Fairfield County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Fairfield County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Fairfield County.
Fairfield County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Fairfield County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.
Burden of Proof Requirement
In a criminal case in the United States, the burden of proof always requires the prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty. This is a high threshold that must be met by the prosecution when presenting evidence in a case. If the prosecution fails in it’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt the judge must find the defendant not guilty. In a jury trial, the judge will inform the jury what this burden is and their obligation to find the defendant not guilty if they feel the prosecution did prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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.
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.
What is a Plea Agreement?
A plea agreement is a deal made between the prosecution and the defendant in a case, where the defendant agrees to plea guilty to a particular charge in exchange for some concession from the prosecutor. In practice, more than 90% of criminal cases end with a plea agreement.
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.
Mandatory Appearances in Fairfield County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Fairfield County, the defendant must appear before the court. In the event of a “Failure to Appear” the judge may issue a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. Note: not all criminal hearings are mandatory, in a non-mandatory hearing an attorney may appear on your behalf without you being in court.
Arraignments in Fairfield County
During an arraignment in Fairfield 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 Fairfield 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 Fairfield County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
Who can help me in Fairfield County?
For general information about your case the Fairfield 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.
Fairfield County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Fairfield County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Fairfield County. The Fairfield County prosecutor reviews all evidence and ultimately decides whether to file or dismiss charges in the case. Most of the time, the prosecutor has leeway in plea negotiations and determines how the case will be prosecuted.
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.
Fairfield County Criminal Court Locations
Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas – General and Domestic Relations Divisions
Address: 224 E Main St, PO Box 370, Lancaster OH 43130
Fairfield County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile/Probate Court
Address: 224 E Main St, 3rd Floor, Lancaster OH 43130
Phone: 740-652-7464 (Probate) Fax: 740-687-0942
Fairfield County Municipal Court
Address: 104 E Main St, PO Box 2390, Lancaster OH 43130
Phone: 740-687-6621 Fax: 740-681-5014
Baltimore Mayor’s Court
Address: 105 W Market St, Baltimore OH 43105
Phone: 740-862-8550 Fax: 740-862-4368
Carroll Mayor’s Court
Address: 68 Center St, PO Box 367, Carroll OH 43112
Lithopolis Mayor’s Court
Address: 11820 Lithopolis Rd, Lithopolis OH 43136
Phone: 614-837-2031 Fax: 614-837-2722
Pickerington Mayor’s Court
Address: 100 Lockville Rd, Pickerington OH 43147
Phone: 614-837-3974 Fax: 614-833-2219
Sugar Grove Mayor’s Court
Address: PO Box 7, Sugar Grove OH 43155
Phone: 740-746-8406 Fax: 740-746-9190