“The General Felony Unit handles handles 90% of all felony cases in Cuyahoga County. Our goal and mission is to ensure that all victims of crime are protected under the law by sheparding cases from pretrial preparation to Trial to Sentencing to defending convictions of defendants on appeal.”
The General Felony Unit is the Office's largest unit. Fifty plus assistant prosecutors handle nearly 90% of all felony cases in Cuyahoga County. A felony is any offense punishable over 6 months in prison.
Unlike other specialized Units in the Office, General Felony prosecutes every type of felony, from Attempted Murder to Tampering with Records.
- These cases come from the more than fifty communities in the County, from Bay Village to Mayfield Heights; from Cleveland to Strongsville; from Solon to Lakewood and everywhere in between.
- Assistant prosecutors are also on call during off hours to assist law enforcement with the drafting and preparation of search warrants in cases where swift action is required for the safety and security of our community.
Assistant prosecutors practice before the thirty four trial judges of the Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court at the Justice Center. Three prosecutors are assigned to handle presentment of the State’s cases before every two judges.
Prosecutors rotate periodically to different assignments among the 34 judges. An In Charge (IC) Prosecutor serves as the on-the-floor supervisor in each of the team of three prosecutors assigned.
Before each case gets to the point of trial in a courtroom a great deal of preparation and work is done, including:
- Participating in pretrial conferences with defense counsel and at times the Court.
- Making contact with victims, witnesses and police officers for trial preparation.
- Preparing and responding to defense motions for discovery and attempts to suppress evidence.
- Participating in suppression hearings, forfeitures and a variety of other types of hearings dealing with both evidentiary and legal issues.
Once the above pretrial preparations are undertaken an assistant prosecutor will try the case before a jury or the judge.
Once a conviction has been secured, the assistant prosecutor will attend the sentencing and defend the conviction against challenges in the Appellate Courts.
Each prosecutor writes their own briefs and argues appeals before the twelve appellate court judges of the Eighth District Court of Appeals and if need be, the Ohio Supreme Court.
Victim Notification Program
After arraignment, we contact victims and their families to inform them that they have a number of important rights, including:
- To know the date and time of all court proceedings and to be present in court
- To be informed prior to any plea agreement
- To make a statement at the defendant’s sentencing
- If the defendant is sentenced to a period of incarceration and upon your request, to be notified of the location of the prison
- To make a statement at any potential judicial release hearing
To be notified of the defendant’s release date after making a written request with this Office.
Upon a prosecutor’s request, we also contact families and victims to notify them of pre-trials, trials, pleas, sentencing, and release dates.
Diversion and Early Intervention Programs (EIP)
These programs are for first time offenders. Diversion is for non-violent and non-drug related offenses and Early Intervention Programs (EIP) is for first time drug related offenses.
These programs are utilized to hold the offender responsible for their criminal conduct and place them in a supervised program. The goal is reestablish the offender in the community without a felony record after the successful completion of a number of requirements such as, but not limited to:
- Admitting to the crime
- Regularly reporting to a probation officer
- Completing community service
- Undergoing drug testing
- Paying all restitution to victims
- Paying all court costs
After successful completion of the program, which lasts from 6 months to 1 year, the offender’s record is expunged.
The General Felony Unit not only handles the largest volume but the widest range of cases. Cases include, but are not limited to, the below listed offenses in the Ohio Revised Code:
Offenses Against Person/Property
Breaking & Entering
Illegal Processing of Drug Documents
Grand Theft Motor Vehicle
Receiving Stolen Property
Passing Bad Checks
Illegal Assembly or Possession of Chemicals for the Manufacture of Drugs
Failure to Comply w/ Order or Signal of Police Officer
Tampering with Records
Illegal Manufacture of Drugs or cultivation of marijuana
Carry Concealed Weapons
Having Weapons While under Disability
Improperly Discharging Firearm at or into habitation or school
Improperly Handling Firearms in a Motor Vehicle
Unlawful Possession of Dangerous Ordnance
Deception to Obtain Dangerous Drugs
Permitting Drug Abuse
Recent Press Releases - General Felony