Criminal Offense Prosecution

With the exception of minor misdemeanor citations and traffic citations directly issued to defendants by law enforcement officers, the Misdemeanor Division prosecutors make charging decisions on all other criminal matters that are investigated and submitted by law enforcement for the consideration of charges. Once a charging decision has been made, a criminal complaint is filed by the Misdemeanor Division.  In 2014, 2,129 criminal misdemeanor charges were filed in the Wayne County Municipal Court.  If a matter is contested, the prosecutor assigned to the case will begin to prepare the case for trial.  This can include meeting with victims and witnesses, reviewing evidence, and viewing locations where offences are alleged to have occurred.   With the exception of minor misdemeanor offenses, a criminal defendant can choose to have their case heard by a judge or by a jury.  Minor misdemeanor offenses do not carry a potential penalty of time in jail and, therefore, a defendant does not have the right to a jury trial.  The Misdemeanor Division prosecutes cases whether tried by judge or by jury.   Another large responsibility of the Misdemeanor Division prosecutors includes giving and offering advice to law enforcement officers. This can include advice on criminal offenses, searches, search warrants, sufficiency of evidence, investigations, interviews, and procedure.  In 2014, according to the Ohio Supreme Court, 2,001 criminal misdemeanor cases were filed in the Wayne County Municipal Court.