Hocking County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Hocking County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Hocking County.
Hocking County Required Court Appearances
In Hocking 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.
Where will Hocking County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Hocking County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Hocking County.
Hocking County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Hocking County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Hocking 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 Hocking 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.
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.
The Right to Trial by Jury
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by a jury. This is applicable for when the crime can carry a sentence of 6 months in jail OR a $500 fine, these are known as “Serious Crimes”. The defendant can also waive their right to a speedy and public trial.
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.
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.
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.
Prosecutor in Hocking County
In Hocking County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Hocking County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Ohio. For the most part, the prosecutor in Hocking County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the 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.
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.
Where can I get help for my Hocking 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 Hocking 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.
Hocking County Criminal Court Locations
Hocking County Court of Common Pleas – General and Domestic Relations Divisions
Address: 1 E Main St, PO Box 108, Logan OH 43138
Phone: 740-385-2616 Fax: 740-385-1822
Hocking County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile and Probate Divisions
Address: 1 E Main St, Logan OH 43138
Phone: 740-385-3615 (Juvenile) Fax: 740-385-6892
Hocking County Municipal Court
Address: 1 E Main St, PO Box 950, Logan OH 43138
Phone: 740-385-2250 Fax: 740-385-3826
Laurelville Mayor’s Court
Address: 18751 Main St, Laurelville OH 43135
Murray City Mayor’s Court
Address: 13964 Locust St, Murray City OH 43144
Phone: 740-762-2362 Fax: 740-762-2362