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The Law Office of Stephen W. Wolf, LLC

26777 Lorain Road Suite 709

North Olmsted, Ohio  44070


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For Parents, the Spouse, Children or the Significant Other of the Person Arrested

As a parent, spouse, child or significant other of a person arrested for a crime, you have unwillingly become one of the most important persons in this process.  You have the ability to offer support.  Support will be so very important.  Further, you have the opportunity to help set up the defense.

If you are from out of state, please read my out of state page and then return here.

If from out of state, click here



Above most cellblock phones is a warning that the calls are recorded.  Do not discuss facts of a crime with your friend over a cellblock phone.  Big Brother is listening.  Really!  They will review the tapes.  No matter what you say about the allegations while talking to your friend, it will be twisted against you and worse, against your friend.

Your right to remain silent - click here

The only person represented is the defendant

As the spouse, parent or significant other - or even as a friend who is helping - you need to know that your friend needs an attorney.  If you have the ability to hire an attorney, remember this:  The attorney works only for the defendant.  Even if it was you who put down your hard-earned money, it is only the defendant's interest that are important.  That isn't to say you aren't important, it is to say the attorney works only for the defendant.

Only the attorney and client have privilege

Attorney-client privilege allows a client to tell the attorney the whole story without worry that what he or she says can be subpoenaed and forced into evidence against the client.  The client can tell his or her attorney anything.  None of that will ever see the light of day unless the attorney wants it to.

There is no parent/significant other privilege and the privileges afforded to a spouse can be tricky.  You can be called as a witness against the very person you are trying to protect.  The worst case scenario is when the government bugs your phone and listens in to your conversations about what your friend did to get arrested.

About your friend's situation

I have a couple of other pages devoted to the post-arrest process.

About arraignments - click here

Effect of a plea, click here

As a parent, spouse, child or significant other

Your friend will be going through one of the most stressful times of his or her life.  It will show.  You will see ups and downs, especially during pretrial dates and as the date of trial approaches.

Should you recognize a problem you should not "enable" the friend.  A friend who is supporting improperly can cause more damage than he or she can fix.  Don't enable.  Support.  An example of this problem occurs in domestic violence cases when a friend of the person arrested rails against the other person who files charges, demanding that other person be arrested too.  That might be good advice.  Often, it is not.

For parents

It is sometimes extraordinarily difficult to provide support for a child who has spurned your advice.  Stay the course.  Provide that support.  There are very few exceptions to the situation where when a parent continues to support their child that they, many years down the road, will be relieved they did not abandon hope.  Kids grow up.

Your kid's trial will seem like your own trial.  It may not seem like the end of your own trial will ever occur.  Kids grow up.

For spouses

You have a decision.  Remain with your spouse, providing the support he or she needs to get through this, or abandon them.  If you were abandoning them you'd not be reading.  Stay the course.  Provide the support.

For kids

If you find yourself with a parent that appears to have experienced a change and is now getting into trouble, call me.  Oftentimes a parent sacrifices much to bring up their children.  Once those kids leave, and if other pressures bear down on the parent, changes can occur.  It may be time for the kids to return and now care for the parent.

FIRST:  I only represent the defendant.  If that means you are cut out of the loop, I cannot help that.

BUT:  In the even there is a supportive family who intend to return to work with the defendant, and the defendant wishes that help, we are in the best of all worlds.  Call me.

Domestic violence cases

The Ohio legislature has tasked law enforcement and the courts with ending domestic violence.  My domestic violence page offers much information on this topic. Here know that keeping the family together is not the immediate issue.  It will be the goal of the court to keep the alleged victim away from the defendant.  It is the court's position to prevent further violence.

My child was arrested - Sometimes the courts will return the child defendant back into the home of the alleged victim.  Prior to doing that, the courts will need to assess the safety of such a decision.  If the safety cannot be assured, then other arrangements must be made.  Sometimes the court will assign the child into the care of the State.  Sometimes the court will ask the family if other arrangements can be made.  It is good to be prepared for any of the three situations.

My spouse/family member was arrested - The court will rarely allow the defendant back into the home of the alleged victim.  The defendant will remain in jail until some arrangement can be made.  Perhaps friends will offer their support and house the defendant.  Often the defendant is responsible for maintaining the original home.  Not working while in jail, the defendant's income is no longer available.  Sometimes the defendant helped with the care of the children.  Now that help is unavailable.  It is not unusual for a domestic violence arrest to last for many months, even a year.  Plans must be made.

Visitation for the children - We can and will fight for visitation.  Beware, it is extraordinarily rare for a municipal or common plea court to grant visitation or remove a child from a protection order.  There is a long laundry list of factors that must be taken into account.  Most municipal and common plea courts have no desire to address those issues.  The easiest response for the prosecutor and criminal judge is to direct the alleged victim and the defendant to domestic relations court.  Regardless of their future intentions, they say, visitation is best granted after one or the other sue for divorce.  This requires the family members to add another layer of complexity to the domestic violence arrest.

Domestic Violence - click here

What can I do

As the above shows, your friend needs legal counsel.  Your friend needs someone to get the information from the state, compare their evidence with the actual facts of the case and come up with an informed plan to defend your friend.  Call me.  That's what I do.

Hours and Location - yours or mine

Your needs are important to me.  I will schedule appointments that work with your busy schedule.

I serve all of Northeastern Ohio

I serve all of Northeast Ohio's Courts of Common Pleas, including Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, Medina Court of Common Pleas, Summit County Court of Common Pleas, Geauga County Court of Common Pleas, Portage County Court of Common Pleas, Lake County Court of Common Pleas, Erie County Court of Common Pleas, Sandusky County Court of Common Pleas and Huron County Court of Common Pleas.

I serve all of Cuyahoga County's municipal courts, including Bedford Municipal Court, Berea Municipal Court, Cleveland Municipal Court, Cleveland Heights Municipal Court, East Cleveland Municipal Court, Euclid Municipal Court, Garfield Heights Municipal Court, Lakewood Municipal Court, Lyndhurst Municipal Court, Parma Municipal Court, Rocky River Municipal Court, Shaker Heights Municipal Court, and South Euclid Municipal Court.

In Lorain County I serve the Avon Lake Municipal Court, Elyria Municipal Court, Lorain Municipal Court, Oberlin Municipal Court, Vermillion Municipal Court. In Medina County I serve Medina Municipal Court and Wadsworth Municipal Court. In Huron County I serve the Huron Municipal Court, Vermillion Municipal Court and Sandusky Municipal Court.

In Summit County and Portage County I serve the Akron Municipal Court, Barberton Municipal Court, Stow Municipal Court and Portage Municipal Court. In Lake County I serve the Mentor Municipal Court, Painesville Municipal Court and Willoughby Municipal Court. In Geauga County I serve the Chardon Municipal Court.