Asked in Criminal Law for Ohio

Q: Can Ohio common pleas courts change sentencing hearings dates without notification?

My friend was in jail waiting for her sentencing hearing that was scheduled for June 26th. She called me yesterday saying they woke her up in the morning and brought her to court for sentencing on June 1st. 25 days early with no notification. It wasn’t changed on the court docket until May 31st. My friend in jail said she was not notified at all. Can the courts do that? Seems unfair as she had not prepared her statement yet. Didn’t have her case worker for medical and mental health rehabilitation in court nor family and friends to show support. Seems shady.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: The court is empowered to sentence a defendant immediately following a conviction. If you plead guilty, the judge tells you that as part of the conversation you have before the plea to ensure you know what you are doing. But they usually don't sentence immediately in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court unless the outcome is predetermined. So, for example, if there is a plea agreement and the agreed upon recommended sentence is 6 years and the judge is inclined to accept that agreement, there really is no point in waiting. Particularly if the defense had mitigation to prepare and present and an expectation of having time to do so, the situation warrants looking into.

Dimitrios Makridis agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.