Jefferson Criminal Defense Attorney

Jefferson County Central District Court Judges

Honorable Judge Joseph J. Bruzzese, Jr., Second Floor
Honorable Judge Michelle G. Miller, Third Floor

Jefferson County Courthouse
301 Market Street
Steubenville, Ohio 43952
(740) 283-8543 (Judge Bruzzese)
(740) 283-8545 (Judge Miller)

Hours of Operation: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday

Dillonvale Court
174 Smithfield Street
Dillonvale, Ohio 43917
(740) 769-2903

Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday

Toronto Court
1007 Franklin Street
Toronto, Ohio 43964
(740) 537-2020

Hours of Operation: 8 AM to 4 PM Monday through Thursday; 8 AM to noon on Friday

Wintersville Court
30 Talbott Drive
Wintersville, Ohio 43953
(740) 264-7644

Hours of Operation: 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday


The Jefferson County Common Pleas court handles cases involving all civil issues whose monetary value is over $500.00. It also handles domestic relations like divorces and custody, and handles felony criminal cases referred to it by the division courts.

The three division courts – Dillonvale, Toronto, and Wintersville – hear traffic and other misdemeanor cases, small claims, and civil cases whose monetary value is under $15,000.

Judge Bruzzese was admitted to the bar in 1976. He became part of the Jefferson County Court system in 1998. He was re-elected in 2014, and will be up for re-election again in 2021. In 2017, he was shot as he entered the courthouse. He, along with a probation officer, returned fire. The attacker was killed. He was flown to Pittsburgh, underwent surgery, and was back in his courtroom six weeks later. The shooting made national news.

Judge Miller joined the Jefferson County Courts in 2015 after being elected to the position in November of 2014. She has been a major force behind the effort to establish a drug court in the county. She was given the Award of Excellence in 2018 for aiding Judge Bruzzese when he was shot. Judge Miller has previous nursing experience and was able to use that to assist him. She became a registered nurse in 1984 and worked in Cincinnati hospitals before earning a degree in political science in 1993.

Judge Miller regularly attends Ohio Common Pleas Conferences, and has had at least three people graduate from her drug court program. She was the first female judge to serve Jefferson County. Previously, she had been a legal nurse consultant in a Kentucky law firm, where her specialization was medical malpractice. Once she got her law degree and had worked in a few law offices, she opened her own private practice. She has served Wells Township as its solicitor and done the same for the villages of Tiltonsville, Smithfield, and Rayland.

Judge Miller resides in Rayland.

About the Area

Jefferson County comprises and area of 411 square miles in the southeastern part of Ohio. It is bordered to the east by the Ohio River. The county’s population in 2010 was 69,709.

Jefferson County was named for the Vice President of the United States at the time of the county’s organization in 1797, Thomas Jefferson. It was originally much larger and included the parts of northeastern Ohio that were east of the Cuyahoga River. It was reduced several times as other counties were formed, until it became the size it is today in 1833.

Jefferson County Municipal Courts Steubenville Municipal Court

Honorable John J. Mascio, Judge

115 South Third Street
Steubenville, Ohio 43952
(740) 283-6000

Hours of Operation: 8:30 AM to 4 PM


The court hears all misdemeanor cases, traffic as well as criminal. It hosts felony preliminary hearings. The civil branch of the court includes small claims and a general division.

Judge Mascio previously was in private practice, beginning in 1992. He served the city of Steubenville as Prosecutor for a decade previous to being elected to the court. He was born and raised in Steubenville.

District Attorney District Attorney Jane Hanlin

16001 State Route 7
Steubenville, Ohio 43952
(740) 283-3409

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