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Ohio Mayor’s Courts


    We regularly represent clients facing traffic, DUI, OVI and other criminal misdemeanor charges in Ohio mayor’s courts in municipalities throughout Columbus and Central Ohio.  If you have been charged in any of the following municipalities, your case may be filed in an Ohio mayor’s court:

    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.

    Each municipality has its own code of ordinances. For example, the OVI law in many local municipalities is Section 333.01(a)(1)(a).

    Ohio 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 an Ohio mayor’s court.  For example, a hearing in mayor’s court is generally more informal, may have evening hours, and maybe more conveniently located than the local county municipal court.

    There are both pros and cons to having your case heard in the a mayor’s court, depending on your specific situation.  Consulting with an experienced DUI attorney who practices in local Ohio mayor’s courts 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 the mayor’s court, or to transfer the case to the Franklin County or other appropriate county municipal court.

    After your first court appearance (which is called your “arraignment”), we 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 given the circumstances of the arrest or charge.

    If your case was filed in one of the mayor’s courts around Columbus, you can find the court record search links below.

    To begin the process and discuss representation for your Ohio Mayor’s Court DUI, criminal or traffic charge, 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.