We regularly represent clients facing traffic, DUI, OVI or other criminal charges in mayor’s courts in municipalities throughout Ohio. If you have been charged in any of the following municipalities, your case may be filed in a mayor’s court or a municipal court:
Central Ohio Courts
- Canal Winchester
- Grove City
- Grandview Heights
- Lewis Center
- Marble Cliff
- Minerva Park
- New Albany
- Shawnee Hills
- Upper Arlington
Mayor’s courts are unique state courts created by some Ohio municipalities. Only two states in the US have mayor’s courts — Louisiana and Ohio. Ohio law allows mayors of municipal corporations populated by more than 100 people that have no municipal court to conduct mayor’s court.
Mayor’s courts hear traffic cases and other misdemeanor charges, including DUI / OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) cases. The case is generally heard by either the mayor or a magistrate appointed by the mayor. If there is an appointed magistrate, he or she must be lawyer. However, Ohio law does not require mayors hearing cases to be attorneys.
Mayor’s Courts are not courts of record and are not authorized to conduct jury trials. However, if a defendant charged with a DUI in any of the above municipalities would like a jury trial, then the case will be transferred to the appropriate County Municipal Court. In fact, a defendant can opt to transfer his or her case to the appropriate County Municipal Court at any time for any reason. Further, if a defendant is convicted in a mayor’s court in one of the municipalities listed above, he or she may appeal their conviction to the applicable County Municipal Court.
There may be some advantages, however, to having your case heard in mayor’s court. For example, a hearing in mayor’s court is generally more informal, may have evening hours, and may be more conveniently located than the local County Municipal Court.
There are both pros and cons to having your case heard in the the Mayor’s Court, depending on your specific situation. Consulting with an experienced DUI attorney on this issue is critical to ensure the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case.
Typically, if you hire Riddell Law as your attorney, we will consult with you and advise whether it is best based on the facts of your case to have your case heard in mayor’s court, or to transfer the case to the Franklin County or other appropriate county municipal court.
Once we make this decision together, Mr. Riddell will likely arrange it so that you do not have to appear in court for your first court date. He will handle it for you. This way, you do not have to worry about taking off work or otherwise arranging your schedule to go to court. After that first court appearance (which is called your “arraignment”), Mr. Riddell will continue to gather information about the facts of your case, evaluate possible flaws in the prosecution’s case, and negotiate with the prosecutor for a favorable resolution of your case. If negotiations fail, Attorney Doug Riddell will conduct motion hearings and a trial as necessary to ensure the best possible outcome.
To begin the process and discuss representation for your DUI / OVI, call Attorney Doug Riddell directly at 614-361-2804. Because we know DUI charges rarely happen during 9:00-5:00 working hours, Mr. Riddell is there to take your call after hours, on evenings, weekends, and holidays.Google+