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    Allegedly Not Stopping at Right Light in Ohio- ORC

    Jurisdiction / State: Ohio

    Citation issued for allegedly not stopping at red light under ORC XXX. ORC stands for Ohio Revised Code, right? ORC does not refer to a local ordinance? ORC XXX does not exist, it was incorrectly indicated on the citation. What is the implication of this error in the court?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bakkam View Post
    Citation issued for allegedly not stopping at red light under ORC XXX. ORC stands for Ohio Revised Code, right? ORC does not refer to a local ordinance? ORC XXX does not exist, it was incorrectly indicated on the citation. What is the implication of this error in the court?

    Well, bakkam, here is the law which you were cited for violating.

    4511.12 Obedience to traffic control devices.

    (A) No pedestrian, driver of a vehicle, or operator of a streetcar or trackless trolley shall disobey the instructions of any traffic control device placed in accordance with this chapter, unless at the time otherwise directed by a police officer.

    No provision of this chapter for which signs are required shall be enforced against an alleged violator if at the time and place of the alleged violation an official sign is not in proper position and sufficiently legible to be seen by an ordinarily observant person. Whenever a particular section of this chapter does not state that signs are required, that section shall be effective even though no signs are erected or in place.

    So, you posed the query, "What is the implication of this error in the court?"

    The implication is insignificant.

    You gasp, and wonder how can that be, right?

    Because, technical errors can easily be amended at trial or during your plea.

    As far as one being cited for allegedly disobeying a traffic control device under city ordinance or state statute, now a somewhat significant distinction, insofar as who will get the largesse of the fine that could eventually be paid by the errant motorist.

    You see municipalities (in most states) home rule or chartered municipalities are allowed to create ordinances that parallel state statutes. There could be other laws that are not mentioned under the state codes. Be that as it may, these select municipalities have their municipal court systems to try these minor violations and misdemeanors.

    The bottom line is that when one is cited within the boundaries of these select locales by local police officers, state police officers, highway patrolmen, constables, county police officers, or deputy sheriffs; the charging law enforcement officer will normally cite under the city ordinance. The case will then be heard in the municipal court.

    So, don't fret about errors or omissions on the face of the citation. If you address that or attack it in court, the prosecutor or city attorney will simply move to amend the error. The substantive charge is what matters, bakkam, not an error or omission.
    Last edited by army judge; 12-05-2011 at 10:24 PM.

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    Call the prosecutor and ask if you can get a deferred adjudication, which means you pay the fine but it stays off your record. Unless you treated the cop in a disrespectful manner, the prosecutor will usually agree.

    If not, call a traffic atty. in that town, he should be able to do it.

    If not, call and see if you can take a defensive driving course to get it dismissed.

    If not, ask for a dismissal for failure to state the charge. If the prosecutor motions to amend the complaint, tell the judge that you "object". Don't wait for the judge to ask you. Immediately; say I object. An honest judge will dismiss the case immediately.

    Did you know????....???? in OHIO, if the cop writes you a ticket with multiple traffic offenses, only the 1st offense listed will be heard. All the others are dismissed.

    That's why, if an OHIO cop stops you and sez: "I'm not sure, but I don't think you were wearing a seatbelt", that's "code" for those who know, that if you agree that you didn't have a seatbelt on that he'll write that offense first on the ticket, which is a non-moving violation and a lower fine, and any subsequent offense will be dismissed.

    OHIO is the ONLY state I know of that does this.
    Last edited by swlswl; 12-05-2011 at 10:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by army judge View Post
    Well, bakkam, here is the law which you were cited for violating.




    So, you posed the query, "What is the implication of this error in the court?"

    The implication is insignificant.

    You gasp, and wonder how can that be, right?

    Because, technical errors can easily be amended at trial or during your plea.

    As far as one being cited for allegedly disobeying a traffic control device under city ordinance or state statute, now a somewhat significant distinction, insofar as who will get the largesse of the fine that could eventually be paid by the errant motorist.

    You see municipalities (in most states) home rule or chartered municipalities are allowed to create ordinances that parallel state statutes. There could be other laws that are not mentioned under the state codes. Be that as it may, these select municipalities have their municipal court systems to try these minor violations and misdemeanors.

    The bottom line is that when one is cited within the boundaries of these select locales by local police officers, state police officers, highway patrolmen, constables, county police officers, or deputy sheriffs; the charging law enforcement officer will normally cite under the city ordinance. The case will then be heard in the municipal court.

    So, don't fret about errors or omissions on the face of the citation. If you address that or attack it in court, the prosecutor or city attorney will simply move to amend the error. The substantive charge is what matters, bakkam, not an error or omission.
    Thank you for the answer, army judge/samaritan, scholar. How is the fine money pie split between the parties at the lunch table?
    Last edited by bakkam; 12-06-2011 at 10:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swlswl View Post
    Call the prosecutor and ask if you can get a deferred adjudication, which means you pay the fine but it stays off your record. Unless you treated the cop in a disrespectful manner, the prosecutor will usually agree.

