Your Rights In Court

  • The right as a Defendant to be represented by legal counsel.
  • The right as a Defendant to a continuance, if necessary, to obtain the appearances of witnesses to testify for and on your behalf and to have them subpoenaed to this courtroom, if necessary.
  • The right to be advised as to the nature of the charge, and to see and read the affidavit or complaint against you.
  • The right as a Defendant to enter a plea of “Guilty”; a plea of “Not Guilty”; or a plea of “No Contest.”
  1. If a plea of “Guilty” is entered, the Magistrate will make inquiry of the facts and determine the penalty.
  2. If a plea of “Not Guilty” is entered, the Defendant and all witnesses will be sworn and testimony will be heard in a trial, after which the Magistrate will render a decision of guilty or not guilty.
  3. A plea of “No Contest” means you admit the facts that are contained in the affidavit or complaint but you are not admitting or are not sure that the facts constitute a criminal offense.
    If you plead “No Contest,” this plea may not be used in any other later hearing or trial as an admission by you that you committed a criminal offense, whether such a later hearing is a criminal or civil matter. In the event of such a plea, the Magistrate will inquire into the facts and determine the penalty.
  4. If you are in doubt as to whether or not you are guilty, the Court requests that you enter a plea of “Not Guilty” and let the City of Wyoming or State of Ohio prove their case against you.
  • The right as a Defendant to demand a trial by a jury in all cases where the maximum penalty includes a fine of more than $1,000.00 or if a jail sentence is a possibility.
  1. If a trial by jury is demanded, however, the case must be transferred to the Hamilton County Municipal Court, in Cincinnati, and will be heard by a Municipal Court Judge.
  2. If a trial by jury is not demanded, a written waiver must be signed before the Magistrate may hear and decide your case.
  • The right as a Defendant to assistance of an attorney in all cases involving a possible jail sentence.
  1. If you cannot afford an attorney, and you qualify, one will be appointed to represent you in this Court.
  2. If you do not want to hire an attorney to represent you in your case, you must sign a waiver before the Magistrate may hear and decide your case.
  • The right as a Defendant to testify or not to testify in your own defense – this is your right against self-incrimination.
  • The right as a Defendant to appeal, as prescribed by Ohio statute. This must be done in writing and filed with/delivered to the Wyoming Clerk of Court within ten days of the date of the decision.
  • If you are not a citizen of the United States, you are hereby advised that conviction of the offense to which you are pleading “Guilty” (or “No Contest” when applicable) may have the consequence of deportation, exclusion from admission to the United States, or denial of naturalization.
  • If you have ever been or are currently a client of the law firm of Strauss & Troy, you need to indicate this to the Prosecutor, otherwise your silence will be construed as a waiver of any conflict which may exist.
  • All fines and court costs must be paid today. It is the policy of the Court not to grant a stay to pay.
  • If you were charged with a moving violation and failed to show proof of insurance, show your proof of insurance to the prosecutor or the BMV will impose a license suspension of your driving privileges.

If you have any questions concerning your case or your rights as a Defendant, please do not hesitate to make your questions known to the Court for explanation or clarification.

This document was prepared as a public service by the City of Wyoming Mayor’s Court.
David T.Stevenson, Magistrate