Venue, in its simplest terms, is where the alleged crime took place. If a crime takes place in Franklin County, Ohio, the crime must be prosecuted in Franklin County, Ohio. It cannot be prosecuted in another county, with limited exceptions (e.g., juveniles may be prosecuted in their county of residence even though the crime took place in another county; course of conduct prosecutions where a person commits a series of similar crimes in a short time period in multiple jurisdictions).
It has been the law since 1907 in Ohio that venue must be proved by the prosecution. See State v. Gardner. Although venue is not a material element of the charge, the prosecution must prove it nonetheless. See State v. Richardson.
In a recent case from the 1st District, State v. Robinson, Robinson was convicted of criminal damaging. He appealed the conviction, arguing that his conviction was based upon insufficient evidence and contrary to the weight of the evidence. Specifically, Robinson argued that the failure to prove venue rendered his conviction improper.
In law school, many students are taught during trial skills courses the acronym “VIDEO.” It stands for “venue, identification and elements of the offense.” These items must be proven by the prosecution or the case must be dismissed. Venue is arguably the easiest to prove as it usually consists of the prosecution simply asking the investigating officer where the crime took place at the conclusion of testimony. Thus, the prosecutor should never forget to ask questions regarding venue.
To the state’s credit, it was conceded on appeal that the state failed to establish an essential element of their case and, therefore, Robinson’s conviction was reversed.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio criminal defense attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your criminal offense case.
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