Franklin County Court of Common Pleas
Having dealt with the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas for almost 10 years, the Columbus Criminal defense team has successfully represented clients on cases there from theft, possession and trafficking of drugs and generally anything else that falls under the criminal spectrum.
A variety of judges and magistrates, along with Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien and many assistant prosecutors ensure that court affairs are run fairly and efficiently.
View the Court Process
Court Process Information
If you are facing felony charges in Columbus, OH or the surrounding area, then you can expect your case to proceed through the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. Located at 345 South High Street in Columbus, the court has jurisdiction over felony-level cases committed within the county.
Our criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have represented many defendants in the Columbus area and in Franklin’s court of common pleas. We know the ins and outs of the local criminal justice system and are well-versed in the court rules. Over the years, we also have built relationships with many prosecutors, judges, clerks, and other court personnel. We can utilize these relationships to handle your case efficiently and to pursue the best possible outcome.
We understand allegations of a felony offense are frightening. You know the punishments for convictions on these offenses can be harsh. We are here to help you through this challenging situation. Whether you face a low-level felony or a more serious one, we are ready to fight for your rights. To discuss how we can help you defend against felony charges, and to learn more about the central Ohio court system, call us at (614) 500-3836, or submit your information through the online form.
The Court Process for a Felony
If you are arrested for a felony, then your case will go through a specific process that differs from misdemeanor crimes. Felony court in Columbus often begins in the Franklin County Municipal Court, which handles all traffic and misdemeanor cases. This is where initial felony complaints are filed, and where your first court appearance takes place.
Regardless of your situation, you should have an attorney for your initial appearance. At this time, you will hear the allegations against you and will learn the conditions for your release from jail (if you’re still being held), which may require obtaining a bail bond. Whether you are currently in jail or not, a Columbus criminal defense lawyer from Luftman, Heck & Associates can represent you at your initial court appearance following a felony arrest.
Following your arrest for a felony, you have the right to a preliminary hearing. You may not have had a defense attorney at your initial appearance. You should have one now. This is the first real chance you have to resolve the accusations by arguing before the judge that there is not probable cause that you committed the offense.
If the judge finds there is probable cause that you committed the crime, then your case is bound over to the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, where a grand jury will be convened.
The next step in the process is for the prosecutors to convene a grand jury, which is made up of a dozen peers from the county. During the grand jury, the prosecutor presents evidence against you. You do not have the opportunity to defend yourself. If the jurors believe there is probable cause you committed the crime, then they will issue an indictment.
For some felony cases, prosecutors begin the court process with a grand jury. Under these circumstances, you may not be arrested and required to appear in the municipal court. Instead, you may be arrested or summed to court following an indictment.
When a grand jury decides the felony charges can move forward, the next step is your common pleas arraignment. You will be told the exact charges against you and you must enter your plea of not guilty, no contest, or guilty. Though this is a brief court hearing, you should have an arraignment lawyer there. Depending on the facts of your case, one of our criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates may ask for you to enter into a program. This is also the first opportunity you and your attorney have to negotiate a plea deal, if you wish to avoid a trial in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas.
Following your arraignment, your attorney will participate in pre-trial proceedings, including hearings, motions, and status conferences. Your lawyer will fully participate in discovery in order to obtain and review all of the potential evidence in your case, including everything the prosecutor could use against you. If you and your lawyer do not resolve your case through a plea agreement, then your lawyer will prepare for trial.
Preparing for Appearing in Court for a Felony
If you have been summoned to court for your initial appearance or a felony arraignment, then you should plan ahead. Make sure you know how you will get to the courthouse and plan on leaving early so you can arrive in plenty of time. You should not be late to court, as getting through security and finding your way to the courtroom can take longer than you expect.
Dress appropriately for the hearing. Casual clothing, including jeans, athletic wear, and tank tops are not appropriate. If you have any questions regarding what you should or should not wear to court, call us right away.
Additionally, security is essential at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. You will not be allowed to take anything inside that is a weapon or could be used as one, like scissors. Leave all weapons at home.
Contact Our Columbus Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help Today
If you have been arrested or indicted for a felony crime in Ohio, the best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced defense attorney. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we have the years of experience in Franklin County Court of Common Pleas you need to appropriately and efficiently handle your case. Let us fight for you. Call us at (614) 500-3836, use our online form to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.