Lawrence County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Lawrence County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Lawrence County.
Lawrence County Prosecutor
For criminal cases in Lawrence County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Lawrence County. The Lawrence 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.
Who can help me in Lawrence County?
For general information about your case the Lawrence 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.
Arraignments in Lawrence County
During an arraignment in Lawrence 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 Lawrence 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 Lawrence County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
Mandatory Appearances in Lawrence County Criminal Court
At a mandatory or required court appearance in Lawrence 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.
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.
Lawrence County Criminal Court locations
Criminal proceedings take place in the Lawrence 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.
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.
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.
In a jury trial in Lawrence County, after both the prosecution and defense have rested, the judge will give instructions to the jury and jury deliberations will begin. The jury will convence in a private room to discuss and deliberate the innocence or guilt of the defendant. Once the jury arrives at a unimanous decision, they will inform the judge that they have reached a decision. They will return to the court and the verdict will be read aloud. If the jury cannot reach a unaminous decision, the jury is said to be deadlocked and a mistrial will be declared in the case.
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 Lawrence 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.
Sentencing in Lawrence County
In Lawrence 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.
Lawrence County Criminal Court Locations
Lawrence County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 111 S 4th St, Ironton OH 45638
Phone: 740-533-4355 Fax: 740-533-4383
Ironton Municipal Court
Address: 301 S 3rd St, Ironton OH 45638
Lawrence County Municipal Court
Address: 10916 County Rd 1, PO Box 126, Chesapeake OH 45619
Phone: 740-867-3127 Fax: 740-867-3547
Coal Grove Mayor’s Court
Address: 513 Carlton Davidson Ln, Coal Grove OH 45638
Hanging Rock Mayor’s Court
Address: 100 Scioto Ave, Hanging Rock OH 45638
Proctorville Mayor’s Court
Address: 301 State St, Proctorville OH 45669
South Point Mayor’s Court
Address: 408 2nd St W, South Point OH 45680
Phone: 740-377-4011 Fax: 740-377-4184