Worthington Mayor’s Court
Traffic violations and other criminal misdemeanor cases in Worthington are handled in the city’s Mayor’s Court. Not all of these cases require alleged offenders to attend court hearings, as people simply opt to pay fines in person, by mail, or by fax without appearing in court.
However, many violations of state law or city ordinances usually do require alleged offenders to attend arraignment hearings to respond to the charges and enter pleas. These matters should be taken seriously, as convictions or guilty pleas in certain cases can have particularly profound consequences.
Worthington Mayor’s Court Lawyer
If you were recently arrested or you received a ticket in Worthington that indicates you will need to appear in the Mayor’s Court, it is critical for you to understand all of your options. Joslyn Law Firm helps clients all over Franklin County who are facing traffic citations or misdemeanor criminal charges.
Award-winning Worthington Mayor’s Court attorney Brian Joslyn provides aggressive legal defense in all types of these cases, and he is committed to achieving outcomes that result in minimal penalties for the people he represents. You can have our firm review your case by calling (614) 444-1900 right now to arrange a free consultation.
Types of Worthington Mayor’s Court Cases
The Mayor’s Court handles traffic violations and other misdemeanor crimes that occurred within the city of Worthington. The tickets given to alleged offenders indicate whether they are required to appear in court. Whether appearances are required or not, all alleged offenders have the right to contest the charges they face by appearing in court and entering not guilty pleas.
If an alleged offender pleads guilty or no contest, his or her case moves forward with sentencing. If he or she pleads not guilty, then the case will be set for trial. Some of the most common charges that are handled in the Mayor’s Court include, but are not limited to:
- Compliance with Lawful Order of Police Officer — Also known as “fleeing and eluding,” this is a first-degree misdemeanor under Worthington Ordinance § 303.01 or Ohio Revised Code § 2921.331.
- Drunk Driving — Referred to as driving or physical control while under the influence in Worthington Ordinance § 333.01 and operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) in Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19, a first offense is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor.
- Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of Safety — Also known as “reckless driving,” this is a fourth-degree misdemeanor under Worthington Ordinance § 333.02. Under Ohio Revised Code § 4510.14, a first offense is a minor misdemeanor but it is a fourth-degree misdemeanor if the alleged offender has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense in the prior year and a third-degree misdemeanor if the alleged offender has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses in the prior year.
- Driving Under Suspension or License Restriction — This can be a first-degree misdemeanor under Worthington Ordinance § 335.07 or Ohio Revised Code § 4510.037.
- Driving Under OVI Suspension — This may be a first-degree misdemeanor under Worthington Ordinance § 335.071 or Ohio Revised Code § 4510.14.
- Expired or Unlawful License Plates — This can be a minor misdemeanor or fourth-degree misdemeanor under Worthington Ordinance § 335.10 or Ohio Revised Code §§ 4503.11, 4549.11, or 4549.12.
- Gift of Marihuana — Under Worthington Ordinance § 513.02 or Ohio Revised Code § 2925.03(C)(3)(h), this is a minor misdemeanor for a first offense and a third-degree misdemeanor for subsequent offenses or offenses committed in the vicinity of a school or a juvenile.
- Drug Possession —Depending on the type and amount of the controlled substance the alleged offender is charged with possessing, this crime may be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, fourth-degree misdemeanor, or minor misdemeanor under Worthington Ordinance § 513.03 or Ohio Revised Code § 2925.11.
- Resisting Arrest — Under Worthington Ordinance § 525.09 or Ohio Revised Code § 2921.33, this is a second-degree misdemeanor but can be classified as a first-degree misdemeanor if the alleged actions cause physical harm to a law enforcement officer.
- Voyeurism — This can be third-degree misdemeanor, second-degree misdemeanor, or first-degree misdemeanor under Worthington Ordinance § 533.06 or Ohio Revised Code § 2907.08.
Changing Jurisdiction of Worthington Mayor’s Court Cases
The Mayor’s Court is not a court of record, which means that there is no court reporter and any trial in this court will not be heard by a jury. However, all alleged offenders have the right to transfer their cases to the Franklin County Municipal Court at any time.
In cases involving minor misdemeanors, written requests to transfer the cases need to be filed with the Clerk of Court. For all other classifications of offenses, the alleged offenders need to file written jury demands with the Clerk of Court.
Whether it is a matter of personal preference or a genuine concern about fairness, there can be advantages to having your case heard in the Mayor’s Court. This often depends on the specific charges that you are facing, and an experienced lawyer can determine which venue and what approach might be the most beneficial.
It is critical to remember that even if a person is convicted in the Mayor’s Court, he or she can still appeal the decision to the Franklin County Municipal Court. However, alleged offenders only have a small amount of time to file such appeals.
Worthington Mayor’s Court Personnel
Mayor’s Court sessions take place every Tuesday at 6 p.m. except for when holidays fall on Mondays, in which case court is held on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The court meets at:6550 North High Street
Worthington, OH 43805
Worthington’s court is somewhat unique because unlike other Mayor’s Courts that are overseen by magistrates appointed by the mayors, the actual mayor of Worthington—who is an attorney—is the person who will preside over cases. The full staff includes:
- Mayor — Scott D. Holmes
- Vice-Mayor — James J. Lorimer
- Prosecutor — Karen E. Sheffer
- Clerk of Courts — Barb Nofziger
Penalties in Worthington Mayor’s Court
Under Codified Ordinances of City of Worthington § 501.99, an alleged offender who is convicted of or pleads guilty or no contest to a criminal offense may be subject to the following statutory maximum sentences:
- Minor Misdemeanor — Restitution to the alleged victim or any survivor of the alleged victim and fine of up to $150;
- Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Restitution to the alleged victim or any survivor of the alleged victim, fine of up to $250, and up to 30 days in jail;
- Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Restitution to the alleged victim or any survivor of the alleged victim, fine of up to $500, and up to 60 days in jail;
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor — Restitution to the alleged victim any survivor of the alleged victim, fine of up to $750, and up to 90 days in jail; and
- First-Degree Misdemeanor — Restitution to the alleged victim or any survivor of the alleged victim, fine of up to $1,000, and up to 180 days in jail.
Worthington Mayor’s Court FAQ
Shouldn’t I just plead guilty and get it over with?
If you plead guilty, you will be convicted of a crime. Along with expensive fines and possibly time in jail, you will have a criminal record that can prevent you from the jobs you want, keep you from getting in school and cause other problems in anything requiring a background search. Do not risk your future. An attorney can identify all defenses and challenges and fight for you.
Can I get records sealed or expunged?
Ohio law does allow for records to be sealed from criminal proceedings, including arrest records. If you are not convicted – including if charges are dismissed – an attorney can help you seal those records without a waiting period. If convicted of a misdemeanor in Mayor’s Court, you will need to wait a year after your punishment is complete.
Can I represent myself in Mayor’s Court?
You can, but it is a bad idea. Prosecutors will not go easy on you, and will have no reason to cut you a deal. The judge will advise you to get an attorney, and will not take you not following his or her advice lightly. When experienced criminal defense attorneys are accused of crimes, they hire a lawyer. You should do the same.
Find the Best Mayor’s Court Lawyer in Worthington
Are you scheduled to appear in the Mayor’s Court in Worthington to address a traffic ticket you were issued or criminal charges filed following a recent arrest? Having skilled legal representation can help you get charges reduced or possibly even dismissed.
Award-winning Worthington Mayor’s Court attorney Brian Joslyn of Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients all over Franklin County and many surrounding communities in local and municipal courts. He will provide a comprehensive review of your case as soon as you call (614) 444-1900 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.