Allen County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Allen County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Allen County.
Right to Jury Trial
For “Serious Crimes”, those that can have a potential penalty of 6 months in jail OR a minimum $500 penalty, the US Constitution guarantees a right to trial by jury. This is guaranteed by Article III of the Constitution and the 6th Amendment. The accused has the ability to waive their right to trial by jury.
Allen County Criminal Court hearings
Criminal hearings in Allen County will take place at the Allen County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Allen County Criminal Court Locations.
A Plea Agreement, sometimes known as a Plea Bargain is an agreement between the prosecution and the defendant, where the defendant pleads guilty or no contest often in exchange for a lesser charge or lighter recommended sentence. A large majority of criminal cases end in a plea agreement. In Allen County you can inform your attorney to negotiate with the prosecution to attempt to come to a plea agreement, but this is dependent upon the charge severity and also the prosecutors willingness to accept a plea deal.
Can I appeal a guilty verdict?
If found guilty, a defendant may decide to appeal his case to an appelate court. The appellate court will not retry the case, they will examine the proceedings in the lower court to make sure they were done in a legal manner. The appellate court can either uphold the original conviction, or determine that due to errors made in the original trial, that there must be a retrial, resentencing or a complete dismissal of the charges.
Prosecutor in Allen County
In Allen County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Allen County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Ohio. For the most part, the prosecutor in Allen County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
I need help for my Allen County criminal case
The best place to get information about your criminal case is from an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one to represent you which will assist in your case. For general information about your case the Allen County court clerk is able to provide general information about your specific case (e.g. date/time hearings, mandatory appearance, what will take place and what you will be required to do). The court clerk for Allen County will NOT be able to provide legal advice for your case, only an attorney can provide legal advice. The court clerk can provide legal information (like the information found on this website) about your case but cannot provide advice about what you should do in your legal manner.
Allen County Required Court Appearances
In Allen County, there are both required and non-required court appearances for the defendant. At a required or mandatory appearance hearing, the defendant is required to appear in person before the court. Failing to appear at your required hearing may result in a bench warrant being issued for your arrest by the judge.
Arraignments in Allen County
During an arraignment in Allen County, a defendant appears before the court and the judge reads the charges that have been filed against the accused and also informs the defendant of his/her rights. During the arraignment in Allen County, the defendant can choose to plead one of the following 1) Guilty 2) Not Guilty or 3) No Contest. If the defendant enters a plea of Not Guilty, a date for trial is set. In the event of a Guilty or No Contest Plea in Allen County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
What if I can’t afford an attorney?
The 6th Amendment guarantees you the right to an attorney whether or not you can afford one. If you cannot afford one, a public defender will be appointed by the court to represent you.
Jury Deliberations in Allen County
In Allen County, jury deliberations will take place in a jury trial after the prosecution and defense have presented their cases and rested. At this point, the judge will provide a list of instructions to the jury about what they are allowed and not allowed to do and what verdict options are available for them to decide. The jury will be sent to a private room to discuss the evidence presented in the case and attempt to reach a unaminous decision. When a unaminous decision is reached, the jury will inform the judge that they have reached a verdict and will return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read allowed. In the event that the jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict, the jury results in a deadlock and a mistrial is declared.
Sentencing in Allen County
In Allen County if the defendant is found guilty (by trial or plea), the defendant will be sentenced. This sometimes occurrs immediately after being found guilty, but can also take place at a later date. In most instances, a judge will impose the sentence that is requested by the prosecution, but they also have the descretion to impose a different sentence.
Burden of Proof
The burden of proof is always on the prosecution in a criminal trial. In other words, the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime. The defense must only prove that there is a reasonable possibility that the defendant did NOT commit the crime. If the prosecution cannot prove that the defendant committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the jury will be instructed to find the defendant not-guilty.
Allen County Criminal Court Locations
Allen County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 301 N Main St, PO Box 1243, Lima OH 45802
Phone: 419-223-8513 Fax: 419-224-8427
Allen County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile Division
Address: 1000 Wardhill Ave, Lima OH 45805
Phone: 419-227-5531 Fax: 419-222-7403
Allen County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Division
Address: 301 N Main St, PO Box 1243, Lima OH 45802
Phone 419-223-8501 Fax: 419-221-3432
Lima Municipal Court
Address: 109 N Union St, Lima OH 45801
Phone: 419-221-5275 Fax: 419-998-5517 (Civil) Fax: 419-998-5526 (Criminal/Traffic)
Bluffton Mayor’s Court
Address: 154 N Main St, Bluffton OH 45817
Cairo Mayor’s Court
Address: 519 Wall St, PO Box 207, Cairo OH 45820
Delphos Mayor’s Court
Address: 608 N Canal St, Delphos OH 45833
Phone: 419-695-4010 Fax: 419-695-5102
Elida Mayor’s Court
Address: 200 W Main St, PO Box 3074, Elida, OH 45807
Phone: 419-339-2811 Fax: 419-339-3804
Spencerville Mayor’s Court
Address: 116 S Broadway St, Spencerville OH 45887