Delaware County Municipal Court
This page provides you with information regarding criminal cases and DUI / OVI cases in the Delaware Municipal Court. Before appearing in court, and before hiring an attorney to represent you in that court, reviewing the information in this website will help you learn more about the offenses, the potential penalties, the available defenses, the court process, and hiring a lawyer.To Contact The Delaware Municipal Court
Address: 70 North Union Street, Delaware, OH 43015
Phone: (740) 203-1500
Website: Delaware Municipal CourtJurisdiction In Delaware County, Ohio
The Delaware, Ohio Municipal Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor DUI / OVI offenses and misdemeanor criminal offenses that take place in Delaware County. Most cases are filed originally in the Municipal Court, but some cases are transferred to the Delaware Municipal Court from other courts, such as the Westerville Mayor’s Court, the Shawnee Hills Mayor’s Court, and the Sunbury Mayor’s Court. These types of cases are commonly heard in the Delaware Municipal Court:
- DUI / OVI
- Vehicular homicide
- Vehicular assault
- Underage drinking
- Misdemeanor drug offenses
In this court, there are two judges: Judge Sunderman and Judge Hemmeter. One of the two judges is assigned to a case before the arraignment, and the judge assigned to the case is assigned permanently. Judges in this court have a reputation for being compassionate but imposing tough sentences.
The prosecutor with responsibility for a particular case varies. If the alleged crime occurred within the city of Delaware, the case is prosecuted by the Delaware City Prosecutor’s Office, and that office divides cases alphabetically (by the defendant’s last name) among the City Prosecutor and the Assistant Prosecutors. If the alleged crime occurred in another city or village, that city or village is responsible for prosecuting the case. Most cities and villages have a contract with the city of Delaware to prosecute their cases, but some cities and villages have their own attorneys who prosecute cases in the Municipal Court.Court Process
Arraignment: The first court appearance is the arraignment. At the arraignment, you are given three choices: (1) plead guilty or no contest; (2) plead not guilty; and (3) continue the arraignment. If you plead guilty or no contest, your case will likely be completed that day. If you enter a plea of not guilty or ask for a continuance of the arraignment, your case will not be completed that day. You will then have time to hire an attorney, review the prosecution’s case, and prepare your defense. If your charge is DUI / OVI and you plead not guilty, you should also address the Administrative License Suspension at the arraignment.
Pretrial hearing: Your next hearing is a pretrial; a chance for you or your lawyer and the prosecuting attorney to have a conversation about the case and negotiate toward a plea agreement. If you agree on the resolution of the case, you will go before the judge that day and likely finish your case. If an agreement is not reached, a motion hearing will be scheduled (if there are pending motions), or a trial will be scheduled.
Motion hearing: If there are pending motions after the pretrial hearing, such as motions to suppress evidence, the next phase of the case is a motion hearing. At a motion hearing, witnesses testify, lawyers argue to the judge what conclusions should be reached, and the judge makes decisions regarding the issues in the motions.
Trial: If the case is not resolved at the pretrial or motion hearing, the case will be scheduled for a trial. You have a Constitutional right to a trial, and if the alleged crime is punishable by incarceration, you have a right to a jury trial. At the trial, you are presumed innocent, the prosecution has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and you have the right to be represented by an attorney.
Sentence hearing: If you are found guilty, or if you plead guilty or no contest, there will be a sentence hearing. During that hearing, the prosecutor and defense counsel present arguments to the judge regarding the sentence, and the judge announces the sentence.
DUI/OVI cases: If you would like additional information regarding the court process for DUI / OVI, see the DUI / OVI court process page.Lawyer For Cases In The Delaware Municipal Court
We have been representing clients in the Delaware Municipal Court since our firm began practicing in 1997. When we started the practice, we had an office in downtown Delaware in addition to our office in downtown Columbus. We now have one office on Polaris Parkway, so we are about the same distance from the courthouses in Delaware County and Franklin County, and we regularly represent clients (including college students) for DUI / OVI and criminal offenses in both counties.
For more information about us, please see our profile, and for more details about our practice, please see the firm overview. You can also see what clients say and review our past case results. We limit the number of cases we accept so we can provide outstanding service to our clients. If you would like to discuss how we can help with your case in the Delaware Municipal Court, EMAIL or call us at 614-717-1177 to arrange phone consultation. Our fees are relatively high, but the phone consultation is free.