What to Expect with a Juvenile Traffic Charge | Dearie, Fischer & Martinson LLC | Lebanon, Ohio (2023)

Juvenile Traffic Offenses

The most common offenses we see for youthful drivers are:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way
  • Failure to Control
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Failure to Stop for an Emergency Vehicle
  • Failure to Maintain an Assured Clear Distance Ahead (aka “tailgating”)
  • Failure to properly use a turn signal
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Control Signal
  • Texting while Driving
  • Distracted Driving
What to Expect with a Juvenile Traffic Charge | Dearie, Fischer & Martinson LLC | Lebanon, Ohio (1)

What to do if you get a ticket or other traffic citation

Unlike adults, juveniles do not have the option to just “pay off” a ticket, accept points on their license and go on their merry way. It is mandatory for a juvenile to appear in Court when charged with a traffic offense. Additionally, a juvenile must be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian at all Court hearings.

Be sure to come to Court on the date specified on your ticket or citation.

You may also get a notice in the mail reminding you of your Court date. Do not ignore it! You will cause a lot more trouble for yourself if you do not show up for your Court date.

Juvenile traffic cases are heard in the juvenile Court in the county where the traffic stop occurred. Arrive at the Court on time, with at least one parent, dressed appropriately (see below). Bring your license or temporary learner’s permit and proof of insurance for your vehicle.

What to wear to Juvenile Court

Come with your hair clean and combed, teeth brushed, and wearing clean clothing. You don’t have to wear your Sunday best, but you certainly may. At least wear a clean, casual outfit, no shorts, no holes in your pants, shirt, or skirt, no flip flops, no tank tops, no t-shirts with slogans on them, no spaghetti straps or halter tops, and no hats. Courts are very formal. People who show up dressed too casually look and feel very out of place. If the Court decides you are not dressed appropriately, you risk not being admitted into the Court room. (Some Courts may have a blazer or some other cover-up that they ask you to put on, but I wouldn’t count on it.)

As a lawyer, I am also required to dress up for Court, coat and tie, which is not my natural preference, as those who know me can attest. One time as a young lawyer, I showed up in Court with my top button unbuttoned under my tie. The bailiff handed me a handwritten note, given him by the judge: “In my Courtroom, we button our top button. -Judge A.” I quickly buttoned my top button, and have been buttoned up to the top ever since.

Your First Time in Juvenile Court?

If this is your first experience in Juvenile Court, either as the parent or juvenile, be sure to read our recent article, “Is Your Child in Trouble with the Law? Read this first.” This article describes how the Courts treat juveniles and how the juvenile justice system differs from adult Courts.

What to expect in Juvenile Traffic Court

At the first Court appearance, the juvenile will be asked to “deny” or “admit” to the traffic charge. If you plan to fight your traffic charge, it is best to have an experienced juvenile lawyer to help you. Our attorneys understand the judicial process, and how each local Court works. We can explain the charges against you and what you could be facing if you are adjudicated a traffic offender. In our initial conversation, we can advise you on our opinion as to whether it would even be worth your time, money, and effort to fight it.

If you decide to fight the traffic charge, you should enter a plea of “deny” at the initial hearing. The Court will then set a date for a trial on the charges.

At the trial, you will be allowed to bring in any witnesses or other evidence that can support your case. The prosecutor may also call witnesses, including the police officer who wrote the initial citation. The Court will hear evidence from both sides before making a determination whether to adjudicate the child as a juvenile traffic offender.

If the child is adjudicated a juvenile traffic offender at trial, or from an admission to the charge, the judge will enter a “disposition,” for the minor child.

Rather than a “sentence” as you might expect in adult Court, the judge issues a “disposition order,” detailing the consequences of the juvenile’s actions.

What will qualify a minor as a juvenile traffic offender?

