Charged in Sandusky, Ohio: Court Info & What To Expect

If you’re charged with a crime for the first time in Sandusky, you’ll need to learn about the criminal justice system fast. It’s like a factory with you moving along the production line. You don’t want to be there, but you have to be. You need to make the best of a bad situation and find representation to get you through it quickly and with the best possible outcome.

Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA has helped thousands of people in situations just like yours. Whether you’re charged with an OVI, a drug offense, a property crime, a misdemeanor, or a felony, we will limit your time in custody and reduce the negative impact on your life. We want you to get back to your job, your family, and hopefully, you’ll never need our help again.

Call (419) 625-7770 for a free and confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Sandusky, Ohio.

The Sandusky, Ohio Criminal Process

The criminal process has several stages, and while it can all feel overwhelming, there are ways to protect yourself during each phase.

After an Arrest in Sandusky

You may be arrested because of a warrant, or an officer believed they saw you committing a crime. You will likely be taken into custody by the Sandusky Police or County Sheriff. Once arrested, you should have been read your Miranda warnings – your right to remain silent and to have an attorney during questioning – while in custody.

You should listen and not answer questions – other than your name and contact information – unless we’re there with you. You or a family member should call us as soon as possible after your arrest. We’ll advise you and help ensure a quick release.

Getting Bail

You may be released on a promise to appear in court, located at 323 Columbus Ave. in Sandusky. You may need to pay bail before your release. If you have a record or face a severe crime, bail may not be an option, or it could be so high you can’t afford it. When making decisions, a judge wants to know if you’re a danger to yourself or others and how great the chance is that you’ll leave and choose not to return.

Arraignments in Sandusky

Your arraignment is your first court appearance. You’ll be formally told of the charges against you and can enter a plea. You again will be informed of your rights, including your right to be represented by an attorney. With a few exceptions – like answering questions from the judge – there’s little to no reason for you to speak. The attorneys do most of the talking.

When you appear in court, you may feel overwhelmed, intimidated, and scared. We are here for you, and there’s nothing to fear. Court personnel are professionals, and like you, they want to get through the day.

Treat everyone professionally, and talk, dress, and act that way, too. You must show respect to the court and the judge. You may feel you’ve been unfairly treated, or you’re upset and angry because of your arrest. Tell us about that when we meet, but keep it to yourself when we’re in court.

Your Preliminary Hearing

This is the first and sometimes the most critical court appearance aside from your trial. It reviews the evidence and confirms there is enough evidence to support the charges against you. The prosecutor doesn’t need to prove you committed the alleged crime, only that there is probable cause you did.

Both sides will briefly state their case and discuss the evidence they have to support it. If we believe there’s no probable cause in your case, we’ll make the argument. If the judge agrees, your case will be dismissed. Otherwise, the case will continue.

Considering Plea Agreements

Few cases are decided at a trial. Most are dismissed, or the parties agree to a plea agreement. A plea agreement would allow you to prevent the uncertainty and risk of a trial, but you would plead guilty to the same or a lesser charge and serve an agreed-upon sentence. We will tell you if we think the proposal is fair or should be better. It’s your decision whether to take it or not.

Going To Trial in Sandusky

If there’s no plea bargain agreement before trial, it should go on as scheduled. Most criminal cases in the area take place in Erie County’s Court of Common Pleas. Due to the pandemic, specific procedures are currently in effect, and you should review the Clerk of Courts information and discuss any issues with your attorney.

For the most part, trials will take some time to prepare for and resolve. There will be motions between both sides to determine what evidence and arguments can be made, and it can take time to seat fair jury members. In some situations, it may be helpful to have a judge decide your case.

While both sides will make arguments and present relevant evidence, it’s up to the prosecution to prove you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. You don’t need to prove your innocence.

You Need a Local Defense Attorney

If you are arrested in or around Sandusky, Ohio, you need a criminal defense attorney who knows the local system to defend you effectively. Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA has been a staple in the community for decades and knows how to make the criminal process work for you and your goals

Let us listen to you explain what you’re facing, and show how we can help. Call (419) 625-7770 for a free consult with an experienced Sandusky defense lawyer.