Franklin County Mayor's Court
In many counties within the state of Ohio, including Franklin County, there is an additional court called the "Mayor's Court" that is used in conjunction with municipal and state courts. These courts have been implemented as a way to make the legal system more efficient for small municipalities that do not have the personnel to handle every single criminal and traffic case efficiently.
It is important to work with a Columbus criminal defense attorney who can represent you and make certain that the Mayor, or other magistrate responsible for handing down sentences, acts in a fair and just manner. They will be able to hold the official in charge accountable and appeal the process if necessary.
Columbus Mayor's Court Lawyer for DUI Charges
There is an incorrect assumption that you do not need criminal defense representation when taking up a case at the Franklin County Mayors Court. This is a dangerous thought that could lead to severe consequences for first time offenders, including the maximum sentence for a DUI, which includes six months in jail and fines of over $1,000.
With the help of a Columbus DUI defense attorney, you will be able to articulate your case from the very start, using the Mayor's Court as a period of time to investigate the case and the facts of the prosecutions arguments. If the attorney is able to successfully argue, you will simply be allowed to go home and move on with your life. If the Mayor makes a judgment against you, your attorney will be able to immediately appeal this verdict and have the case retried in municipal court.
Our attorneys at the Joslyn Law Firm are well-versed in DUI laws in the state of Ohio and are extremely ardent defenders of an individuals constitutional and individual rights. Their proactive legal approach will allow them to begin researching your case right away and building a strong defense. Their commitment to those they serve has manifested itself in a legal practice that is focused on providing cost-effective and professional representation.
Our Columbus DUI law firm proudly serves individuals throughout Franklin County and Central Ohio who have been charged with driving under the influence and are in need of decisive legal counsel. We also extend our representation to help residents of Circleville, Reynoldsburg, Dublin, Upper Arlington, Grove City and Westerville, among many others in the region.
To schedule a free and confidential consultation with the defense team at Joslyn Law Firm please call (513) 339-6289 or send an online message today.
Information on Franklin County Mayor's Court Treatment of DUI Cases
- What is a Mayor's Court in Ohio?
- What Happens After a Case is Brought to a Franklin County Mayor's Court?
- Resources on Ohio Mayor's Courts
- Using the Best Attorney to Defend Your DUI Case in a Franklin County Mayor's Court
As the name implies, the Court is ruled over by the Mayor of the town or city in question. In essence, the Mayor is able to act as a judge, even though he or she may not be a licensed legal professional. All that is necessary is the completion of special legal courses put in place by the Supreme Court of Ohio in order for the Mayor to sit as a judge in legal proceedings.
Within Franklin County, there are individual Mayor's Courts for the following cities:
- Canal Winchester
- Grandview Heights
- Grove City
- Marble Cliff
- New Albany
- Upper Arlington
A Mayor's Court has the discretion to hear all misdemeanor cases. However, if an individual that comes before the Court with a DUI has been previously convicted of a similar charge, his or her case must be heard by the Municipal or the County Court with jurisdiction.
It's important to note that you are required to waive your right to a jury trial if you wish your case heard in a Franklin County Mayor's Court.
Although a Mayor's Court usually only hears cases involving minor infractions and misdemeanor offenses, there are cases tried at this level where a DUI is alleged. Since this is a serious criminal offense in Ohio, it can be nerve-racking to put your life in the hands of a politician.
As for the process, you will first be informed of your charges. The next step is to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty or no contest). To clarify, a plea of no contest is not technically an admission of guilt, but rather an admission of the facts alleged by the prosecution. Used mainly in case where a plea bargain is considered, the suspect is neither admitting or disputing a charge.
A plea of not guilty will result in a trial. The criminal trial will be scheduled for a later date. In the meantime, subpoenas will be issued to all relevant actors involved, including witnesses and law enforcement officers. During the trial, the prosecution is required to prove the allegations. If unable to do so, the Mayor is legally obligated to refrain from convicting the individual.
Depending on the outcome of the Mayor's verdict, your Franklin County DUI lawyer can still pursue an appeal through the local Municipal Court (e.g. the Columbus Municipal Court) or the County Court.
This legal authority that the Mayor wields in this environment can be worrisome thought. There has been growing discussion on the potential conflict of interest that can result from giving a Mayor the ability to demand the collection of a fine that will paid into a budget that he or she also controls. Even so, this has been a long-standing tradition in the state, with over 260 jurisdictions allowing Mayors this broad legal authority.
The Supreme Court of Ohio: Mayor's Court Registration and Reporting - The State Supreme Court has compiled information on statistics regarding the Mayor's Courts. This includes information on caseload numbers and type for each of the counties. Under legislation modified in 2004, Mayor's Courts are required to register annually and file statistics with Ohio's Supreme Court.
Mayors Courts 2012 Summary - This link directs to a .pdf file containing a breakdown of data gathered statewide on the Mayor's Court System. For instance, this report notes that the Gahanna Mayor's Court serves a population of over 33,248 and oversaw 4,145 cases last year.
Association of Mayor's Court Clerks in Ohio - The mission of this association is to increase the knowledge and value of those employed within the state Mayor's Court system as court personnel.
If you are currently accused of driving under the influence in Ohio and are required to appear at a Franklin County Mayor's Court, it is important that you work with a qualified criminal defense attorney. Our attorneys have the experience representing clients in this complex environment and will bring this understanding in every aspect of your case.
Each member of our team is passionately supportive of Franklin County residents who need legal counsel and are simply looking to be given a fair opportunity to fight their OVI allegations. Men and women have a strong legal resource in the defense lawyers at Joslyn Law Firm and can be fully confident that their best interests are the highest priority of the firm.
Call (513) 339-6289 or send an online message to set up a free consultation to go over your case in detail with an attorney today. In addition to serving Columbus OH residents, our law firm also proudly represents individuals and families throughout Gahanna, Hilliard, Whitehall, Worthington and Bexley, among many others.