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I've been arrested! What happens now?: Home

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 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.

Your Rights & Responsibilities

"Miranda Rights" are the rights guaranteed to you under law if you have been arrested. 

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

More information here and here. 


O.R.C. 2921.29 states that "No person who is in a public place shall refuse to disclose the person's name, address, or date of birth, when requested by a law enforcement officer who reasonably suspects either of the following:

(1) The person is committing, has committed, or is about to commit a criminal offense.

(2) The person witnessed [a crime]"

Follow the link above to read the full law.

What Happens First: Arraignment

If you are arrested in Hamilton County, you will be taken to the Hamilton County Justice Center. To find out if someone is being held in the Justice Center, call 513-946-6100.

You will be processed in for an arraignment in the Justice Center, either in Room A or Room B.

  • An arraignment will determine if you can go home that day on bond or if you will be held in custody. 
  • You will meet with an attorney before your arraignment. 
    • You WILL have an attorney for your arraignment. If you can’t afford one, one will be appointed. If you do not qualify for an appointed attorney or if you are unable to contact your attorney, don't panic. You will still be appointed an attorney for the arraignment. They will notify the judge or magistrate that they are not your permanent counsel and then represent you during the proceeding. 
  • This is not the time to argue the merits of your case. That will come later.

3 types of bonds:

  • Own Recognizance Bond: No money is required for this bond. You are released after promising, in writing, to appear in court for all upcoming proceedings
  • Cash Bail Bond: You will pay a portion of the entire bond in order to be released. This is usually set at 10% of the total amount.
  • Secured Bond: You will be required to pay the entire amount of your bond in order to be released.  

Different Levels of Crime

Felonies are the most serious crimes. They run from 1st degree (most serious) to 5th degree and carry a potential penalty ranging from 6 months in a state penitentiary to life imprisonment or even death. The Supreme Court has put together this felony sentencing guide.

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. 

Need an attorney?

Hamilton County Public Defender's Office 513-946-3700

Cincinnati Lawyer Referral Service (513) 381-8359 or (888) 628-2577


Watch the video

Attorney Erik Laursen of Laursen & Lucas ( 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.



The Hamilton County Law Library would like to thank Attorney Erik Laursen for the information provided in this guide.