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What to Expect During an Arraignment in Ohio

During an arraignment in Ohio, a judge will consider several factors when determining bail bond amounts.

Posted 5 years ago by Jim Titus

After someone is arrested and booked, the next step is usually an arraignment. An arraignment in Ohio is similar to arraignments in other states, and it serves as the opening of a case. In Ohio, an arraignment must take place within 72 hours from the arrest.

What Happens During an Arraignment

An arraignment may take place by video or in person before a judge. An arraignment is not a trial, and evidence will not be discussed at any length. Instead, it serves to establish what is happening in the case. Neither the arresting officer nor witnesses need to attend.

Several other hearings for other defendants will likely be held on the same day. Once it’s your turn, the arraignment itself typically only lasts a few minutes. It usually includes:

  • The defendant’s entering of a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
  • A formal reading of the exact charges against the defendant.
  • The setting of a bail amount and other rules within the bail agreement.
  • Establishing the approximate date and time of the preliminary examination of the evidence against the defendant.

For both felonies and misdemeanors, the defendant has the right to receive a copy of the charging document before the arraignment.

An arraignment in Ohio should take place within 72 hours after the arrest.

Difference Between Felonies and Misdemeanors in Arraignments

There are a couple of differences between felony arraignments and misdemeanor arraignments in Ohio.

For misdemeanors, an “arraignment” and “initial appearance” may be the same. For felonies, an arraignment is held after the “initial appearance.” The defendant does not enter a plea during the initial appearance.

How a Judge Determines Bail

For common misdemeanors and low-level felonies, bail amounts are often pre-established. Otherwise, the judge would determine bail parameters based on:

  • The defendant’s criminal history.
  • Whether or not the defendant is a flight risk.
  • The severity of the crime.
  • Any potential dangers to the defendant or others.

The judge may also consider the individual’s ties to the community, which can reflect positively or negatively on the defendant. This can improve the defendant’s chance of getting a lower bail amount, but it can also be a cause for concern depending on the specifics of the case.

Contact us if you need bail bonds in Ohio.


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