These answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are designed to assist you in understanding the Probation Department and the work it does for the Common Pleas Court. These answers are not intended as legal advice. If you have questions about a specific situation involving probation or community control, please consult with an attorney.
What does it mean to be “on community control”?
In most cases, after an offender is found guilty of committing a crime, the court has the option of placing a defendant on community control instead of imposing a prison or jail sentence. If placed on community control for a felony offense committed in Clermont County, a person can be under the supervision of the Clermont County Common Pleas Court Adult Probation Department for up to five years. The Court orders offenders to adhere to community control sanctions which are tailored to the specific risks and needs of each person placed on community control.
What is the difference between Common Pleas Court and Municipal Court?
Clermont County Common Pleas Court has jurisdiction in all criminal felony cases and in all civil cases in which the amount in controversy is more than $500. Clermont County Municipal Court handles all misdemeanor criminal and traffic charges. The Common Pleas Court Adult Probation Department serves the Common Pleas Court. It is located in the Clermont County Courthouse, 270 East Main Street, Batavia. A map is available HERE.
What is the difference between probation (community control) and parole (post-release control)?
Probation, which is also known as community control, is a period of supervision imposed by the Court in lieu of a prison sentence. Community control supervision at this level is the responsibility of the Clermont County Adult Probation Department. If, however, a person is sentenced to prison, upon release he or she may be placed on parole, which is also known as post-release control (PRC). Whether a person is on PRC supervision is determined by the crime for which the person was sentenced; not all crimes carry a period of PRC upon release from prison. PRC supervision is the responsibility of the State of Ohio Adult Parole Authority.
What does the Clermont County Common Pleas Court Adult Probation Department do to help offenders with alcohol and drug problems?
The Probation Department, in conjunction with public and private providers, places individuals with substance abuse problems into alcohol and drug treatment programs at a level matched to the seriousness of the problem. Those who fail to participate in court ordered programming may be returned to court for alternative sentences, including a jail or prison term.
What is Intervention In Lieu of Conviction (ILC)?
Intervention in Lieu of Conviction is a process within the criminal jurisdiction of the Common Pleas Court. In ILC, an offender charged with a lower level offense is diverted from the regular court process for criminal cases. If a person is charged with certain felony offenses and the person’s (1) drug or alcohol use (2) intellectual disability or mental illness, or (3) being a victim of human trafficking was a factor leading to the offense, the person may apply for ILC through his or her defense attorney. As part of the ILC application process, the person will be required to complete a substance abuse and/or mental health assessment. An offender can only be placed in ILC on motion of defense counsel, and only the Assigned Judge can make the decision to grant ILC.
If the person meets all of the criteria required by law and if the Judge grants ILC supervision to the person, he or she will be supervised by the Adult Probation Department and will be required to successfully complete all programming recommended by the assessment. The supervision process can take one to five years, depending on the progress made by the person under supervision. If the offender fails to complete the ILC program, the case goes back to the regular criminal case docket. If the person successfully completes the programming and all other sanctions ordered by the Court, the defendant’s supervision may be terminated and the felony case will be dismissed.
How often will a probationer have to report?
Typically, it is required that a probationer report on a monthly basis; however, the frequency of these appointments is at the discretion of the probation officer and can fluctuate based on the offender’s risk level and compliance to the court ordered sanctions of community control.
How can payments be made toward restitution, court costs, fines, and supervision fee?
The Clermont County Clerk of Courts maintains all accounts related to fees owed by an offender under the jurisdiction of the Common Pleas Adult Probation Department. Payments can be made at the Clermont County Common Pleas Clerk of Courts Office (270 East Main Street Batavia, Ohio 45103) Monday thru Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm. Cash and money orders are the only forms of payment accepted. Money orders should be made payable to the Clerk of Courts and contain the case number to which the payment applies. Information on child support payments can be found at the Clermont County Child Support Enforcement website.
Why am I being charged a supervision fee?
The authority for the collection of supervision fees for persons placed on community control is given to the Courts by statute in the Ohio Revised Code section 2951.021. This code authorizes the Court to require an offender placed on probation or community control to pay a monthly supervision fee of not more than $50.
What should a probationer bring to a meeting with a probation officer?
If applicable, a probationer should bring in payment (cash or money order) for restitution, court costs, fine, and supervision fees in the amount previously agreed upon under the probationer’s payment plan. Probationers may also be instructed to bring in employment pay stubs or other verification of income, and all current prescription medications in the original packaging.
How do I contact an offender’s probation supervising officer?
Contact the Adult Probation Department at (513) 732-7265 during normal business hours and ask to speak with the supervising officer of the offender.
What do I do if I am a victim and owed restitution?
At the sentencing hearing, a defendant may be ordered to pay restitution to a victim if deemed appropriate by the Judge. Restitution could be the cost of medical care, the value of a stolen item that was not recovered, the cost of a vehicle repair after an accident, the cost of therapy due to trauma from the offense, etc. In order to achieve reparation to the victim in a timely manner, a probationer will be placed on a monthly payment plan by his or her probation officer. When these payments are collected from the defendant the money is distributed to the identified victim(s) in the case as soon as possible. For specific information regarding restitution on a case, please call the probation officer assigned to the case at (513)732-7265 during normal business hours. You may also access the Clerk of Courts website.
As a victim of a crime, are there organizations that offer help?
Yes, there are numerous programs located throughout the State of Ohio that offer help in the recovery process after a criminal offense. If located in or near the Clermont County, Ohio area, you may contact the Victim Assistance Program at (513) 732-7112 during normal business hours. The Victim Assistance Program is a division of the Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office.
What information can the Adult Probation Department give me about a case?
The Department can provide information that is public record. This information can also be found at the Clerk of Court website. Examples of public record information that can be disclosed by the Probation Department: charge for which a person is on community control, the date the community control started, etc. Examples of information which is not public record, therefore unable to be disclosed: information about a probationer’s treatment attendance or drug use, a probationer’s address or phone number, presentence investigation information, and community control violation recommendations, etc.
How can I get information about a case from the internet?
You may view case information at the Clerk of Court Criminal Division website.