Clinton County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Clinton County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Clinton County.
The Right to Counsel
The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.
Clinton County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Clinton County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
If guilty, who sentences the defendant?
If the defendant is found guilty after the trial, the defendent will be sentenced. In some cases, this can occur at the same hearing the defendant is found guilty in court, in other cases a separate hearing will be required. Often the prosecution will request a particular sentence for the defendant and the judge will determine whether to enforce this sentence or impose a different sentence for the defendant.
What is Jury Deliberation?
After both the prosecution and defense have presented their cases, the judge in the case will provide instructions to the jury about what they must decide. The jury will be dismissed to the jury room where they will deliberate about the guilt or innocence of the defendant. After reaching a unaminous decision, they return their decision to the court where it is read aloud in the courtroom. If the jury is unable to reach a unaminous decision, the jury is deadlocked, also known as a hung jury, in which a mistrial will be declared.
Clinton County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Clinton County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Clinton County Criminal Court and the judge will read the charges that were filed against the defendant. The judge will also read the rights the defendant has and ask the defendant if they understand both the charges filed against them and their rights as a defendant in the case. In Clinton County a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest may be entered. In a guilty or no contest plea the sentencing of the defendant may take place at the same arraignment hearing or a later date may be scheduled for sentencing. For a not guilty plea, a date will be set for a trial.
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.
Appealing a guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
I need help for my Clinton 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 Clinton 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 Clinton 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.
Clinton County Required Court Appearances
In Clinton 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.
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.
Prosecutor in Clinton County
In Clinton County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Clinton County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Ohio. For the most part, the prosecutor in Clinton County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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 Clinton 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.
Clinton County Criminal Court Locations
Clinton County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 46 S South St, #333, Wilmington OH 45177
Phone: 937-382-2316 Fax: 937-383-3455
Clinton County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile Court
Address: 46 S South St, #218, Wilmington OH 45177
Phone: 937-382-2391 Fax: 937-383-0823
Clinton County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Court
Address: 46 S South St, Wilmington OH 45177
Phone: 937-382-2280 Fax: 937-383-1158
Clinton County Municipal Court
Address: 69 N South St, PO Box 71, Wilmington OH 45177
Phone: 937-382-8985 Fax: 937-383-0130
Sabina Mayor’s Court
Address: 9 N Howard St, Sabina OH 45169
Phone: 937-584-2441 Fax: 937-584-2442