Mercer County Criminal Court hears all criminal cases in Mercer County. Below you will find specific information about criminal cases and how they are handled in Mercer County.
Where will Mercer County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Mercer County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Mercer County.
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.
Mercer County Required Court Appearances
In Mercer 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.
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.
In a jury trial in Mercer 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.
Appealing a guilty verdict
A defendant may appeal a guilty verdict to an appellate court. This is not a request to have another trial, but a request for an appellate court to review the case and determine that it was handled in a correct legal manner. There are a number of outcomes in an appeal including an upholding of the conviction, a finding that errors were made resulting in a retrial or resentencing or possibly a complete disimissal of all charges.
Where can I get help for my Mercer 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 Mercer 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.
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 Mercer County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
Prosecutor in Mercer County
In Mercer County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Mercer County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Ohio. For the most part, the prosecutor in Mercer County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
Arraignments in Mercer County
During an arraignment in Mercer 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 Mercer 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 Mercer County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.
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.
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.
Mercer County Criminal Court Locations
Mercer County Court of Common Pleas
Address: 101 N Main St, PO Box 28, Celina OH 45822
Phone: 419-586-6461 Fax: 419-586-5826
Celina Municipal Court
Address: 202 Main St, PO Box 362, Celina OH 45822
Coldwater Mayor’s Court
Address: 610 W Sycamore St, Coldwater OH 45828
Phone: 419-678-4881 Fax: 419-678-2365
Rockford Mayor’s Court
Address: 100 E Columbia St, PO Box 501, Rockford OH 45882
Phone: 419-363-3032 Fax: 419-363-2394
St. Henry Mayor’s Court
Address: 371 N Linn St, PO Box 410, St. Henry OH 45883
Phone: 419-678-4030 Fax: 419-678-4798