Delaware County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Delaware County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Delaware County.
Can I request a Plea Agreement?
In Delaware County you may be able to enter into a plea agreement depending upon the severity of the charges. It is also dependant upon the prosecution willing to accept a plea agreement. You can ask your attorney to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution to avoid having a jury trial along with the potential for a more serious sentence. Approximately 9 out of 10 criminal cases usually end in a plea agreement.
Jury by Trial Right
The US Constitution (Article 3 along with the 6th Amendment) ensures an accused defendant the right to a jury trial. This applies to crimes that have a $500 fine or a potential sentence of six months in jail (aka Serious Crimes). This right to trial by jury can also be waived by a defendant.
Delaware County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Delaware County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Delaware 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 Delaware 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.
Who is the prosecutor for Delaware County?
Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Delaware County criminal cases will either be a representative of Delaware County or a representative from Ohio. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.
Appealing a Criminal Conviciton
A defendant may appeal a criminal conviction to an appellate court. In an appeal, the actual trial is not redone, but the appellate court hears arguments that the criminal case was not handled in a legal manner at the original criminal court. The appellate court can either uphold the conviction, or determine that errors were made and may request a retrial, a resentencing of the defendant or that the charges be dismissed.
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.
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.
Sentencing in Delaware County
In Delaware 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.
Required Court Appearances in Delaware County
Any required court appearances in Delaware County Criminal Court must be attended by the defendant. Failure to appear in court at your required date and time may result in the judge issuing an arrest warrant.
Delaware County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Delaware County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Who can help me in Delaware County?
For general information about your case the Delaware County court clerk will be able to provide legal information about your specific criminal case. Legal information is not legal advice though, the court clerk will only be able to provide information about your case, like date/time of hearings what will occur at the hearing and what you may be required to do in the hearing. They cannot provide advice about what you should do or what the best legal options may be for your particular case. Only an attorney can provide legal advice and this is your best place for information about your specific criminal proceeding. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney to represent you, a judge will appoint an attorney to represent you, this is most often a public defender.
Jury Deliberations in Delaware County
In Delaware 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.
Delaware County Criminal Court Locations
Delaware County Court of Common Pleas – General and Domestic Relations Divisions
Address: 91 N Sandusky St, Delaware OH 43015
Phone: 740-833-2500 Fax: 740-833-2499
Delaware County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile Division
Address: 140 N Sandusky St, Delaware OH 43015
Delaware County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Division
Address: 140 N Sandusky St, 3rd Floor, PO Box 8006, Delaware OH 43015
Phone: 740-833-2680 Fax: 740-833-2679
Delaware Municipal Court
Address: 70 N Union St, Delaware OH 43015
Phone: 740-203-1500 Fax: 740-203-1599
Shawnee Hills Mayor’s Court
Address: 9484 Dublin Rd, Shawnee Hills OH 43065
Phone: 614-889-2824 Fax: 614-336-1791
Sunbury Mayor’s Court
Address: 51 E Cherry St, Sunbury OH 43074