What Happens at an Arraignment?
  1. You will enter a plea to the criminal charges against you.
  2. You will tell the Court the name of your hired attorney or one will be appointed for you so long as you qualify.
  3. You will be read the criminal charges pending against you if you so request.
  4. You will be told what your bond is.
Court Room Procedure
When your name is called please come to the podium at the front of the courtroom. If you have hired a lawyer please tell the Court immediately.
Don't ask the Court to change your bail/bond at this time. Bond issues will be discussed at a later time with your attorney. If you wish to have your bond changed, contact your attorney. The Court will only entertain bond changes if your attorney files a motion for a formal bond hearing where evidence about what your bond should be will be taken.
Qualifying for Court Appointed Counsel
In order to decide if you are entitled to an appointed attorney the Court will ask a series of questions to determine if you are indigent. Only answer the questions asked. Anything else you tell the Court could be used against you later in your case. The typical questions are:
  1. Are you employed? If so, where?
  2. What is your average take home pay?
  3. How many are living in your household?
  4. Do you have $5,000.00 or more in assets?
If the Court appoints a lawyer for you, Ohio law requires you to pay a $25.00 application fee to the Clerk of Courts unless this fee is waived or reduced by the Court. COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL FEES MAY BE SUBJECT TO RECOUPMENT FROM YOU DEPENDING ON YOUR ABILITY TO PAY. The Clerk of Courts will work with you if you need to make payment arrangements for those fees to a minimum plan of $5.00 per month.
If the Court appoints you a lawyer, it will give you a business card with that attorney's name and phone number on it. You should call this attorney right away to set up an appointment to discuss your case. It is your duty to stay in close contact with your lawyer from now on. The court sends notices of your future court appearances to your attorney rather than directly to you. If you fail to appear for any future court appearance because he can't find you, we treat you as if you were told but didn't come. If you have a personal recognizance bond then you commit a new felony crime by missing a future court appearance.
If the magistrate presides over the arraignment, the magistrate is only authorized to accept a not guilty plea in a felony case. If you want to admit guilt through "guilty" or "no contest plea", you will go before a judge at a later time. If you refuse to make any type of plea to the charges against you, Criminal Rule 11 (A) states that the magistrate must enter a not guilty plea on your behalf.
If you have not yet paid your bond, you must pay the bond at the Clerk of Courts office. If you have not yet been served by the Richland County Sheriff with your indictment, you must report to the Richland County jail to be served and complete the booking process. If you need to sign up for pre-trial supervision or electric monitoring as part of your bond, you will report to Court Services which is on the same floor as the courtrooms.