Misdemeanor Criminal Arraignment
Misdemeanor is the general term for a lower level offense in Ohio. The degree of misdemeanor crimes ranges from a “minor” misdemeanor (no jail time, maximum fine of $150) to a “first degree” misdemeanor (possible 6 months in jail or a maximum fine of $1,000 or both). Examples of misdemeanor criminal offenses include, but are not limited to: disorderly conduct, noise in a motor vehicle, curfew violations, criminal trespass, criminal damaging, menacing by stalking, assault, domestic violence.
A person charged with a misdemeanor crime must make an appearance in court after their arrest or summons. This is called “arraignment.” At arraignment, the person charged with the offense is designated as a defendant. The defendant is advised of his/her legal rights and is required to enter a plea of guilty, no contest, not guilty, or not guilty by reason of insanity. At arraignment, a bond may also be set. If the criminal offense involves a protection order, the protection order hearing will also take place.
If a defendant enters a plea of guilty or no contest and the plea is accepted, the court will sentence the defendant or refer the defendant to the probation department for a pre-sentence report and continue the matter for sentencing.
If a defendant enters a plea of not guilty or a written plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, the matter will be assigned to a judge and the defendant will receive a future date to appear for pre-trial in the judge’s courtroom. If the offense carries potential jail time, the defendant is advised to hire an attorney or if the defendant is indigent or low income, the defendant is advised to seek the legal services of a public defender.
Misdemeanor criminal arraignments take place at 8:30 am, Monday through Friday, in Courtroom 3C. The misdemeanor criminal arraignment docket is presided over by a judge of the court.