Criminal Defense Lawyers in Madison County’s Juvenile Court, Municipal Court, and Common Pleas Court
Whether you find yourself – or your child – facing a traffic citation, a city ordinance violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony, it’s a serious matter, and you need experienced legal counsel in your corner. It’s important to recognize that the criminal justice system is not on your side; in fact, it’s rigged against you. The potential consequences of a conviction, including steep fines and penalties in addition to the social implications, make leaving your case to chance far too risky. Without the professional legal counsel of a dedicated criminal defense attorney, you’re far more likely to incriminate yourself by handing the prosecution information that they turn around and use against you.
At Joslyn Law Firm, we appreciate your predicament, and we commit the full force of our experience, legal acumen, and resources to successfully protecting the rights of clients like you – in support of favorable case resolutions. Regardless of whether your case lands in the Madison County Municipal Court, the Madison County Juvenile Court, or the Madison County Common Pleas Court, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys have intimate working knowledge in each of these courthouses and are well prepared to apply that knowledge to your case.
A conviction following any one of these can lead to substantial consequences that could play a pivotal role in your future. Ensuring your best defense means working closely with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is well acquainted with the Madison County criminal justice and court system. This includes knowing the court’s culture, judges, personnel, staff, customs, rules, regulations, and more. When you enter a court system, you enter a small world unto itself, and knowing what makes it tick is critical – but this is difficult to accomplish without the legal advocacy of a skilled criminal defense attorney with considerable experience in that very court system.
At Joslyn Law Firm, we’re proud of the close working relationships we’ve forged throughout the Madison County court system and are well positioned to help you obtain a legal resolution that supports you and your future – whether this means having your charges dismissed, prevailing in court with a not-guilty verdict, or minimizing the penalties you face.
Madison County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Defense attorney Brian Joslyn understands how traumatic and stressful an arrest can be for a person. More importantly, he understands the serious implications of a potential conviction. Joslyn Law Firm, founded by Brian Joslyn, remains dedicated to helping clients fight for their futures. This may mean pursuing a variety of defense strategies to help achieve dismissed charges or minimized penalties. The Joslyn Law Firm has award-winning criminal defense attorneys ready to strategize your best defense.
We dedicate our practice to aggressively defending the rights of men, women, and youths charged with criminal offenses in Madison County and throughout Central Ohio, including both misdemeanors and felonies in the following practice areas:
· Domestic Violence Crime in Madison County
· Theft Crimes
· Criminal Record Sealing in Madison
· Madison County Civil Protection Order
Our impressive legal team’s commitment to supporting the rights of our clients and to successfully guiding them through the Madison County court system is unmatched, and our track record of notable victories throughout multiple jurisdictions backs up this claim. We tackle every case we take on with the same level of dedication to justice, and we’re committed to helping you successfully move past your charges. Our goals include helping you better understand the charge you face and its potential resolutions, building your most comprehensive defense, and helping you avoid the weight of a criminal conviction on your record (via every legal means available) if at all possible.
We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to call Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 to discuss your situation with Brian Joslyn today. Your initial consultation is free, and you’ll be under no obligation to hire an attorney, but doing so can provide you with the vital information and critical legal insight you need to obtain your most favorable case resolution.
Madison County Criminal Courts Information Center
- Madison County: General Information and Overview
- Madison County: Common Criminal Charges
- Madison County: Penalties for Criminal Convictions
- Madison County: Warrants
- Madison County: Hiring Your Criminal Defense Attorney
- Madison County: Criminal Defense Q&As
- Madison County and the City of London: Law Enforcement
- Madison County: Resources
- Madison County: In the News
- Madison County: Court Locations and Contact Information
Wherever you fall on the spectrum of criminal charges, this information provides a solid starting point that can help you better understand your next best steps. If you or your child is facing a criminal charge of any kind, it’s in the best interest of your case and your future to reach out to an experienced Madison County criminal defense attorney today.
1) Madison County: General Information and Overview
Madison County is named for the fourth President of the United States and is located between Springfield and Columbus in Central Ohio. The area’s principal focus is agriculture, which accounts for 88 percent of the land. Madison County is home to one of the largest farm exhibitions in the world, Farm Science Review hosted by Ohio State University. Madison County also boasts its share of beautiful outdoor destinations and activities, including:
● Madison Lake State Park
● Miles of Rails to Trails
● Big Darby Creek
● The Jonathan Alder Cabin
● The nationally historic Red Brick Tavern
The U.S. Census estimate for Madison County’s 2019 population is 44,731, and the county seat is London.
