Don’t take criminal or traffic charges in Ohio Mayor’s Court lightly. These are criminal charges that carry consequences which can threaten your freedom, your career, and your future.
What is Mayor’s Court?
Some small Municipalities or Cities may have a Mayor’s Court where the Mayor acts as a Judge. While the Mayor is not required to be a license attorney, the Mayor must complete special legal courses prescribed by the Supreme Court of Ohio to sit as a Judge in a Mayor’s Court. In many cases, the Mayor may appoint a Magistrate (which may be an attorney or a retired Judge) to hear cases that come before the Mayor’s Court. It is required that the Magistrate must be a licensed attorney who has been practicing the law for not less than three years.
A person charged with a criminal offense that may result in a jail term has the right to a jury trial in a Municipal or County court unless they give up that right to a jury trial and have that case heard at Mayor’s Court. If one files an appeal from a Mayor’s Court case, the appeal is taken to the Municipal or County court, where the case would be heard as if no original trial had occurred in the Mayor’s Court. In other words, if you appeal from the Mayor’s Court, even if found guilty, you would receive a new trial all over again.
A Mayor’s Court has the discretion to hear all misdemeanor cases. However, if an individual that comes before the Court with an O.V.I or D.U.I (Driving Under the Influence) has been previously convicted of a D.U.I charge, his case must be heard by the Municipal or the County Court with jurisdiction.
Mayor’s Courts do not conduct a trial by Jury. Rather, the sole determiner of fact and of law would be the Mayor or an assigned Magistrate on behalf of the Mayor.
Mayor’s Courts provide a defense attorney the unique opportunity to discover and investigate the basis, documents, and facts of the prosecutor’s case.
As a law firm, when a case is initially filed in Mayor’s Court, we take advantage of this proceeding to obtain an initial investigation, documents, facts, and witnesses of our client’s case. We may choose to negotiate a solution or try the case in the Mayor’s Court. If we do not like the results, we can appeal the case directly to the Municipal Court or the County court with no sanctions or penalties from the Mayor’s Court case. If you have been charged with an offense in Municipal or Mayor’s Court, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your case.
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