Below, you will find the answers to many questions about the Mayor's Court. If you would like to speak to the Mayor's Court clerk, please call (513) - 595 - 5224.
How do I pay for a ticket?
How much will I have to pay?
Payments vary depending on the infraction. A payment schedule can be found here.
What kind of cases are heard at the Mayor's Court?
The Mayor's Court hears most of the City's misdemeanor and traffic cases.
What happens when I appear in Mayor's Court?
As a defendant, you are entitled to be informed of the nature of the charge. If you do not understand the charge, please say so when your case is called. After being informed of the charge, you will be asked to enter a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
If you plead not guilty or no contest, a short statement of the facts will be made to the court. If you do not dispute the essential elements of the offense, then the court will enter a finding. You may then tell the Magistrate any facts which you feel may explain the circumstances or lessen the sentence. If a fine, court costs, or incarceration is imposed, you are expected to make arrangements for payment or serving time that night.
What do the different pleas mean?
- A plea of guilty is an admission that you have committed the offense for which you have been charged. If you enter a plea of guilty, a statement will be given on behalf of the City concerning the events constituting the charge. If you choose, you will then be permitted to make a statement on your own behalf.
- A plea of no contest is not an admission of guilt, but it is an admission of the facts alleged in the complaint or traffic citation, as well as other facts presented by the prosecution. You are leaving it up to the court to decide your guilt or innocence based on those facts. You should realize that, in almost every instance, a plea of no contest will result in a guilty finding.
- A plea of not guilty requires a trial. At the trial, the City must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Please do not hesitate to enter a plea of not guilty if you feel you are innocent of the charge, or if you dispute the facts stated in the complaint of traffic citation. If you plead not guilty, your case will be set for trial 2 to 4 weeks from your initial appearance.
What if I want a trial by jury?
If you are charged with an offense that carries a possible fine of more than $150, or that carries the possibility of jail time, you have the right to a trial by jury. All jury trials take place in the Hamilton County Municipal Court, in downtown Cincinnati. The services of an attorney are highly recommended if you wish to present your defense to a jury. Accordingly, if you wish to request a trial by jury, you should request a transfer and seek legal assistance immediately. If you do not know whether you are entitled to a trial by jury, do not hesitate to ask the Court before you enter a plea to the charge.
What should I do if I can't be in court on the date noted on my citation?
In some cases, you may obtain a continuance on your case by visiting the Mayor's Court office and signing a time waiver. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m., and is in the Forest Park Police Department located at 1203 W Kemper Rd.
If your case qualifies for a continuance, it will be continued for up to two weeks. Continuances can also be obtained after business hours at the Police Department.
Where can I go to read about the ordinance I was cited for?
If you were cited to appear in Forest Park Mayor's Court, you can find the Forest Park Code of Ordinances here.
If you were cited to appear at the Hamilton County Municipal Court, the Ohio Revised Code can be found here.
How can i find out how many points are on my license?
You can obtain a copy of your driving record from the BMV by visiting www.bmv.ohio.gov. There, you can obtain information about any license suspensions, or any money owed to the BMV for reinstatement or other fees.
What are the maximum possible penalties for Misdemeanor charges?
Classification: First Degree (M-1)
- Length of imprisonment: up to 180 days
- Fine: up to $1,000
Classification: Second Degree (M-2)
- Length of imprisonment: up to 90 days
- Fine: up to $750
Classification: Third Degree (M-3)
- Length of imprisonment: up to 60 days
- Fine: up to $500
Classification: Fourth Degree (M-4)
- Length of imprisonment: Up to 30 days
- Fine: up to $250
Classification: Minor (MM)
- Length of imprisonment: None
- Fine: up to $150
Classification: Unclassified Misdemeanor
- Length of imprisonment: None; up to 500 hours community service
- Fine: up to $1,000
If I want to appeal the Magistrate's decision, what do I do?
You have the right, under certain conditions, to appeal your case to a higher court if you are not satisfied with the decision of the Forest Park Mayor's Court. Appeals must be filed within 10 days of the court's finding. Appeals are filed with the Clerk of Courts, and require forms to be completed and signed in order for the case to be transferred. Your case will be transferred to Hamilton County Municipal court. You are entitled to a new trial before a different judge or jury.
If you would like to ask for a review of the court's decision, you should advise the Clerk of the Court BEFORE you pay any fine levied, and immediately consult an attorney to assist you.