London avoids many of the hassles of more populated cities, but this does not mean that crime is unknown here. Its crime rate statistics include:
● London’s crime index is 21, which means that it is safer than 21 percent of the cities in the United States.
● London’s crime rate for violent crimes is 1.95 per 1,000 residents.
● London’s crime rate for property crimes is 23.27 per 1,000 residents.
● For comparison purposes, an individual’s risk of being victimized in a violent crime is 1 in 514 in London, but this same risk measurement for the State of Ohio overall is 1 in 357.
● Relative to other communities of similar size across the nation, London stands out for its substantially higher crime rate (for violent and property crimes combined).
When criminal charges are levied in Madison County, they are brought – in accordance with the charge – in one of the following court systems:
● If the person charged is a juvenile (who is being charged as a juvenile and not as an adult), the Madison County Juvenile Court takes the case.
● If the charge is a traffic citation, an ordinance violation, or a misdemeanor, the Madison County Municipal Court takes the case.
● If the charge is a felony, the Madison County Common Pleas Court takes the case.
Whatever kind of charge you (or your child) face, moving through the court system with an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the ropes in this very system is critical. When your Madison County criminal defense attorney has extensive experience under his or her belt in this exact legal space, it can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
2) Madison County: Common Criminal Charges
Ohio has highly specific laws on the books that guide the prosecution of crimes throughout the state, and Madison County adds some legal tweaks of its own. All told, a conviction of any criminal charge can adversely affect your future. Let’s do a deeper dive into the charges that are most commonly associated with each court system.
Madison County Municipal Court
If you have been charged with an ordinance violation, a traffic citation, or a misdemeanor, your case will proceed through the Madison County Municipal Court, which typically presides over cases like the following:
● failure to aid a law enforcement officer
● Failure to report knowledge of a death, a crime, or a serious injury
● Failure to control an animal
● Abandonment of an animal
● The hunting of animals within city limits
● The making of a false report or alarm
● Discharge of a weapon within city limits
● Violation of a noise ordinance
● The obstruction of official business or other forms of obstruction of justice
● Disturbance of a lawful meeting
● Creation of noxious and offensive odors
● Creation of a landscape and/or weed nuisance
● Engagement in gambling, public gaming, cheating, and/or other violations of gaming ordinances
● Operation of a charity raffle or bingo game that is in violation of existing regulations
While these are relatively minor in the scheme of criminal charges, this doesn’t mean that a conviction won’t reverberate negatively into your future and won’t leave you facing significant fines, penalties, and social consequences.
Because traffic offenses dominate the Madison County Municipal Court’s Docket, it’s important to take a closer look. These charges commonly include:
● Violating a registration, tag, sticker and/or title ordinance
● Not yielding the right-of-way
● Not yielding to pedestrians
● Not stopping at a stop sign, red light, or other traffic signal
● Driving at an unsafe speed – by either exceeding the speed limit (under ideal conditions) or driving too fast given the road’s condition
● Following too closely
● Driving the wrong way on a one-way road
● Making a turn illegally
● Passing illegally
● Driving with headphones on
● Driving when one’s view is obstructed
● Obstructing an intersection
● Crossing a divided highway
● Crossing a yellow line
● Passing a stopped school bus
● Drag racing
While you may think it’s just a traffic ticket, it’s important to carefully consider the implications before you decide to bite the bullet and simply accept the consequences. Discuss the matter with an experienced criminal defense attorney before you take matters into your own hands. Further, some traffic offenses heard at the Madison County Municipal Court can reach the more serious level of misdemeanor, including:
● Reckless Driving and Reckless Operation of a Vehicle
● Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Violations
DUI: Driving under the Influence
DU (driving under the influence) and OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) are common charges that can lead to very serious consequences and deserve a bit of special attention. A conviction on either charge can lead to not only steep fines and the possibility of spending time behind bars (or to probation) but to license suspension and to serious social repercussions (predicated on the public status of these records) that often include:
● The loss of professional licensure
● The inability to rent a house or apartment
● The inability to obtain federal student loans or to live on campus (thus hindering your education goals)
● Diminished employment opportunities
Finally, if yours is an aggravated charge, it is likely a felony charge that will proceed to the Court of Common Pleas (if it successfully moves through the grand jury process).
