The Gallipolis City Solicitor's Office coordinates the prosecution of all misdemeanors committed in Gallia County, Ohio. We are sworn to uphold the United States Constitution and we respect the judicial process and believe that we have the very best criminal justice system in the entire world. While we strive to zealously represent the City and State in the courtroom, we realize that the state does not always "win" every trial. In some cases, the court or jury believes beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed, and in other cases, the tradition of innocent until proven guilty is vindicated. In every case, we respect the system that we have.
Each misdemeanor case begins with the filing of a Complaint. The Complaint is the document that informs the Defendant of the identity and nature of the crime that they have allegedly committed. The Complaint is given to the Defendant either in Court or by the arresting officer in the case of a traffic citation. The Defendant is then required to appear at an arraignment, where they can enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest. If the Defendant chooses to plead not guilty, then the case is referred back to the Solicitor's Office for prosecution.
Successful prosecution requires careful coordination between the arresting or investigating agency and the Solicitor's Office. The law enforcement agency gathers the evidence and identifies the witnesses for the prosecution. The Solicitor's Office takes this information and prepares it for trial, taking into account the rules of criminal procedure and the rules of discovery as well as relevant case law. If the Solicitor believes that there is no probable cause to support the prosecution, then more evidence must be gathered or the case must be abandoned. The Solicitor's Office strives to get the best possible result for the City and State, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each and every case independently.