Traffic Division
(419) 734-4143

The Traffic Division of the Ottawa County Municipal Court handles traffic violations that have taken place within the geographic jurisdiction of this court, which is all of Ottawa County. Please review all information on both the front and back of the citation that was issued to you. The waiver schedule can be found on the "Waiver Schedule" page of this web site.

Payment Information

The court accepts payment by cash, personal check or money order. Checks or money orders should be made payable to the Ottawa County Municipal Court. Please sign the back of your citation and mail along with your payment.

Court costs are a minimum $68.00 for violations. If you go to trial, there may be additional costs incurred for subpoenas, witness fees, etc. These fees are in addition to the minimum court costs.

"Not Guilty" Explanation

If you wish to plead not guilty you must either:

  1. Appear in court on the date and time specified on the citation and enter a verbal not guilty plea, or
  2. Enter your not guilty plea in writing by the date and time on the citation. This is normally done by an attorney, but you may do it yourself and must have the case number, your complete name and address and a phone number where you may be reached. Based on the not guilty plea the court will set a trial date and will notify you by mail of your court date.
Continuances

Generally, the clerk's office may grant one extension of your original arraignment date for up to seven days.

What to Bring to Court
  • Proof of insurance for the vehicle and driver for the date shown on the ticket
  • Valid operator's license or a valid renewed license
  • Proof of vehicle ownership if car was impounded
  • Adequate funds to pay for possible fines and costs
Trial Procedures

A trial is a proceeding in which the prosecutor and/or the State of Ohio will try to convince the court that you have committed the traffic violation with which you have been charged. The prosecutor is required to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The date and time of the trial will be assigned in accordance with mandatory time requirements as provided by law. If you wish to have your case set for trial beyond these prescribed limits, you must sign and file a "time waiver".

You should arrive at court 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appearance time. Check in at the clerk's office. You will then be asked to have a seat in the courtroom until your case is called.

Please be prepared to spend several hours at court on the day that you appear. While the court makes every effort to move its docket swiftly, cases are scheduled closely together and there are often delays. Please do not bring children to court with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens at an arraignment hearing?

After a defendant has been arrested or summoned on a traffic or criminal complaint, an arraignment hearing is set. At arraignment, the defendant is advised of his or her rights. In a misdemeanor case the defendant enters a plea to the alleged offense. The pleas are:

  • Guilty: This is a complete admission of guilt.
  • No Contest: This is not an admission of guilt, but is an admission of the truth of the facts alleged in the complaint. The plea of no contest shall not be used against you in any later civil or criminal proceeding.
  • Not Guilty: This is a denial of the charge and puts in issue all of the essential elements of the offense.
  • Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Pleas of guilty or no contest are usually disposed of the same day at arraignment with the Judge or Magistrate sentencing the defendant.

In a felony case, a plea does not need to be entered at arraignment and the case is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before the court to determine if enough evidence exists in the case to bind the case over for consideration by the grand jury in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.

How much is my citation?

See the waiver schedule. If you still have questions, call the Traffic Division at (419) 734-4143.

Do I have to appear in court?

If the court appearance box is checked on your ticket indicating a non-waiverable offense or if this is your third moving violation in the past twelve (12) months, then you must appear in court. If you have a waiverable offense, you can admit guilt and pay fines and court costs by mail or in person without having to appear before the judge or magistrate.

Do I need an attorney?

If jail is a possible sentence, it may be wise to consult with an attorney, but you are not required to have attorney representation. If you are unable to afford an attorney the Court will hold a hearing to determine if you qualify for a court appointed attorney, at which point one will be appointed for you. If you ask for a court appointed attorney, you will be required to pay a $25.00 fee that day.

I need a different court date.

The Traffic Division may grant one extension of your original arraignment date for up to seven days. Contact the court at (419) 734-4143 prior to the appearance date on your ticket to request a continuance. Only one (1) continuance will be granted.

I did not show my insurance card to the officer. If I bring it in now, can I just pay my fine?

Yes If you have a waiverable citation, you can mail or bring in a copy of your insurance card. The proof of your insurance must show your name, the vehicle you were driving at the time the citation was issued and that the policy was in effect at the time the citation was issued. This must be presented to the Clerk at the time you waiver your citation.

I did not have insurance on the day I received my citation. Will my license be suspended? For how long?

Yes Your license will be suspended for 90 days by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles on a first offense.

Can I get driving privileges while my license is suspended?

Contact the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles at (614) 752-7600.

Will my fine be different if I appear in court? How do I know how much money to bring?

The judge or magistrate determines the fine amount depending on the nature of the offense and any prior record. The judge or magistrate reviews the records, listens to your comments, listens to the arresting agency, and bases his decision on all the information given.

If you plead not guilty, go to trial, and are found guilty, there may be additional costs incurred for subpoenas, witness fees, etc. These fees are in addition to the minimum $68.00 costs.

I forgot to show up to court when scheduled. What will happen?

Failure to appear in court will result in a warrant for your arrest and/or forfeiture of your diver's license to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. You will be required to post a bond if you are subsequently arrested.

The court will notify the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles of your failure to appear. The BMV will withhold the issuance or renewal of your driver's license and registration and suspend your driving privileges.

Forms

Below you will find various forms useful for Traffic cases. To download a form, right-click the appropriate link below and click "Save Target As..." (exact wording may vary).

Note: These files are in Adobe PDF format and requires the FREE Adobe Reader for viewing.

Form Name Pages Size Link
Demand for Trial by Jury 1 16KB dem_jury
Request for ALS Appeal Hearing and Occupational Privileges 1 15KB als_occu
Entry of Appearance and Waivers Document 1 12KB ent_waiv
Hours of Operation
Mon, Tue, Thu:
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Wed & Fri:
7:00 am - 4:30 pm

Night Court
2nd Thursday of each
month at 5:30 pm
(call court to schedule)

Phone Numbers
Clerk's Office:
419.734.4143
Assignment Office:
419.732.2871
Probation Department:
419.734.6299
Fax:
419.732.2862
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