Criminal Defense

If you are accused of, charged with, or arrested for a crime, you will most likely not only be troubled by fear and anxiety, but also by a sense of social stigma. At Cox Keller Lusardi, we approach you as we approach all of our potential clients: you are innocent until proven guilty. We have a great deal of experience in all types of criminal defense, having spent many years defending clients from a wide variety of charges -- from minor misdemeanors to major felonies. Our skills for defending your dignity as well as your rights are well-honed.

Whatever the circumstances that led to your charges or arrest, we are prepared to work long and hard on your behalf. We routinely represent clients charged with:

  • Violent crimes

  • Sex offenses

  • Drug crimes

  • Burglary

  • Theft

  • Homicide

  • Arson

Each of these types of crimes is serious and may lead to long-term unpleasant consequences. This is why you need a highly competent criminal defense attorney at your side. Interacting with the criminal justice system is not for novices. You need the support of professionals who have the knowledge and agility to navigate its complex waters.

Sex Offenses

Sex crimes are considered very serious offenses, often resulting in lengthy jail terms and social ostracism. If you are convicted of a sex crime you may be listed on the sex offender registry, in which case you will be restricted in where you can live and what jobs you can hold well after you have served your sentence. Depending on the severity of the crime you have committed, you may be on the sex offender list for several years or for the rest of your life.

Obviously, then, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to protect your rights if you have been arrested for any sex-related offense, such as:

  • Indecent exposure

  • Prostitution

  • Lewd acts in a public place

  • Possession of child pornography

  • Sexual battery

  • Rape

  • Statutory rape

Our attorneys are also aware of how impactful sex crimes can be on the lives of your loved ones. We are ready to fight for your right to privacy in order to protect your loved ones as well as to protect your personal freedom.

Drug Crimes

Most of us are aware that the war against drugs sometimes targets innocent victims. Being charged with possession or distribution of drugs can often result in harsh penalties. There are jurisdictions in which even a charge of simple possession may be punishable by a jail sentence or probation. If you are arrested at a location in which quantities of drugs are stored, whether you are aware of this or not, you may be charged with drug trafficking which, in Ohio, may result steep fines, loss of your driver’s license, forfeiture of property or a lengthy prison sentence.

If you are arrested for a drug offense, it is essential that you seek legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney before making any possibly self-incriminating statements to law enforcement or prosecutors. As soon as you contact us, we will take over your case, interviewing you thoroughly so we can devise the best possible defense strategy before you make any statement or plea.

One defense that may very well apply in your case is that the evidence that precipitated drug charges was found during an illegal search and seizure. If this is the case, we are often able to have your charges reduced to probation or deferred adjudication. Deferred adjudication means that you are paroled (kept out of prison) for a certain length of time; if you do not commit any further offenses during that time period, your case will be dismissed.

Violent Crimes

While some sex crimes, such as rape, are violent in nature, the category of violent crimes  typically includes the following:

  • Assault

  • Battery

  • Carjacking

  • Domestic violence

  • Homicide

  • Kidnapping

  • Possession of an illegal weapon

  • Terroristic threats

From the time you first become our client, we will be protective of you -- communicating with you, and with law enforcement on your behalf. After evaluating the circumstances of your arrest, we will explore your options, always evaluating the potential of having the severity of your charges lowered or having your charges dropped altogether. You should be reassured to know that when you hire one of our attorneys, you are joining forces with a law firm that has the resources to conduct a private investigation, contact witnesses, collect important evidence that will work in your favor, and, if necessary, confer with experts in relevant fields.

Whether we come to the conclusion that you will be best served by a plea bargain or through a courtroom trial, we will always treat you with the respect you deserve.


In Ohio, as elsewhere in the United States, you can be charged with burglary in the first, second, third or fourth degree, depending on a number of factors. One important factor is whether the place you are trespassing in is occupied (by someone other than an accomplice) or whether you might reasonably assume that it might be occupied. The charges rise to the level of aggravated burglary (burglary in the first degree) if you inflict, attempt or threaten to inflict harm on another person, or if you have a deadly weapon in your control.


Theft is defined as depriving the owner of property or services in one of the following ways:

  • Without the owner’s consent or the consent of an authorized party

  • By deception

  • By threat or intimidation

Theft can be classified as either a misdemeanor of a felony, depending on the value of the property or services stolen. The theft charges rise from petty theft if a small amount is involved to aggravated theft (theft in the first degree) is over $1.5 million is taken. Theft charges are also more severe if the victim is elderly or disabled.

Theft offenses are also charged differently if the theft is of particular types of property, including:

  • Motor vehicles

  • Dangerous drugs

  • Law enforcement or service animals

  • Gasoline

  • Certain toxic substances

If the defendant is convicted of theft involving one of the special cases mentioned, the penalty is likely to be much more severe.


Homicide is a general term meaning the killing of another. In the criminal justice system, homicide is divided into many different categories.

First Degree Murder involves one or more of the following:

  • Killing of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty

  • Killing with malice aforethought (a planned killing)

  • Killing the fetus of another with malice aforethought

  • Killing to cover another crime, such as rape, burglary, or terrorism

  • Killing someone under the age of 13

  • Killing someone while you are already imprisoned

Felony Murder involves killing while committing another felony, such as rape or robbery.

Murder in the Second Degree means a killing that is purposeful, but not premeditated, or is committed during the commission of certain other felonies.

Manslaughter is unlawful killing that does not involve forethought and is, therefore, less morally reprehensible that murder. Manslaughter is differentiated as being voluntary or involuntary.

Voluntary manslaughter is often referred to as a crime committed “in the heat of passion,” in other words with strong provocation. For the charge to be voluntary manslaughter, the killer must not have had time to calm down from an incident that could provoke a reasonable person to violence.

Involuntary Manslaughter typically refers to homicide resulting from negligent or reckless conduct, such as driving while intoxicated or while engaging in a drag race on the highway. Involuntary manslaughter is also known as “criminally negligent homicide.”


In Ohio, as elsewhere in this country, arson is the crime committed by an individual who uses fire or explosives to knowingly cause or create a substantial risk of physical harm to property, a structure, a vehicle, or a person. Paying another to commit the crime of arson is also a crime.

If you have been arrested for a crime, the first thing you should do is hire a knowledgeable, aggressive criminal defense attorney. If you reside in the Miami Valley region of Ohio, the law firm of Cox Keller Lusardi is an excellent choice. We not only have extensive experience in criminal defense, but we understand the terrible anxiety engendered by an arrest and its possible consequences. You can count on us to treat you with respect and compassion and fight for your rights in every way possible. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.


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85 West Main Street, Xenia, OH 45385
| Phone: 937-372-6921

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