Franklin County Criminal Court

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

Required Court Appearances in Franklin County

Any required court appearances in Franklin 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.

Prosecutor in Franklin County

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

Franklin County Criminal Court

Franklin County Criminal Court

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.

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.

Franklin County Criminal Court locations

Criminal proceedings take place in the Franklin County Criminal Courts. A list of the criminal courts are located here.

Plea Agreements

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 Franklin 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.

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.

Jury Deliberations in Franklin County

In Franklin 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.

I need help for my Franklin 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 Franklin 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 Franklin 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.

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.

Franklin County Arraignments

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

Defendant Sentencing

At a sentence hearing the judge will inform the defendant of the sentence that will be imposed. This sometimes occurs at the same hearing in which the defendant is found guilty (either by trial or plea agreement). In can also occur at a later date, most often this is due to the complexity of the case where more time is needed to determine the appropriate sentence.

Franklin County Criminal Court Locations

  • Franklin County Clerk of Courts

    Address: 373 S High St, Columbus OH 43215
    Phone: 614-525-3600

  • Franklin County Clerk of Courts – Juvenile Traffic Division

    Address: 399 S Front St, 1st Floor, Columbus OH 43215
    Phone: 614-525-5279 Fax: 614-525-8540

  • Franklin County Court of Common Pleas – Domestic Relations Division and Juvenile Branch

    Address: 373 S High St, Columbus OH 43215
    Phone: 614-525-4412 (Domestic Relations) Phone: 614-525-4411 (Juvenile)

  • Franklin County Court of Common Pleas – General Division

    Address: 345 S High St, Columbus OH 43215
    Phone: 614-525-3453 Fax: 614-525-4480

  • Franklin County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Court

    Address: 373 S High St, 22nd Floor, Columbus OH 43215
    Phone: 614-462-3894 Fax: 614-462-7422

  • Franklin County Municipal Court

    Address: 375 S High St, Columbus OH 43215
    Phone: 614-645-7220 (Civil) Fax: 614-645-6919

  • Bexley Mayor’s Court

    Address: 2242 E Main St, Bexley OH 43209
    Phone: 614-559-4437 Fax: 614-559-4201

  • Canal Winchester Mayor’s Court

    Address: 36 S High St, Canal Winchester OH 43110
    Phone: 614-837-7691 Fax: 614-837-0145

  • City of Columbus Parking Violations Bureau

    Address: 400 W Whittier St, Columbus OH 43215
    Phone: 614-645-6400 Fax: 614-645-7357

  • Dublin Mayor’s Court

    Address: 6565 Commerce Pkwy, Dublin OH 43017
    Phone: 614-410-4920 Fax: 614-761-6598

  • Gahanna Mayor’s Court

    Address: 200 S Hamilton Rd, Gahanna OH 43230
    Phone: 614-342-4080 Fax: 614-342-4180

  • Grandview Heights Mayor’s Court

    Address: 1016 Grandview Ave, Grandview Heights OH 43212
    Phone: 614-481-6205 Fax: 614-481-6224

  • Grove City Mayor’s Court

    Address: 3360 Park St, Grove City OH 43123
    Phone: 614-277-1715 Fax: 614-277-1793

  • Groveport Mayor’s Court

    Address: 655 Blacklick St, Groveport OH 43125
    Phone: 614-830-2043

  • Harrisburg Mayor’s Court

    Address: 1092 High St, Harrisburg OH 43126
    Phone: 614-877-4053

  • Hilliard Mayor’s Court

    Address: 5171 Northwest Pkwy, Hilliard OH 43026
    Phone: 614-334-2348 Fax: 614-529-6036

  • Marble Cliff MayorΓò¼├┤Γö£ΓûôΓö¼Γò¥╬ô├╢┬ú╬ô├╢├▒Γò¼├┤Γö£ΓòóΓö¼├║╬ô├╢┬úΓö¼ΓòæΓò¼├┤Γö£ΓòóΓö¼├║╬ô├╢┬ú╬ô├▓├╣s Court

    Address: 1016 Grandview Ave, Grandview Heights OH 43212
    Phone: 614-486-6993

  • Minerva Park Mayor’s Court

    Address: 2829 Minerva Lake Rd, Columbus OH 43231
    Phone: 614-882-1408 Fax: 614-899-1296

  • New Albany Mayor’s Court

    Address: 99 W Main St, PO Box 188, New Albany OH 43054
    Phone: 614-855-8577 Fax: 614-855-0082

  • Obetz Mayor’s Court

    Address: 4175 Alum Creek Dr, Obetz OH 43207
    Phone: 614-491-3211

  • Reynoldsburg Mayor’s Court

    Address: 7232 E Main St, Reynoldsburg OH 43068
    Phone: 614-322-6804 Fax: 614-322-6856

  • Upper Arlington Mayor’s Court

    Address: 3600 Tremont Rd, Upper Arlington OH 43221
    Phone: 614-583-5060 Fax: 614-442-4044

  • Valleyview Mayor’s Court

    Address: 432 N Richardson Ave, Valleyview OH 43204
    Phone: 614-279-5630 Fax: 614-279-1944

  • Westerville Mayor’s Court

    Address: 21 S State St, Westerville OH 43081
    Phone: 614-901-6419 Fax: 614-776-6045

  • Whitehall Mayor’s Court

    Address: 360 South Yearling Rd, Whitehall OH 43213
    Phone: 614-338-3109 Fax: 614-338-3119

  • Worthington Mayor’s Court

    Address: 6550 N High St, Worthington OH 43085
    Phone: 614-786-7351 Fax: 614-433-7915

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