Best Cleveland OH Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Why These Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyers?

We help connect consumers with top-rated criminal defense attorneys in Cleveland. To determine which are the best of the best, we scored each criminal defense attorney or law firm across a half-dozen metrics covering three categories. Each firm or attorney’s results were analyzed to bring you a handpicked list of the very best criminal defense lawyers in Cleveland.

  • Attorneys reviewed: 24
  • Top picks: 5

If you or a loved one have been arrested, do not delay seeking the assistance of an attorney. The sooner an attorney can get involved in your case, the better your chances of having a strong defense.

The attorney you hire may start right away, studying the authorities’ against you, doing legal research, and preparing legal motions. That’s why the sooner they begin, the better, as they work to chip away at the prosecution’s case against you.

Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Cleveland handle everything from DUIs to simple misdemeanors to white-collar crimes to violent felonies. Get the best legal defense in Cleveland by choosing from this list of best criminal defense attorneys.

Read the profiles below and choose the attorney or law firm that best aligns with your needs.

Best Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyers

Here are the best criminal defense law firms and attorneys in Cleveland:

  1. Aaron Brockler
  2. Chandra Law Firm
  3. Ashley Jones
  4. Bret Jordan Co.
  5. Morgan R. Caruso

Best Cleveland Criminal Defense Lawyers for 2021

If you or a loved one are looking for an outstanding criminal defense attorney in Cleveland, these lawyers are the best of the best.

Aaron Brockler

75 Public Square

Cleveland, OH 44113

Phone: (216) 299-5946

Attorney Aaron Brockler’s entire legal practice is devoted to defending the rights of those accused of crimes. Brockler’s main legal specialty is defending people accused of a range of DUI-related crimes and other traffic offenses. This includes first-time offenders, repeat offenders, and those charged with injury related to DUI/OVI.

In addition to DUI cases, Brockler handles a range of other criminal cases, including white-collar crimes, theft, assault, casino crimes, vandalism, juvenile crimes, internet crimes, human trafficking, robbery, family crimes, and drug cases. Though his practice was established relatively recently (2013), Brockler has become a go-to media resource for legal perspective throughout the Cleveland and northeast Ohio area, which helps illustrate his expertise.

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Chandra Law Firm

1265 West 6th St, Suite 400,

Cleveland, OH 44113

Phone: (216) 578-1700

Founder Subodh Chandra is a former federal prosecutor and Cleveland city attorney who founded his firm to provide a boutique approach to complex litigation like white-collar criminal defense and civil rights law. Among the firm’s biggest past successes are settlements on behalf of the family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child killed by Cleveland police.

The firm’s primary criminal defense practice focuses on white-collar crimes like mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion, but Chandra attorneys also defend whistleblowers against retaliation from their employers. Chandraw Law has been named one of the best firms in Ohio by U.S. News & World Report, and they’ve been honored repeatedly by organizations like SuperLawyers.

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Ashley Jones

1220 W. 6th St. Suite 303

Cleveland, OH 44113

Phone: (216) 736-8551

Ohio native Ashley Jones handles a variety of criminal defense cases in Cleveland and throughout the northeast Ohio region, including DUI, domestic violence, assault, drug charges, theft, and driving while suspended. She also specializes in immigration law and defending non-citizens in criminal cases.

Jones maintains high ratings on Avvo and was rated by SuperLawyers as a rising star. In addition to her main office in Cleveland, Jones also meets with clients from her Akron office, helping her blanket the region.

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Bret Jordan Co.

50 Public Square, #1900

Cleveland, OH 44113

Phone: (216) 640-8888

Bret Jordan Co. founder Bret Jordan has spent his entire 26-year legal career defending the rights of people accused of criminal offenses throughout Ohio, including defending them against state and federal charges. He has appeared on TV shows like Dateline, Snapped, and True Crimes, and he’s been honored by SuperLawyers for each of the past five years.

With partner Eric Dysert, the firm handles a wide range of criminal cases, including drug charges, homicide, financial and fraud crimes, domestic violence, DUI, theft, assault, and more. Dysert is certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in field sobriety test administration, and he handles only DUI cases.

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Morgan A. Caruso

323 W. Lakeside Ave., Suite 450

Cleveland, OH 44113

Phone: (216) 233-0321

Attorney Morgan A. Caruso was recently named one of the National Trial Lawyers top 40 under 40 for her success in offering a robust defense for her clients. Caruso represents clients accused of a range of issues, from misdemeanors to serious felonies, in both state and federal courts. In addition to her primary office in Cleveland, Caruso also has a location in Mayfield Village, and she represents clients from all over northeast Ohio.

Caruso’s primary criminal defense practice areas include DUI, assault, gun and weapons charges, homicide, drug crimes, domestic violence, probation violation, juvenile crimes, identity theft, and white-collar crimes.

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What Types of Crimes Are Most Common in Cleveland?

About 23,000 crimes were reported in Cleveland in 2019, the most recent year for federal data on crime across the country. Like other cities in Ohio and across the country, the vast majority of crimes in Cleveland are property-related, including larceny and burglary. In fact, larceny accounted for 44 percent of all crimes, while the broader property crime category made up 75 percent of criminal incidents in Cleveland in 2019.

On a population-adjusted basis, violent crimes took place in Cleveland at a rate of about 1,500 per 100,000 people, while property crimes occurred at a rate of about 4,500 per 100,000. As it is in most other major American cities, crime rates are higher in Cleveland than in the nation as a whole. The overall national violent crime rate in 2019 was 367 per 100,000 people, and the property crime rate was about 2,100 per 100,000.

Crimes in Cleveland, by number and per 100,000 people

Crime Number Per 100,000 people
All violent crimes 5,791 1,517
Murder 92 24
Rape 479 125
Robbery 1,895 496
Aggravated assault 3,325 871
All property crimes 17,057 4,467
Burglary 4,311 1,129
Larceny-theft 9,968 2,611
Motor vehicle theft 2,778 728
Arson 157 41

Among the biggest cities in Ohio, Cleveland does tend to have higher crime rates. Including the state’s 10 largest cities, Cleveland ranks in the top three for every individual crime category. It leads the state in overall violent crime, robbery, motor vehicle theft, and arson. But the broader Cleveland-Elyria metro area compares much more favorably to other big cities in the U.S. Among the 60 largest metro areas in the country, Cleveland ranks outside the top 15 in each category; its highest ranking is 17th for robbery.

Homicide has been on the rise in Cleveland over the past decade, and like many other U.S. cities, 2020 marked a dark point in Cleveland for murders. On the other hand, the city has seen other types of crimes decline.

It’s important to note that police- and FBI-reported data does not cover closed cases or incidents for which a person was convicted.