Muskingum County Criminal Court

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

The Right to Counsel

The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.s. Constitution give defendants in criminal cases the right to counsel/attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed to represent you. Like other rights a defendant has, this one can be waived as well and alternatively you can choose to represent yourself.

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.

Muskingum County Criminal Court

Muskingum County Criminal Court

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.

Mandatory Appearances in Muskingum County Criminal Court

At a mandatory or required court appearance in Muskingum 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.

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.

Who is the prosecutor for Muskingum County?

Depending upon the case, the prosecutor for Muskingum County criminal cases will either be a representative of Muskingum County or a representative from Ohio. After reviewing evidence it is the prosecutor’s decision whether to file charges or drop a case. Most prosecutors have the ability to negotiate plea bargains, and determine how the case will be prosecuted.

Arraignments in Muskingum County

During an arraignment in Muskingum 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 Muskingum 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 Muskingum County the defendant may be sentenced at that time or the sentencing may take place at a later date.

Muskingum County Criminal Court locations

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

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.

I need help for my Muskingum 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 Muskingum 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 Muskingum 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.

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.

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 Muskingum 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.

Muskingum County Criminal Court Locations

  • Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas – Domestic Relations Division

    Address: 22 N 5th St, Zanesville OH 43701
    Phone: 740-455-7898 Fax: 740-455-7198

  • Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas – General Division

    Address: 401 Main St, Zanesville OH 43701
    Phone: 740-455-7104 Fax: 740-455-8245

  • Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Division

    Address: 401 Main St, Zanesville OH 43701
    Phone: 740-455-7113 Fax: 740-455-7173

  • Muskingum County Court

    Address: 27 N 5th St, Zanesville OH 43701
    Phone: 740-455-7138 Fax: 740-455-7157

  • Zanesville Municipal Court

    Address: 332 South St, PO Box 566, Zanesville OH 43701
    Phone: 740-454-3260 Fax: 740-455-0739

  • Dresden Mayor’s Court

    Address: 904 Chestnut St, PO Box 539, Dresden OH 43821
    Phone: 740-754-3151 Fax: 740-754-4005

  • Frazeysburg Mayor’s Court

    Address: 7 W 2nd St, PO Box 160, Frazeysburg OH 43822
    Phone: 740-828-2901 Fax: 740-828-2913

  • New Concord Mayor’s Court

    Address: Phone: 740-826-7671, x14 Fax: 740-826-7617

  • Roseville Mayor’s Court

    Address: Phone: 740-697-7782, x105 Fax: 740-697-0064

  • South Zanesville Mayor’s Court

    Address: 24 E Main St, South Zanesville OH 43701
    Phone: 740-454-0492

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