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Case Flowchart

Initial Appearance in Municipal Court

This is the first time the defendant goes before a judge. Bond will be set. For cases originating in the city of Cleveland, this takes place in the 3rd floor of the Justice Center.

Waive Preliminary Hearing?

Defendants who choose to waive the Preliminary Hearing are bound over to Grand Jury.

Preliminary Hearing in Municipal Court

The judge decides if there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. Bond will be continued or set. Failure to appear at the Preliminary Hearing will result in a warrant being issued.

Bound Over?

Once a case is bound over, jurisdiction shifts from the municipal court to the Court of Common Pleas which is at the County level.

Yes

- If the defendant is in jail, bond investigation takes place at this point.

Grand Jury

Decides if there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.

Indictment Issued

The formal accusation that lists the charges and describes the offense. Copies are available at the County Clerk of Courts Office on the 2nd floor of the Justice Center.

Yes

If the defendant is NOT in jail, bond investigation takes place at this point.

Arraignment

A plea is taken, an attorney is appointed, and a judge is assigned to the case. Bond will be continued or set. Failure to appear at the arraignment will result in a warrant being issued.

Trial

A plea bargain may take place, avoiding a trial.
The image below depicts the course of events a defendant would follow in the event that one is accused of committing a crime. More information pertaining to various steps is located on the right with matching numbers.
 Case Flowchart