What to Do When You Appear
Report to the Clerk’s office and check in by properly identifying yourself.
- Do not use a nickname or alias.
- Use the same spelling as listed on your paperwork.
- If your name or address is incorrect, advise the court so that it may be corrected.
What Happens When Court Starts
Once court convenes, the Judge will advise you of your rights and the four pleas that are available to you:
If You Enter a Guilty Plea
Guilty means that you admit to having done what you are charged with.
It is likely that you will be sentenced immediately. The Judge will take into consideration your prior record, if any, and the nature of the offense with which you have been charged. Any determination of Fine and Cost will be decided by the Judge at that time. (The violation bureau payout schedule does not apply when you appear in court.)
If You Enter a No Contest Plea
By pleading no contest, you do not admit guilt; therefore, no one can use that plea against you in any subsequent trial or hearing, whether it is criminal or civil in nature. In a no contest plea, you admit that the allegations contained in the complaint or citation are true, but only for the purpose of this hearing. If the Judge accepts your plea of no contest and there are sufficient allegations contained in the citation, you will probably be found guilty. The Judge will read the report of the officer and listen to what you have to say by way of mitigation. In such a case, it would be the Judge’s finding, not your admission of guilt.
The Judge will take into consideration your prior record, if any, and the nature of the offense with which you have been charged. Any determination of Fine and Cost will be decided by the Judge at that time. (The violation bureau payout schedule does not apply when you appear in court.)
If You Enter a Not Guilty Plea
Not guilty means you deny having done one or more of the elements contained in the offense or that you have a justifiable excuse for doing what you have done. If you plead not guilty, the matter will be set for trial at some date in the future.
You may enter a not guilty plea in writing, by appearing at court prior to your court date and seeing the assignment clerk.
If You Enter a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Plea
This plea is self-explanatory, except that it must be filed in writing.
Requesting a Continuance
If you cannot appear on the date and time scheduled, you may call the Criminal Division at 419-885-8975 between 8 a.m. and 4:15 p.m., prior to your court date, to request a different date as listed above.
The Clerk’s office is not authorized to grant a continuance for a felony charge or violent misdemeanor.
The Clerk’s office is only authorized to give you one continuance. You must request the continuance (do not have a relative or friend call) to a date within two weeks of your original court date. For a longer continuance, you will have to appear in court and make your request before the Judge on the record.
Failure to Appear
Failure to appear in court will result in the following actions by the court:
- A warrant for arrest will be issued for failure to appear/contempt of court. The warrant will be entered by the respective police agency into the State of Ohio computer. When arrested, you will be required to post a cash bond to guarantee your appearance in court.