Q. What should I know about Traffic Court?
A. You should know:
Right to an Attorney: You have the right to be represented by an attorney at any Court hearing. You may request a continuance to get an attorney. If you choose not to have an attorney today, your case will processed today.
Entering a Plea: If you waive your right to have an attorney present today, you will be asked to admit or deny the charge. A plea of No Contest is not authorized and therefore cannot be accepted.
Denial: If you deny the charge, the case will be continued to another date for a trial. At that time, the prosecutor will present the evidence against you. You may bring and/or subpoena witnesses. The hearing will be conducted pursuant to the Rules of Evidence and Juvenile Procedure. The magistrate will decide if the charge has been proven, after hearing the evidence.
Admission: If you admit the charge today, you give up these rights: the right to hear and question the witnesses against you; the right to remain silent; the right to present witnesses in your own behalf. If you admit the charge, you will be adjudicated a Juvenile Traffic Offender. This is similar to an adult being found guilty of a traffic offense.
Consequences: If you are found to be a Juvenile Traffic Offender after a trial or after an admission, the Magistrate will determine the disposition for your violation. These dispositions, or consequences, are not the same as for adults. Some of the possible consequences are summarized below.
Q. Where do I go to pay my traffic ticket?
A. A juvenile and a parent or guardian must come to Court for a hearing. Juvenile traffic tickets cannot be paid out without a hearing.
Q. What are the possible penalties?
A. Possible penalties include:
General: In most cases, the magistrate or judge has the authority to impose: a fine of up to $50; Court Costs of $77 (Moving Violations) or $43 (Non-Moving Violations); a suspension of your driver's license; a suspension of the registration to all motor vehicles registered in your name; an order placing you on probation, work detail, or electronic monitoring; and an order for restitution for damages. Additional consequences for certain violations are described below.
Parental Accompaniment: If you are adjudicated as a Juvenile Traffic Offender for having committed a moving violation within six months of having been issued your probationary driver's license, and you are still 16 years old, the BMV will send you a letter informing you that a restriction will be placed on your license which only permits you to drive if accompanied by a parent or a guardian for the next six months or until you reach age 17, whichever comes first. If you or a parent reasonably believes that the restriction will seriously affect your ability to continue employment or educational training or will cause undue hardship on you or a family member, you or your parent may request at the time of the court hearing, occupational or educational driving privileges without you being accompanied by a parent.
Second Moving Violation: If you are adjudicated a Juvenile Traffic Offender for a second moving violation occurring before age 18, your driver's license must be suspended for a minimum of 90 days. If you request, the Court may grant you limited driving privileges during the specified suspension period if the Court finds reasonable cause to believe the suspension will seriously affect your ability to continue employment, educational training, vocational training or treatment.
Third Moving Violation: If you are adjudicated a Juvenile Traffic Offender for a third moving violation occurring before age 18, your driver's license must be suspended for a minimum of one year. If you request, the Court may grant you limited driving privileges during the specified suspension period if the Court finds reasonable cause to believe the suspension will seriously affect your ability to continue employment, educational training, vocational training or treatment.
Moving violation while driving under limited driving privileges: If you are adjudicated a Juvenile Traffic Offender for a moving violation occurring before age 18 and were driving under limited driving privileges, your license shall be suspended for one year by the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) and NO driving privileges are permitted by law.
How to obtain your license if it is suspended: If your driver's license is suspended by the Court and you obtain limited driving privileges, the Court will keep your license on file and give you a paper detailing the purpose, time and place of your limited driving privileges. If your driver's license is suspended and the Court does not give you limited driving privileges, you will be notified by the BMV as to the conditions that must be fulfilled before you are able to obtain your license.
Driving Under the Influence: If you are adjudicated a Juvenile Traffic Offender for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs under O.R.C. 4511.19(A), you may be committed to a detention or other facility up to 5 days. You may be required to successfully complete the Adolescent Driver's Intervention Program (ADIP), a three-day, two-night residential program. A license suspension is mandated by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. A typical suspension ordered by the Court for this offense is 1 year with no occupational driving privileges. You may also be fined up to $225. After the suspension period, you may reapply for a license after you have successfully completed both a Driver Improvement Program and a drug/alcohol abuse education or treatment program; and successfully retaken the Driver's License Examination and have paid a reinstatement fee to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
If you are adjudicated a Juvenile Traffic Offender for a charge of Driving Under Suspension, Drag Racing, Eluding a Police Officer, or Leaving the Scene of an Accident, your Driver's License may be suspended by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. It cannot be returned to you until the suspension is served and you have posted a financial responsibility bond (high risk insurance). You may also be fined up to $225.
If your ticket is marked "FR NOT SHOWN," (Financial Responsibility) you must present proof of insurance coverage to the Court.
Q. How do I get driving privileges if the Court or school initiated the suspension?
A. If the Court suspends your license and circumstances change regarding need for privileges, you can direct a written request to the Magistrate for consideration. If the suspension is initiated through a school, you would file a motion for reinstatement, address a $50.00 filing fee and present your request at a hearing before a Judge.