When it comes to understanding the difference between a civil case and a criminal case, the most definitive difference maker is the fact that a only the state can persecute the offender in a criminal case, whereas in a civil case the charges brought against a citizen is filed by another citizen.
The first and foremost requirement for a criminal case to commence is the police report which will have the details of the crime that is supposedly committed by an Ohio Citizen. On this basis of this report the citizen will be charged with felony, infarction or misdemeanor. In case of an infraction, which is considered to be of the lowest severity, the offender will be released after the payment of a fine. However incase of felony or misdemeanor, the police will get an arrest warrant approved by a judge and will then attempt to arrest the suspect. In case this whole process had been an error then the charges along with the warrant will be dismissed.
Once the suspect has been arrested, an initial hearing will be conducted. After the initial hearing the report held by the police will be filed and then the suspect will be held up for trial. The information found on the police report is the information that the police had collected during the preliminary investigation. Next the police will formally read out the criminal complaint to the defendant. After which the defendant will be asked to enter a plea. The plea could be entered as innocent, guilty or not guilty. Once the arraignment has been done, the role of the lawyer will begin. The defendant at this stage will have to find a lawyer, in case the defendant fails to find a lawyer, he or she will have to go through the legal research themselves and any external help is not allowed at this time. Finding a lawyer is the best way to go, as they will have a better understanding of protecting you legally.
In case the defendant pleas as guilty, then the whole process is virtually over and the only remaining part involves the judge giving out the sentence and the law enforcement officers doing the needful. However in cases where the defendant has pleaded as not guilty, further investigation will be initiated and both sided will exchange information.
Next the trial begins. The defendant will have the option to choose, whether to get the trial done by a jury or by a judge. Selecting a jury will avoid any bias, especially due to the coverage provided by the media. Once the facts of the crime are exposed, then the jury or judge will declare their judgment which will be followed by sentencing.