    If not, call a traffic atty. in that town, he should be able to do it.

    If not, call and see if you can take a defensive driving course to get it dismissed.

    If not, ask for a dismissal for failure to state the charge. If the prosecutor motions to amend the complaint, tell the judge that you "object". Don't wait for the judge to ask you. Immediately; say I object. An honest judge will dismiss the case immediately.

    Did you know????....???? in OHIO, if the cop writes you a ticket with multiple traffic offenses, only the 1st offense listed will be heard. All the others are dismissed.

    That's why, if an OHIO cop stops you and sez: "I'm not sure, but I don't think you were wearing a seatbelt", that's "code" for those who know, that if you agree that you didn't have a seatbelt on that he'll write that offense first on the ticket, which is a non-moving violation and a lower fine, and any subsequent offense will be dismissed.

    OHIO is the ONLY state I know of that does this.
    1. I am planning to call the prosecutor and ask for a deferred adjudication (will pay fine if no points). Is it kosher to call the prosecutor directly?

    I checked with someone locally and this was the recommendation.

    2. If the prosecutor does not agree to 1., I am thinking about filing a motion to dismiss the case at the municipal court since a non-guilty plea at the mayors court automatically transfers the case to municipal court. Is there a prescribed form for filing this motion to dismiss or can I write a letter to the court? I will look up the available downloadable forms at the court website.

    The subject traffic signal has not been installed in accordance with the prescribed Ohio and federal standards of MUTCD, Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Will this rationale be considered by the court?
    Last edited by bakkam; 12-07-2011 at 08:05 AM.

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    Yes, contact the prosecutor directly. Just call him. Unless you were a jerk to the cop, the prosecutor will most likely talk to the Mayor and get you a defered adjudication.

    I think it's in Chillicothe where you just talk to the Mayor's secretary.

    If it goes to court you can verbally motion for dismissal based on the fact the cop wrote down the wrong violation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swlswl View Post
    Yes, contact the prosecutor directly. Just call him. Unless you were a jerk to the cop, the prosecutor will most likely talk to the Mayor and get you a defered adjudication.

    I think it's in Chillicothe where you just talk to the Mayor's secretary.

    If it goes to court you can verbally motion for dismissal based on the fact the cop wrote down the wrong violation.
    Being rude to the police officers does not make sense. I understand that and welcome the fact that it is someone's job to enforce laws. I now have the prosecutor's contact information.

    If I am pronounced guilty despite the wrong ordinance and my argument based on MUTCD, I have to pay the fine and I get points. This is the worst case scenario right?

    Is the police officer supposed to appear at the court also?

    Since I have never been in a court, I am nervous. Does it make sense to write to the court in advance and explain my side with a request to dismiss the case??

    Much obliged for this valuable info.
    Last edited by bakkam; 12-07-2011 at 08:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bakkam View Post
    Being rude to the police officers does not make sense. I understand that and welcome the fact that it is someone's job to enforce laws. I now have the prosecutor's contact information.

    If I am pronounced guilty despite the wrong ordinance and my argument based on MUTCD, I have to pay the fine and I get points. This is the worst case scenario right?


    Is the police officer supposed to appear at the court also?

    Since I have never been in a court, I am nervous. Does it make sense to write to the court in advance and explain my side with a request to dismiss the case??



    Much obliged for this valuable info.

    Hold your horses, Hoss!

    No, dont communicate with the court.

    That isn't allowed.

    In fact, you don't have to do or say anything.

    Yes, if you plead not guilty (assuming you don't get the deferred adjudication), the state (aka, the persecutor); bears the burden of proving you did what you've been charged with doing!!!

    That can only be done if the cop testifies as to what he/she observed you doing.

    You don't have to testify or incriminate yourself.

    But, none of this will happen, because there is no reason that you won't get the deferred.

    If you get deferred, you won't get the points.

    All you'll have to do is pay a couple bucks and stay outta trouble for 60, 90, or some set number of days!

    So, relax Max.

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    Quote Originally Posted by army judge View Post
    Hold your horses, Hoss!

    No, dont communicate with the court.

    That isn't allowed.

    In fact, you don't have to do or say anything.

    Yes, if you plead not guilty (assuming you don't get the deferred adjudication), the state (aka, the persecutor); bears the burden of proving you did what you've been charged with doing!!!

    That can only be done if the cop testifies as to what he/she observed you doing.

    You don't have to testify or incriminate yourself.

    But, none of this will happen, because there is no reason that you won't get the deferred.

    If you get deferred, you won't get the points.

    All you'll have to do is pay a couple bucks and stay outta trouble for 60, 90, or some set number of days!

    So, relax Max.
    Thank you. The court date has been continued, now I have time.

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    I am thinking about requesting another continuance to a date in February. This means that I have to sign a form stating that I wave my rights to a speedy trial. I don't understand what this means. Should I sign wave this right? What are the pros and cons of waiving this right?

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    It means precisely what it says.

    The exact meaning is provided and disclosed on the face of the document you are pondering about signing.

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    Thanks army judge.


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