Fayette County Criminal Court

Fayette County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Fayette County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Fayette County.

Can I request a Plea Agreement?

In Fayette 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.

Fayette County Arraignments

An arraignment is a court hearing. In Fayette County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Fayette 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 Fayette 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.

Fayette County Criminal Court

Fayette County Criminal Court

Jury Deliberations in Fayette County

In Fayette 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.

Right to an attorney

The US Constitution’s Sixth Amendment ensures the right to an attorney regardless of whether or not you can afford one. In Fayette County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.

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.

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.

Fayette County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Fayette County will take place at the Fayette County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Fayette County Criminal Court Locations.

Fayette County Required Court Appearances

In Fayette 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.

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.

Where can I get help for my Fayette County criminal case?

The 6th amendment of the United States Constitution provides a criminal defendant with the right to an attorney. As read in the miranda rights, this means that if a defendant cannot afford to hire a private attorney a legal attorney will be appointed to the defendant to represent him at no cost to the defendant. This is often a public defender. In addition, the court clerk for Fayette County will also be able to provide general information about a specific criminal case. The clerk can only provide information and is not an attorney so they cannot provide legal advice, only a licensed attorney can provide legal advice about what the best options for are for your particular case.

What is the Burden of Proof?

The term “Burden of Proof” means that the prosecutor is required to prove the guilt of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot provide proof of the defendants guilt, then the judge or jury in a trial must find the defendant not guilty. In the United States the principle innocent until proven guilty derives from this that the defendant is assumed innocent and the prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

Prosecutor in Fayette County

In Fayette County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Fayette County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Ohio. For the most part, the prosecutor in Fayette County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Fayette County Criminal Court Locations

  • Fayette County Court of Common Pleas

    Address: 110 E Court St, Washington Court House OH 43160
    Phone: 740-335-6371 Fax: 740-333-3522

  • Fayette County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile Division

    Address: 110 E Court St, Washington Court House OH 43160
    Phone: 740-335-0640 Fax: 740-333-3598

  • Fayette County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Division

    Address: 110 E Court St, Washington Court House OH 43160
    Phone: 740-335-0640 Fax: 740-333-3598

  • Washington Court House Municipal Court

    Address: 119 N Main St, Washington Court House OH 43160
    Phone: 740-636-2350 Fax: 740-636-2359

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