Courts in Ohio

Like every other state in the nation, Ohio has a two-court system that consists of state and federal courts. However, there are numerous levels and certain types of courts.

The matter of the law that is being heard determines the type of court an individual will appear in. For instance, criminal cases may be heard in different courts depending on where the offense took place and the classification of the crime.

Each court has a different set of rules and requirements, but each one allows people the right to an attorney. Having legal representation is crucial in ensuring the alleged criminal offender can achieve the best possible outcome for their situation.

Defending Clients in Courts Throughout Western Ohio

If you have recently been arrested or believe you are being investigated for committing an alleged crime, having an experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel from Joslyn Law Firm can make all the difference. Attorneys with Joslyn Law Firm will strive to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.

Attorney Brian Joslyn has received numerous prestigious honors for his legal skills. Some of these honors include being named Top Lawyer by Columbus C.E.O Magazine, one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the United States by the National Trial Lawyers and one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Ohio by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Brian Joslyn can review your case and help you understand what to expect about the court you’ll be appearing in.

Call Joslyn Law Firm today at (937) 356-3969 or submit your information in our online form and one our attorneys will review your case for free. We proudly assist clients in Dayton, Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek, Fairborn and other communities in southwestern Ohio.

Mayor’s Court

Cities that have a population greater than 100 people and do not have a municipal court can establish a mayor’s court. Such courts are similar to municipal courts in that they handle traffic violations and misdemeanor crimes.

Instead of having a judge preside over such cases, the mayor oversees the matters or a magistrate appointed by the mayor. Because these are not courts of record, alleged offenders cannot receive jury trials but cases can be transferred to municipal courts any time before a trial or as part of an appeal.

Municipal Courts

These courts handle traffic violations, misdemeanor offenses and preliminary hearings for felony cases. Municipal courts have limited jurisdiction, but the limits vary by court. Some municipal courts have jurisdiction only within their corporate limits while others have countywide jurisdiction. Some may also have jurisdiction that extends beyond corporate limits but is not countywide.

Ohio Courts of Common Pleas

Every county in Ohio has a common pleas court that hears all criminal felony cases, as well as probate matters, domestic relations, and juvenile cases. While other trial courts in Ohio are regulated by the Ohio Revised Code, the jurisdiction of common pleas courts are established under the states constitution and can only be changed by amending the Ohio Constitution.

Court of Appeals

Ohio District Courts of Appeals acts as the state’s appellate courts. These courts have the jurisdiction to hear proceedings such as applications for mandamus, writs of habeas corpus, quo warranto, prohibition, and procedendo. Some of the appeals courts in western Ohio include:

  • Second District Court of Appeals- This court is located in Dayton and hears appeals from trial courts in Champaign, Clark, Darke Greene, Miami and Montgomery counties.
  • Twelfth District Court of Appeals- This court is located in Middletown and hears appeals from trial courts in Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Fayette, Madison, Preble and Warren counties 
  • Third District Court of Appeals- This court is located in Lima and hears appeals from trial courts in Allen, Auglaize, Crawford, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Logan, Marion, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Seneca, Shelby, Union, Van Wert and Wyandot counties.

The decision of the district court of appeals in Ohio is normally the end of the appeals process for most cases, but the Ohio Supreme Court can review cases from the court of appeals.

Ohio Supreme Court

The Ohio Supreme Court is the highest court in the state is considered the court of last resort with the majority of the cases being appeals from the district courts. The Supreme Court has jurisdiction in cases that deal with issues arising under the Ohio Constitution, cases that have conflicting opinions from two or more court of appeals and cases where the death penalty has been imposed

The Ohio Supreme Court is required to accept appeal cases that originated in the court of appeals. Such cases include those involving the death penalty, questions that deal with the U.S or Ohio Constitution and cases that have conflicting opinions from more than two courts of appeals rulings.  

The Ohio Supreme Court sets the rules that govern practice and procedure in the state’s courts. Some of these rules include rules of evidence, civil procedure, and criminal procedure. The Ohio Supreme Court also holds superintendence over the other state courts through its authority to make rules.

The Ohio Supreme Court also controls what attorneys get admitted to practice law in Ohio and how to discipline attorneys who violate the rules that govern the practice of law.

Ohio Specialty Courts

Some jurisdictions in Ohio have specialized courts that are created to provide a public health approach to the traditional criminal court system for groups of offenders. Some examples of specialty courts include, but are not limited to:

  • Drug Courts – These courts allow for certain non-violent offenders with substance abuse addiction to go through rehabilitation, treatment, and monitoring in place of imprisonment.
  • Veterans Courts – These courts cater to military veterans who may have been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Mental Health Courts- These courts provide mental health assessments, treatments and judicial monitoring for offenders with mental illness.
  • Sex Offender Courts- These courts make use of community supervision and treatment to address the offender’s issues opposed to imprisonment.
  • DUI/OVI Courts- These courts require offenders to successfully complete mandated programs instead of incarceration.
  • Re-entry Courts- These courts attempt to reduce an offender’s relapse into prison by having them participate in treatment, regular reviews of progress and alcohol and drug testing.
  • Domestic Violence Courts – These courts have offenders and sometimes victims go through counseling and therapy sessions.
  • Child Support Enforcement Courts – These courts are designed to help parents who have fallen behind on child support payments by making use of drug treatment, job training and education instead of incarceration.

Find an Ohio Courts Lawyer in Dayton

If you believe you have been wrongly accused of a crime, or are currently being investigated, you can reduce a significant amount of stress by having experienced legal representation from Joslyn Law Firm on your side. 

Joslyn Law Firm attorneys will strive to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation. We serve clients in Dayton, Fairborn, Beavercreek, Springfield, Piqua, Troy, Huber Heights, Kettering and several others. Call us today at (937) 356-3969 or provide your information in our online form and one of our attorneys will review your case for free.

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