Skip to main content

I've been arrested! What happens now?: What Happens Next: Misdemeanor

This guide is intended to give you a basic idea of what will happen if you are arrested in Hamilton County.

About This Guide

This guide is intended to walk you through what will happen if you are arrested for a felony in Hamilton County, beginning with the initial arrest and continuing all the way through the trial.

DisclaimerHamilton County Law Library staff, as a service to its patrons, provides reference services and information, including these research guides. To protect the public interest, Ohio law requires that legal advice and services be rendered only by qualified attorneys who are subject to the guidelines of the courts. Library staff members do not interpret the law, provide legal advice, or explain court procedures. The information provided is not a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney.  None of our services shall be construed as giving legal advice.

After the Arraignment

Misdemeanor cases move very fast. They are seen by the Municipal Court.

Disposition Scheduling Conference

  • Procedural meeting in front of the judge
  • Attorneys present discovery (evidence) for the record and request discovery from one another
  • This is a chance to file all legal forms and get an idea of the case against you

Plea or Trial Setting

  • During this hearing you can enter a plea or schedule your trial
    • Your attorney is ethically bound to bring you all offer from the prosecution, whether they think it is a good offer or not. Be sure to ask questions.
  • Most misdemeanors do not go beyond this phase as very few go all the way to trial

Trial

  • The timing on this varies depending on the case
  • You and your attorney will present your case in front of the judge (bench trial) or a jury
  • Jury can return a verdict of Guilty or Not Guilty
    • In the state of Ohio, criminal jury verdicts must be unanimous 
    • In a misdemeanor case, only 8 jurors hear a trial, instead of 12. For more information, click here

Watch the video

Attorney Erik Laursen of Laursen & Lucas (laursenlucas.com) walks you through, step by step, what will happen, identifies your rights, and gives a little lawyer-ly advice should you find yourself arrested in Hamilton County, Ohio.

Misdemeanor Sentencing

Misdemeanors encompass less serious crimes and carry penalties ranging from a monetary fine to up to 180 days in jail. ORC 2929.24 lists these definite jail terms:

(1) For a misdemeanor of the first degree, not more than one hundred eighty days;

(2) For a misdemeanor of the second degree, not more than ninety days;

(3) For a misdemeanor of the third degree, not more than sixty days;

(4) For a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, not more than thirty days.

ORC 2929.28 lists these fines:

(i) For a misdemeanor of the first degree, not more than one thousand dollars;

(ii) For a misdemeanor of the second degree, not more than seven hundred fifty dollars;

(iii) For a misdemeanor of the third degree, not more than five hundred dollars;

(iv) For a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, not more than two hundred fifty dollars;

(v) For a minor misdemeanor, not more than one hundred fifty dollars.

 

For full sentencing information, see chapter 2929 of the Ohio Revised Code.