Portage County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Portage County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Portage County.
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 Portage County a public defender will be appointed by the judge if you cannot afford private representation.
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.
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.
Where will Portage County criminal case hearings take place?
Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Portage County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Portage County.
Portage County Arraignments
An arraignment is a court hearing. In Portage County this is the first thing that will happen in a criminal case. The defendant will be brought before a judge in Portage 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 Portage 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.
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 Portage 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.
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.
Prosecutor in Portage County
In Portage County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Portage County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Ohio. For the most part, the prosecutor in Portage County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.
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.
Required Court Appearances in Portage County
Any required court appearances in Portage 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.
Where can I get help for my Portage 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 Portage 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.
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.
Portage County Criminal Court Locations
Portage County Court of Common Pleas – Domestic Relations Division
Address: 203 W Main St, PO Box 1035, Ravenna OH 44266
Phone: 330-297-3475 Fax: 330-297-4268
Portage County Court of Common Pleas – General Division
Address: 203 W Main St, PO Box 1035, Ravenna OH 44266
Phone: 330-297-3644 Fax: 330-297-4554
Portage County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile Division
Address: 8000 Infirmary Rd, Ravenna OH 44266
Phone: 330-297-0881 Fax: 330-297-2227
Portage County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Division
Address: 203 W Main St, PO Box 936, Ravenna OH 44266
Phone: 330-297-3870 Fax: 330-298-1100
Portage County Municipal Court – Kent Branch
Address: 303 E Main St, Kent OH 44204
Phone: 330-678-9170 (Civil) Fax: 330-678-5107
Portage County Municipal Court – Ravenna Branch
Address: 203 W Main St, PO Box 958, Ravenna OH 44266
Phone: 330-297-3635 (Civil) Fax: 330-297-3526
Mogadore Mayor’s Court
Address: 135 S Cleveland Ave, Mogadore OH 44260