Franklin County Municipal Court
For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal defense team has been representing clients daily in the Franklin County Municipal Court. During that time, we have successfully represented thousands of people on charges ranging from OVI / DUI, to theft, drug possession and paraphernalia and most any other criminal charges as well.
A variety of judges and magistrates, along with Columbus City Prosecutor Zach Klein and a number of assistant Columbus City prosecutors, ensure that court affairs are run fairly and efficiently.
View the Court Process
Court Process Information
If you receive a traffic ticket or are arrested in Franklin County, OH, your case will begin at the Franklin County Municipal Court, located at 375 South High Street in Columbus, OH. This county court handles traffic citations, all misdemeanor cases, and felony offense filings. To speak with someone at the criminal department at the courthouse, you can call (614) 645-8186. However, if you have been ticketed or arrested for a crime, we recommend contacting a criminal defense lawyer at Luftman, Heck & Associates for help right away.
Our attorneys handle cases at the Franklin County, Ohio courthouse on an almost daily basis. We are familiar with the court rules, and over the years, we have built relationships with many of the judges, clerks, and other court personnel. We are here to guide you through the central Ohio court system and fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
You can reach us at (614) 500-3836 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.
More About the Franklin County Municipal Court
The Clerk of the Court is Lori M. Tyack, who was re-elected in November 2017 for a six-year term. She is in charge of the administrative side of the court.
The court has 15 judges, including one administrative judge. Each judge who handles traffic and criminal cases will have their own courtroom preferences and customs, in addition to the county court rules. Judges have a great deal of discretion in how they run their courtrooms. They also have a great deal of flexibility under the law in how they handle various aspects of criminal proceedings. Our criminal defense attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates work at the Franklin County Municipal Court often, and are well-versed in the various judges’ preferences and requirements.
The chief prosecutor for the city of Columbus Zack Klein, and his office is located at 375 South High Street. He and his prosecutorial staff are responsible for whether you face misdemeanor charges. They also determine when to call a grand jury and seek felony charges against you. There are approximately two dozen prosecutors that may handle your arraignment and trial. Given our extensive criminal defense work in the region, we are familiar with most, if not all, of these individuals. We are thoroughly prepared to work with them during plea negotiations or to fight them directly at trial.
You Should Have an Arraignment Lawyer for Your First Court Appearance
One of the first steps in the court process for traffic tickets and criminal offenses is an arrangement. Arraignments are heard at Franklin County Municipal Court at 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday. Depending on your situation, you may go from being held in jail to your arraignment. Otherwise, you may need to show up to your arraignment on your own accord.
Traffic arraignments, other than for drunk driving, are in Courtrooms 1A and 1B, misdemeanor and felony arraignments for individuals not in jail are in Courtroom 4C, and all defendants arriving from jail go through arraignments in 4D. If you received a summons to court regarding a misdemeanor or felony charge, you are most likely required to appear in Courtroom 4C.
In any of these situations, you will want to have an arraignment lawyer with you to ensure your rights and best interests remain protected and represented. During your arraignment, you will hear the charges against you and will receive a reminder of your constitutional right to an attorney. You are required to enter a plea at this time. You may plead guilty. However, most individuals choose to plead not guilty or no contest. This gives you time to work with a lawyer to determine the best way to defend against the charges.
If you go to your arraignment from jail, you will be in Courtroom 4D. At this time, you will also learn about the requirements for you to leave jail. You will obtain a bond, which secures your return to court for future hearings. Some bonds are based on your own recognizance, which means you agree to appear in court. Appearance or surety bonds require you to secure bail with cash or property. For an appearance bond, you pay money to the court. For a surety bond, you typically work with a private bail bondsman.
Judges can order a variety of terms for your release, including prohibiting the use of drugs and alcohol, wearing a GPS or other monitoring device, or having no contact with certain individuals. Our criminal defense lawyers will strive to ensure requirements for your release do not unfairly burden you.
The Next Steps in the Criminal Court Process
Following your arraignment, your case will be assigned a judge and a court date. We will begin our pre-trial work, including investigating the charges against you, participating in discovery, filing pre-trial motions, and participating in various meetings and conferences. During this time, we will always be in contact with you. We make sure that you know what is going on in your case, including when we appear in court and what happens at these hearings.
Depending on the circumstances, we may fight for the charges to be dismissed by the court or dropped by the prosecutor. We may also work with the prosecutor to reduce the charges, which can lessen the potential sentence you face. If the prosecutor has a strong case, we may recommend negotiating and accepting a plea agreement. This can be a strong tool to minimize the consequences of a conviction. If we believe a plea bargain is not the right choice, or you do not want to accept a deal, we will prepare for trial.
Have You Been Ticketed or Charged With a Crime?
If you have been ticketed for a traffic offense or charged with a crime in or around Columbus, then you need to work with a defense attorney who is familiar with Franklin County Municipal Court. Our traffic and criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have represented defendants throughout Franklin County for years. We are ready to take on your case, whether you face a speeding ticket, misdemeanor assault charges, or a serious felony offense.
Call us at (614) 500-3836, or use our online form to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.