My first piece of advice is for any defendant to immediately exercise their right to remain silent as soon as they are arrested or detained. If you are arrested in Cincinnati or any community therein as well as around Hamilton County you are typically taken to the Hamilton County Detention Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.
The judge will talk to pretrial and set a bond. A defendant should talk to pretrial services which will verify your name, age, address and work information. This information, together with criminal history and the charges will be considered by the Judge in setting the bond.
While the legal advice is generally to exercise your right to remain silent, giving the Court your personal information is in your best interest to having the lowest bond. Pretrial will not ask you information about your case.
If you are able to arrange bail through your family or an attorney, the jail will give you a notice of when to next appear in court. If you are not able to post bond, you will appear in court via video arraignment on the next business day at the Municipal Court located in the Justice Center, Room A located behind the main courthouse at 1000 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Often, if you are cited to court or if you are released, you will first appear in room 263 or 121 at the main courthouse at 1000 Main Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Look carefully at your paperwork, depending on where you were arrested you may be cited to a Mayor’s Court in a local township instead of the main courthouse; these are often scheduled in the evenings and not during regular hours.
This initial appearance is called the Arraignment and is an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. If you are charged with a felony, the court will enter an “not guilty” plea at this time and set the case for a preliminary hearing.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you may either plead “guilty” and the court will immediately impose sentence or you may plead “not guilty” and the matter will be set for a pretrial conference or a trial setting.
You should attempt to obtain legal counsel as soon in this process as possible. If you do not engage an attorney prior to the Arraignment, it is wise to plead “not guilty” and seek the advice of counsel prior to taking the next step.
An attorney can explain your rights and your options. A defendant may choose to plead guilty at a later time. An attorney can determine the likelihood of begin found not guilty, can discuss the potential defenses to the charges, and negotiate the best deal possible.
If you, or a family member, have been arrested in Cincinnati or elsewhere in Hamilton County, Ohio, call Cincinnati Criminal Lawyer Mike Bouldin immediately for assistance at 859-581-6453.