Shelby County Criminal Court

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

Shelby County Required Court Appearances

In Shelby 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.

Prosecutor in Shelby County

In Shelby County, the prosecutor is an attorney representing Shelby County. In some cases, the prosecutor may actually represent Ohio. For the most part, the prosecutor in Shelby County has discretion to both decide whether to file charges and also negotiate a potential plea deal with the defendant.

Shelby County Criminal Court

Shelby County Criminal Court

Arraignments in Shelby County

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

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.

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 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.

Who can help me in Shelby County?

For general information about your case the Shelby 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.

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.

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.

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 Shelby County criminal case hearings take place?

Criminal cases will take place at the criminal courts of Shelby County. See here for the location of the criminal courts in Shelby County.

Jury Deliberation

In a jury trial in Shelby 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.

Shelby County Criminal Court Locations

  • Shelby County Court of Common Pleas – General and Domestic Relations Divisions

    Address: 100 E Court St, PO Box 809, Sidney OH 45365
    Phone: 937-498-7221 Fax: 937-498-4840

  • Shelby County Juvenile Court

    Address: 100 E Court St, PO Box 4187, Sidney OH 45365
    Phone: 937-498-7255 Fax: 937-498-7260

  • Shelby County Probate Court

    Address: 100 E Court St, PO Box 4187, Sidney OH 45365
    Phone: 937-498-7263 Fax: 937-498-7260

  • Sidney Municipal Court

    Address: Physical: 110 W Court St, Sidney OH 45365
    Phone: 937-498-0011 Fax; 937-498-8164

  • Anna Mayor’s Court

    Address: Phone: 937-394-3751, x 101 Fax: 937-394-4704

  • Jackson Center Mayor’s Court

    Address: 122 E Pike St, PO Box 819, Jackson Center OH 45334
    Phone: 937-596-6140

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