Here is how you will likely work through the county court system. Need help?
Free consultation from Godbey Law by calling (513) 241-6650 or godbeylaw.com

What are you charged with?
Felony: Serious offense such as murder or armed robbery. Typically booked in jail immediately upon arrest.
Misdemeanor: A less serious offense such as trespass or graffiti. Can sometimes be booked in jail after arrest.

What happens next?
If you were booked in jail you may have the option to post a bail bond to be released

Time to contact a lawyer
Initial Appearance/Arraignment – the first formal reading in court of the charges against you

Which court do I need to go to?
I’m charged with a felony – Court of Common Pleas
I’m charged with a misdemeanor – Municipal Court

How do you plead?
GUILTY – you would then face sentencing
NO CONTEST – admission that the facts would be enough to find you guilty, but it is not an admission of guilt. This is sometimes used to protect against future civil cases. It is important to consult with qualified legal counsel about your particular circumstances.
NOT GUILTY – proceed to trial

What happens at trial?
TRIAL BY JURY: Judge oversees a group of community members who determine a verdict
BENCH TRIAL: A trial by judge rather than jury. Often chosen for its speed or to avoid potential jury bias

Verdict?
GUILTY – proceed to sentencing
MISTRIAL – trial is thrown out
NOT GUILTY/ACQUITTED

What happens at sentencing? You may be sentenced by one of the following or a combination of the following:

  • Community Service
  • Fine
  • Suspended Sentence (Sentence waived for good behavior, restitution, etc)
  • Time Served (jail time spent waiting for trial)
  • Prison
  • Therapy in lieu of prison

Being charged with a crime is a very scary experience. You can face jail time, probation, fines, court costs, suspension of your driver’s license, community service and other penalties. Even a relatively minor criminal charge can still have negative consequences. Running criminal background checks is becoming more common for employers, landlords, lenders and other organizations. Having a criminal record can prevent you from numerous opportunities, even if you were convicted of a misdemeanor.

Fighting criminal charges is important if you want to protect your future. At Godbey Law, we understand the effect that a conviction may have on your life. Our Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers work diligently to minimize the consequences of criminal charges. We will fight for you and vigorously defend you against the charges, taking the matter to trial before a judge or jury. If the evidence against you is overwhelming, we will still argue and negotiate for a reduction of the charges against you. Sometimes, we can even get our clients into a diversion program which can result in all charges being dismissed. If the prosecutor will not negotiate, we will go to trial to protect your rights.

In addition to our years of experience, we have good working relationships with our community’s court personnel, prosecutors and law enforcement officers. This allows us to keep cases moving and find effective resolutions for our clients.

For more information and a free consultation call (513) 241-6650 or visit http://godbeylaw.com/criminal-law/