The Madison County Municipal Court also tries misdemeanor cases, which are divided into the following levels of offense (from most serious to least):
● First-degree misdemeanors
● Second-degree misdemeanors
● Third-degree misdemeanors
● Fourth-degree misdemeanors
● Minor misdemeanors
Even the charge of a minor misdemeanor is anything but a minor matter and can lead to a criminal record. Bringing your most robust defense is always well advised.
First-Degree Misdemeanor Charges
First-degree misdemeanor charges are naturally quite serious, and some of the most common seen at the Madison County Municipal Court include:
● Marijuana Charges – Marijuana charges refer to possessing an amount of marijuana that surpasses a legal threshold. If you have a prior conviction and/or your charge relates to an incident that happened within a specific distance of a school, you can find yourself facing even more serious charges.
● Possession of a Controlled Substance – The charge of possession of a controlled substance refers to possessing illegal drugs (other than marijuana) that can include prescription medications belonging to someone else and/or to narcotics.
● Possession of Drug Paraphernalia or Drug Abuse Instruments – The charge of possession of drug paraphernalia or drug abuse instruments refers to possessing the tools and instruments that are closely intertwined with illegal drug use. These charges are often in addition to possession charges, which means they exacerbate the seriousness of your legal dilemma.
● Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor – Unlawful sexual conduct with a minor refers to having sex with someone who, although he or she consented, has not yet reached the age of consent (this is commonly referred to as statutory rape). While most sexually based offenses are classified as felonies, the charge of unlawful sexual contact with a minor generally remains a misdemeanor.
● Assault and Battery – Assault and battery refers to making a credible threat to harm someone else through the act of harmful contact and/or to actually harming someone else through the act of harmful contact.
● Domestic Violence – Domestic violence refers to committing assault and battery (or something similar) against a family member, a member of one’s household, or against a spouse or significant other (current or former).
● Disorderly Conduct – Disorderly conduct refers to actively inconveniencing, alarming, or otherwise offending the public.
● Criminal Mischief – Criminal mischief refers to performing such criminal acts as deploying smoke bombs or tear gas, infiltrating the online domain of another, and more.
● Criminal Trespass – Criminal trespass refers to entering or remaining on a property without permission. If you don’t face any additional allegations in relation to the trespassing, you might face the lesser charge of burglary.
● Resisting Arrest – Resisting arrest refers to actively resisting or avoiding your own arrest or to interfering in someone else’s arrest.
Madison County Juvenile Court
Minors are generally tried as juveniles in the Madison County Juvenile Court, and the most common charges include:
● Habitual truancy
● Disorderly conduct
● Underage alcohol consumption and/or possession
● Possession of and/or use of a fake ID
● Underage operation of a vehicle while impaired (OVI)
● Operation of a vehicle without a driver’s license
● Possession, distribution, sale, or cultivation of drugs
● Gross sexual imposition
● Rape and sexual assault
● Domestic Assault
● Probation violations
When the charges are considerably more serious, juveniles are sometimes charged as adults in the Madison County Common Pleas Court. When tried as adults, juveniles face the same court procedures and potential consequences that adults do. Because your child has his or her entire future ahead, now is not the time to take a wait-and-see attitude – working with an experienced and compassionate criminal defense attorney from the outset is in the best interest of your child, his or her case, and his or her future.
Madison County Common Pleas Court
Before the prosecutor can bring a felony charge against you, it must go through the grand jury process, which determines if a felony charge will be forthcoming. If the charge proceeds, your case will be tried at the Madison County Common Pleas Court. If you are facing a felony charge, it’s time to seek the professional legal counsel you need. Common felony charges include:
Drug Charges – Drug charges refer to possessing illegal drugs, possessing illegal drugs with the intent to distribute, manufacturing illegal drugs, and/or trafficking illegal drugs.
Weapons and Gun Charges – Weapons and guns charges refer to possessing guns illegally and/or to using guns, firearms, and other weapons illegally. If this illegal possession or use is in conjunction with the commission of another crime, it can increase the seriousness of the charge.
