The Misdemeanor Division of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office represents the State of Ohio and the various municipalities within the county in nearly all misdemeanor criminal and traffic matters that come before the Wayne County Municipal Court. In general, misdemeanor offenses are those criminal or traffic offenses that carry a potential jail sentence of one year or less, or no jail sentence at all. In contrast, felony offenses generally carry a potential prison sentence of one year or more. Since the Municipal Court has limited jurisdiction regarding felony offenses, the Misdemeanor Division of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office represents the State of Ohio in the prosecution of felony offenses, but only at the preliminary hearing stage. A preliminary hearing is a right of a defendant to determine if there is probable cause that a felony offense was committed and appropriate for consideration for indictment by the
grand jury in the Wayne County Common Pleas Court. For more information regarding the grand jury process, go to the Felony Division “What We Do” page. Whether a criminal or traffic misdemeanor offense, the seriousness of the offense is denoted by its degree. For example, with a few very limited exceptions, a misdemeanor of the 1st degree is the most serious level of misdemeanor, while a minor misdemeanor is the least serious. There are also 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree misdemeanor offenses.