Richland County Criminal Court

Richland County Criminal Court handles all criminal cases that are filed in Richland County. See below for more information about criminal cases in Richland County.

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.

What happens in Richland County at an arraignment?

In Richland County the defendant is brought into court and informed by the judge of the charges that have been filed against them along with informing them of their rights. At this time, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, there will be no trial and the defendant may be sentenced immediately or at a later date. If the defendant pleads not guilty a trial date is set.

Richland County Criminal Court

Richland County Criminal Court

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 Richland 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 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.

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.

Required Court Appearances in Richland County

Any required court appearances in Richland 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.

Richland County Criminal Court hearings

Criminal hearings in Richland County will take place at the Richland County Criminal Courts. Please see here for a list of the Richland County Criminal Court Locations.

Richland County Prosecutor

For criminal cases in Richland County, the prosecutor will be a representative of Richland County. The Richland 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.

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.

Defendant Sentencing

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 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.

Where can I get help for my Richland 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 Richland 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.

Richland County Criminal Court Locations

  • Richland County Court of Common Pleas – Domestic Relations Division

    Address: 50 Park Ave E, Mansfield OH 44902
    Phone: 419-774-5549 Fax: 419-774-5547

  • Richland County Court of Common Pleas – General Division

    Address: 50 Park Ave E, Mansfield OH 44902
    Phone: 419-774-5549 Fax: 419-774-5547

  • Richland County Court of Common Pleas – Juvenile Division

    Address: 411 S Diamond St, Mansfield OH 44902
    Phone: 419-774-5578

  • Richland County Court of Common Pleas – Probate Division

    Address: 50 Park Ave E, Mansfield OH 44902
    Phone: 419-774-5583 Fax: 419-774-5865

  • Mansfield Municipal Court

    Address: 30 N Diamond St, Mansfield OH 44902
    Phone: 419-755-9632

  • Shelby Municipal Court

    Address: 29 Mack Ave, Shelby OH 44875
    Phone: 419-342-2896 Fax: 419-342-6404

  • Bellville Mayor’s Court

    Address: Phone: 419-886-2245, x1 Fax: 419-886-2297

  • Butler Mayor’s Court

    Address: 33 Elm St, PO Box 483, Butler OH 44822
    Phone: 419-883-2481 Fax: 419-883-3360

  • Lexington Mayor’s Court

    Address: Phone: 419-884-0765, x2 Fax: 419-884-1640

  • Lucas Mayor’s Court

    Address: 101 1st Ave, PO Box 366, Lucas OH 44843
    Phone: 419-892-2178

  • Ontario Mayor’s Court

    Address: 555 Stumbo Rd, Ontario OH 44862
    Phone: 419-529-3723 Fax: 419-529-6132

  • Plymouth Mayor’s Court

    Address: 25 Sandusky St, Plymouth OH 44865
    Phone: 419-687-2020 Fax: 419-687-5383

  • Shiloh Mayor’s Court

    Address: 13 W Main St, PO Box 242, Shiloh OH 44878
    Phone: 419-896-2011 Fax: 419-896-3878

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