Sex Crimes – Sex crimes refer to sexual assault (including rape), prostitution, child pornography, and other sexually based charges. Facing such a charge – even without a conviction – can lead to overarching negative consequences into your future.
Theft and Fraud Charges – Theft and fraud charges refer to theft of an amount that exceeds a specific legal threshold and/or to when someone else’s money is illegally obtained via fraudulent means. Robbery is one of the most serious theft charges because it includes either actual violence or the threat of violence.
Property Crimes – Property crimes refer to illegal acts that target someone else’s property, including burglary, vandalism or the destruction of property, arson, and robbery.
Financial Crimes – Financial crimes (often called white collar crimes) refer to illegal acts that defraud someone else for one’s own financial gain, and they can include forgery, bribery, embezzlement, and more.
If the charge you face is a felony, you should not delay calling Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900. We not only have a wealth of experience successfully defending the rights of clients like you in the Madison County Common Pleas Court but are also committed to aggressively advocating for your case’s most beneficial resolution.
3) Madison County: Penalties for Criminal Convictions
If you are ultimately convicted of the charge you face – whether it’s because you pled guilty (under your defense attorney’s guidance) or because you were convicted by a jury in court, it’s important to recognize that not all convictions are equal. When you have a savvy criminal defense attorney on your side, it can make the difference between facing a maximum sentence and facing a sentence that’s been tempered by a skillfully crafted defense strategy. The judge in your case has a good deal of discretion when it comes to sentencing you, and your dedicated defense attorney will ensure that you bring your strongest defense in advocacy of sentencing that minimizes the damages you face. While there are sentencing maximums, the judge – in his or her vast discretion – will take your complete defense into consideration when handing down your sentence.
The maximum sentences that can be imposed for each level of misdemeanor follow:
● Minor Misdemeanor – No risk of jail time but a fine of up to $150
● Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor – A fine of up to $250 and a sentence of up to 30 days in jail
● Third-Degree Misdemeanor – A fine of up to $500 and a sentence of up to 60 days in jail
● Second-Degree Misdemeanor – A fine of up to $750 and a sentence of up to 90 days in jail
● First-Degree Misdemeanor – A fine of up to $1000 and a sentence of up to six months in jail
Although they aren’t as serious as felony charges, misdemeanor chargers obviously pack some serious punch and should be afforded the professional legal counsel they deserve.
If you’re facing a felony charge, the situation is that much more serious, and the following sentencing guidelines apply:
● Fifth-Degree Felony – Fines of up to $2,500 and a prison sentence of from 6 to 12 months
● Fourth-Degree Felony – Fines of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of from 9 to 18 months
● Third-Degree Felony – Fines of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of from 9 to 60 months (with potential serious enhancements for repeat violent offenders)
● Second-Degree Felony – Fines of up to $15,000 and a prison sentence of from 2 to 8 years (with potential serious enhancements for repeat violent offenders)
● First-Degree Felony – Fines of up to $20,000 and a prison sentence of from 3 to 11 years (with potential serious enhancements for repeat violent offenders)
Juveniles usually face legal consequences that are specific to the juvenile court system and that tend to be less severe than those adults face (although a conviction can swiftly derail a juvenile’s future). Consider the following:
● Juveniles can be placed in the custody of the court or can be detained in care facilities for delinquent children.
● Juveniles can be placed under house arrest.
● Juveniles can be placed in community control, which is much like adult probation.
● Juveniles can be required to perform community service.
● Juveniles can be required to be monitored, counseled, or treated for drug and alcohol dependence.
● Juveniles can face curfews.
● Juveniles can have their driver’s licenses suspended or can face an extended waiting period to obtain a license in the first place.
● Juveniles can be required to attend school, and their attendance can be monitored.
If your child is charged as an adult, he or she will proceed through the legal system in the same way that an adult would and will face the same sentencing parameters.
Diversion Programs in Madison County
Diversion programs are intended to allow defendants to bypass a criminal record in certain situations. If you qualify, successful completion of the diversion program handed down in your case will replace a conviction and sentencing. The benefits of successfully completing a diversion program include:
● Sidestepping a conviction and sentence
● Sidestepping a criminal record