If you are charged with a misdemeanor in Ohio, specific municipal courts and county district courts handle these types of cases. There are some notable differences between felonies and misdemeanors, including the fact that felonies have harsher sentences. With a misdemeanor, you are looking at a maximum of six months in jail. However, even a misdemeanor conviction on your record is something to be concerned about. That is why you should hire a Dayton criminal defense lawyer if you’re facing criminal charges of any kind.
Misdemeanor cases will begin when you are arrested or receive a written citation notifying you of the offense. That is the point when you want to contact our experienced legal team at the Comunale Law Office.
Initial Appearance and Arraignment in an Ohio Misdemeanor Case
The initial appearance and arraignment for a misdemeanor is similar in both misdemeanor and felony cases. The court will tell you what the charges are against you and ask you to enter a plea. If you do not already have an attorney representing you, the judge will ask whether you can afford one or not. If you retain a lawyer before the initial appearance, we can handle it, so you do not have to reschedule or miss time from work.
Misdemeanor Pretrial Conference
The object of the pretrial conference is to see if there is any chance of settling with the prosecutor’s office. A majority of misdemeanors resolve during this phase. Quickly and efficiently concluding these matters is better for everyone. It can save on litigation costs and give you the peace of mind you need. If your case resolves, it will be terminated on that day.
If you do not reach an agreement, then your case moved into the pretrial litigation phase. During this phase, we will start challenging the prosecution’s case. That means finding legal grounds to have evidence excluded or argue against the legality of your arrest. There is still a chance your case might resolve during pretrial litigation.
Misdemeanor Trial in Ohio
If you cannot reach an agreement during the pretrial conference or pretrial litigation, then your case will be set for trial. You have to decide whether you want a jury trial or trial in front of a judge. It is more common to opt for a judge trial with misdemeanors. The decision to have a judge trial is because there is less evidence and less time needed. However, do not decide until you confer with your attorney about the judge and how they typically rule on legal matters.
Contact a Dayton Criminal Defense Attorney
If you need assistance with misdemeanor charges in Ohio, do not attempt to represent yourself. Let our skilled legal team assist. Contact the Comunale Law Office today to schedule an initial consultation.