Ohio and Northern Kentucky Court Systems

Charged with a Crime in Southern Ohio? Call LHA at (513) 338-1890 Today.

The courts in Ohio and Northern Kentucky share many similarities, but local municipal and common pleas courts often have unique rules and procedures. If you are accused of a crime in either jurisdiction, you’ll need to know what you’re facing. At Luftman, Heck, & Associates LLP, we’ve been assisting people across Ohio and Northern Kentucky for years, so no matter the charge or courthouse, we can help.

Find my Assigned Court

Select a county below to view a list of courts and to read more about how it conducts criminal proceedings.

Why was I assigned to this court?

Typically, municipal courts handle traffic offenses and criminal misdemeanors. If you are ticketed for a traffic offense, like speeding, or any type of misdemeanor offense, your case will likely be heard in the municipal court of the county in which you were ticketed or arrested. If you are not sure of where to go to argue against the traffic ticket or defend yourself against the criminal charges, contact attorney Brad Groene right away. He is highly experienced in handling cases in Ohio and Northern Kentucky municipal courts. Attorney Groene does not limit his practice to Cincinnati and will travel to where your case takes place.

Common pleas courts address a variety of civil matters, like domestic relations and probate. They are also home to the criminal courts for felony offenses. In most situations, if you are charged with a felony, your case is sent to the common pleas court where you were arrested. However, in some instances, certain felonies are sent to a county’s municipal court. It is essential to determine which court is handling your case. If you are unsure, do not hesitate to contact Luftman, Heck, & Associates LLP.

U.S. District Courts are far different from county municipal and common pleas courts. U.S. District Courts are federal trial courts, and attorney Groene can represent you in criminal cases throughout the Northern District of Ohio, the Southern District of Ohio, and the Eastern District of Ohio. If you have been arrested or charged with a federal crime, call Luftman, Heck & Associates immediately. You need a criminal defense attorney who is specifically experienced in Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, and the district court’s local rules.

Ohio Felony vs. Misdemeanor Sentencing

Ohio divides criminal offenses into misdemeanors and felonies, based on the maximum potential punishments. These penalties are largely determined by their severity, your prior criminal history, and any other relevant factors.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Degree Prison Time Maximum Fine
First Degree 3-11 Years $20,000
Second Degree 2-8 Years $10,000
Third Degree 9-36 Months
12-60 months*
Fourth Degree 6-18 Months $5,000
Fifth Degree 6-12 Months $2,500

* Depending on type of third-degree felony charge

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Degree Jail Time Maximum Fine
First Degree Up to 180 days $1,000
Second Degree Up to 90 days $750
Third Degree Up to 60 days $500
Fourth Degree Up to 30 days $250
Minor Misdemeanor None $150

Common Pleas Courts only handle felony cases. In Ohio, an F5 is the least severe felony charge and an F1 is the most severe. The penalties (prison, fine etc.) increase by the degree of felony you are charged with.

Municipal Courts only handle misdemeanor cases. In Ohio, a minor misdemeanor is the least severe misdemeanor charge and a First Degree Misdemeanor is the most severe. The penalties (jail, fine etc.) increase by the degree of misdemeanor.

Kentucky Felony & Misdemeanor Sentencing

Kentucky also divides criminal matters into felonies and misdemeanors. However, the names of the exact offenses, their level of severity, and potential outcomes can vary considerably, compared to Ohio.

Felonies in Kentucky

Degree Prison Time
Class A Felonies Between 20-50 years in prison, or life imprisonment
Class B Felonies Between 10-20 years in prison
Class C Felonies Between 5-10 years in prison
Class D Felonies Between 1-5 years in prison

In addition to prison terms, people who are convicted of felonies in Kentucky can also be fined between $1,000 and $10,000.

Misdemeanors in Kentucky

Degree Jail Time / Fines
Class A Misdemeanors Up to 12 months in jail, and up to a $500 fine
Class B Misdemeanors Up to 90 days in jail

Kentucky felonies are divided into categories which indicate their severity. Capital offenses, like murder are the most severe with potential punishments including the death penalty, life without parole, 25 years to life in prison, and 20 to 50 years in prison, followed by Class A, B, C, and D felonies.

Generally, misdemeanors in KY are less severe offenses, handled in district court, punishable by a fine or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months.