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Judge Dan Hawkins was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio.  He graduated from St. Francis DeSales High School and went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Bowling Green State University.  Judge Hawkins then returned home and earned his law degree from The Ohio State University.


After graduating from OSU Law School and passing the bar exam, Judge Hawkins was hired as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney at the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.  Judge Hawkins spent 13 years as a trial prosecutor, the last 10 years serving as Director of the office’s prestigious Special Victims Unit.  This unit specializes in crimes of violence against women and children, including murders, sexual assaults, child abuse, human trafficking, and internet child predators. As a prosecutor, Judge Hawkins personally took more than 100 cases to trial.

In the News

Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee Announces Ohio Supreme Court Endorsements

May 6, 2023


The Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee voted to endorse Ohio Supreme Court Justice Joe DetersFranklin Court of Common Pleas Judge Dan Hawkins, and Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas Judge Megan Shanahan for the 2024 Ohio Supreme Court elections.

According to Ohio GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou, all three candidates have judicial experience, and their success as prosecutors show that they are committed to fighting crime hard and making Ohio safer for all Ohioans.

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3rd Republican judge announces campaign for Ohio Supreme Court

May 15, 2023

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Dan Hawkins has announced his candidacy for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2024, part of a three-candidate GOP slate that will attempt to remove two sitting Democratic justices and keep a third seat in the party’s hands.

The court’s current partisan balance is four Republicans and three Democrats.

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Franklin County judge: Issue 1 will restore 'common-sense' notion public safety matters

October 27, 2022


During my 20-plus years working in Ohio’s trial courts — both as a prosecutor and a judge — I have dealt with literally thousands of cases involving a wide range of criminal activity.

Throughout this time, the issue of setting bail in a case was never a particularly difficult or controversial concept to grasp. A person arrested for a criminal offense goes before a trial court judge who looks at a number of different factors including the background of the accused, his or her criminal history, and the nature and circumstances of the crime charged. The judge uses this information to set bail on the case. It was pretty straightforward, really.

Straightforward, that is, until a divided Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision in DuBose v. McGuffey. The DuBose case involved a man charged with committing murder with a gun during an armed robbery and then fleeing the state to avoid apprehension. In a 4-3 decision, the Court ruled that moving forward, local judges could not consider the safety of the public when setting the amount of bail for accused criminals.

This decision sent shockwaves throughout the criminal justice system. Judges in Ohio have always considered public safety when setting bail.

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