options so you fully understand what a conviction means in the long run.
4. Misdemeanor & Felony Sentencing in Columbus, Ohio
Ohio divides crimes into two distinct classifications, depending on their severity: misdemeanors and felonies. While both are serious and should always be addressed properly, felonies are considered much more serious than misdemeanor crimes. For example, a felony conviction can result in considerable prison time, but a misdemeanor only allows for sentences to be served in local or municipal jails.
Columbus, Ohio Felony Sentencing
*Depending on the type of third-degree felony charge
Common Pleas Courts only handle felony cases. In Ohio, an F5 is the least severe felony charge, and an F1 is the most severe. The penalties (prison, fines, etc.) increase by the degree of felony you are charged with.
Columbus, Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing
|Up to 180 days
|Up to 90 days
|Up to 60 days
|Up to 30 days
Municipal Courts only handle misdemeanor cases in Ohio, a minor misdemeanor is the least severe charge, and a first-degree misdemeanor is the most severe. The penalties (jail, fine, etc.) increase by the degree of the misdemeanor.
Meet Our Columbus Criminal Attorneys
Benjamin L. Luftman
An experienced and accomplished legal advocate, Benjamin L. Luftman is a Columbus criminal defense attorney and founding partner at Luftman, Heck & Associates. He has practiced criminal law in Franklin County for over a decade. His sole practice areas are in criminal defense and traffic violations, having represented clients in cases ranging from the most serious felonies to minor traffic offenses. He also concentrates in OVI and DUI law.
Joseph J. Kunkel
Columbus criminal defense attorney and associate Joseph J. Kunkel joined Luftman, Heck & Associates in 2013, after gaining experience as an associate attorney at other criminal defense law firms in Columbus, Ohio. Attorney Kunkel now focuses on criminal defense and traffic law, and has earned recognition for his work involving everything from researching and writing judicial opinions, to working in the courtroom litigating on behalf of his clients.
Attorney Zachary Olah is driven by helping people. When potentially life-changing criminal charges confront his clients, he knows they will face obstacles. And while he can’t always make the obstacle go away, he can guide them through difficult times.
Being a criminal attorney in Columbus, OH is more than a job for Nicholas Fagnano. Whether it involves negotiations with prosecutors, filing motions, or trials, when necessary, he knows what’s on the line for his clients and is excited about defending people in a system that often gets things wrong.
Criminal defense attorney Christopher Junga has always had a passion for public service. Between private practice and his work with various Public Defender Offices in Ohio, he brings over 23 years of criminal defense experience to Luftman, Heck & Associates. With his wealth of legal knowledge and nearly 100 jury trials across the state, Chris is a resource for clients and a zealous advocate for those facing life-changing circumstances.
Award-Winning Criminal Defense Attorneys in Columbus, Ohio
Best Lawyers: Ben Luftman’s 2022 Lawyer of the Year Award
We have a 10.0 superb Avvo Rating as a Top Attorney in Criminal Defense. Avvo allows attorneys to be rated by peers and clients.
Luftman, Heck & Associates was recognized by Best Lawyers in 2019. Best Lawyers. Best Lawyers recognizes attorneys and law firms that excel in their fields.
In 2015, Luftman, Heck & Associates was given a Clients’ Choice Award in Criminal Defense by Avvo.
The National Trial Lawyers has rated our criminal attorneys as Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the United States.
Martindale-Hubbell gave Luftman, Heck & Associates a preeminent rating in 2016 for ethical standards and legal ability.
Attorney Benjamin Lutman has been rated by Super Lawyers as a lawyer with a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
In 2013, attorney Benjamin L. Luftman was rated by LexisNexis and Martindale-Hubbell as being preeminent in his field for ethical standards and legal ability.
Our criminal attorneys are members of the National College for DUI Defense. They focus on protecting the rights of those who have been accused of DUI.
Luftman, Heck & Associates are long-time members of the Columbus Bar Association, which is a group of professionals focused on law in the Central Ohio area.
Our Columbus criminal attorneys are members of the American Bar Association, one of the world’s largest voluntary professional organizations for attorneys.
Luftman, Heck & Associates was rated as some of the Best Attorneys in Columbus by Expertise in 2017.
Luftman, Heck & Associates is a member of the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, who are dedicated to working with those who have been charged with DUIs.
We are a nationally ranked Superior DUI Attorneys as of 2013. We focus on people who have driven under the influence or who have been accused.
In 2014, we were rated by AV Preeminent as legal leaders and top-rated lawyers who fight for clients throughout the legal process.
LHA received recognition of 10 best client satisfaction from the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys in 2014. We focus on providing the best service to our clients.
Luftman, Heck & Associates is a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited business. Our Columbus defense attorneys provide clients with exceptional service and value.
We are members of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (OACDL), where we represent a strong defense for those who have been accused of crimes.
Luftman, Heck & Associates is a member of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. We focus on safety in our community and reach out to help when possible.
Luftman, Heck & Associates is a member of the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.
Why Hire Our Columbus Criminal Lawyers?
1. We pride ourselves on being accessible
Our clients have our cellphone numbers. If you have a question, you can reach out directly to a Columbus criminal defense attorney without going through an assistant. From there, we will evaluate every possible option and offer practical and attainable solutions to any legal issue you’re facing.
2. Hear What Our Prior Clients Say About LHA
You can read our 400+ 5-star reviews on Google, or read some of our client testimonials below.
I will be passing the word on about Luftman, Heck & Associates. Ben was a very, very kind man. Tell him I will never forget about how much he did for me. Best of wishes.”
Thank you so much for all of your help! You all are the best. So thankful:) Your firm saved my son’s life!!”
My case went well – I couldn’t have been more pleased with the services provided. I have recommended your services to several of my friends.”
Ben did an excellent job, and the case was dismissed without court charges yesterday. Couldn’t ask for anything more than that. Thanks again.”
3. We offer focused and aggressive representation to every client
Watch this short video to learn more about how our criminal defense attorneys can help with your case.