Any traffic offense that an adult could be cited for or charged with can be enforced on younger drivers as well. There are also additional restrictions on drivers who have obtained a license prior to turning 18 and for temporary learner’s permit holders. These include rules about driving at night, driving with passengers, and distracted driving. Violations of these rules can also land minors in court – and place them in jeopardy of being adjudicated a juvenile traffic offender.

Possible penalties for the Juvenile Traffic Offender

Suspension of license or temporary instruction permit, not allowing the juvenile to drive

Paying Court costs and fines

Paying restitution to any victim of the offense

Taking an additional driving course

Probation or community control

How Can a Lawyer Help in an Ohio Juvenile Traffic Case?

If your teen is cited for a Traffic Violation in the Cincinnati or Dayton area, here’s how we can help.

At our initial meeting, we will gather information from your teen driver. Questions we will likely ask your child include:

What happened to gain the attention of the citing officer?

What did you say? What did the officer tell you?

Were there any witnesses to the traffic stop, either passengers in your car or other outside observers?

Were there any exceptional circumstances surrounding your situation, such as an emergency of any kind?

Do you have any other evidence related to the traffic stop?

Once we talk to you and your teen, we can get a good idea of arguments we can make on the driver’s behalf to try to negotiate a dismissal or a reduced charge.

Our lawyers will then petition the Court to have all evidence turned over, including any video evidence and police reports. We can then arrange a pretrial conference with the prosecutor to negotiate a reduction or dismissal of charges prior to going to trial.

Once the evidence is received, we can sit down with the juvenile client and his/her parents to discuss our options and the possible outcomes going forward. Our attorney can then negotiate a deal with the prosecutor that is satisfactory to the client. If no such satisfactory offer is available, we can prepare to take the case to trial.

Ohio Lawyers for Juvenile Traffic Offenses
in Warren County, Butler County, Hamilton County,
Montgomery County and Greene County

If your teen driver is facing traffic charges, give our attorneys a call. Our lawyers’ skills and experience will help you and your teen navigate the legal process and help you understand the significance and extent of your traffic charges.

Our lawyers can evaluate your situation and the facts of your case. Our lawyers are familiar with the local Courts and can help you understand the strength of your case and the likelihood of a favorable outcome. We can help get your charges dismissed or reduced, and we can help your child retain driving privileges. During your first visit or phone call, we can do an initial assessment of your case, and give you a good idea of your personalized defense strategy, including how much our services will cost. Give us a call, any time day or night.

In Lebanon, Warren County and Butler County, Ohio call our office at 513-228-6922.

In Beavercreek, Montgomery County and Greene County, Ohio email us.


What is the penalty for a juvenile traffic violation in Ohio? ›

General: In most cases, the magistrate or judge has the authority to impose: a fine of up to $50; Court Costs of $77 (Moving Violations) or $43 (Non-Moving Violations); a suspension of your driver's license; a suspension of the registration to all motor vehicles registered in your name; an order placing you on ...

How does juvenile traffic court work in Ohio? ›

The court sets a hearing on the traffic matter, which the juvenile and a parent or guardian must attend. At the hearing, the juvenile must enter a plea to the traffic offense. Juveniles cannot plead “no contest” to a traffic charge as an adult could. Instead, a juvenile must either admit or deny the charge.

What to expect in traffic court Ohio? ›

Your first appearance in court is called an arraignment. At the arraignment, the judge will ask if you have received a copy of the ticket and understand the charge(s) against you. The judge also will also explain the potential penalties for each offense and then ask what plea you wish to enter.

How much is a speeding ticket for a minor in Ohio? ›

Ohio Rev. Code 4511.21 treats different speeding scenarios as follows: Minor Misdemeanor — Most speeding tickets are minor misdemeanors. The only penalty for a minor misdemeanor is a fine of up to $150.

Will most minor violations drop off your driving record? ›

Once you've been convicted of a traffic violation, minor infractions such as speeding tickets or running a stop sign most commonly stay on your record for approximately three years, though the precise amount of time may vary by state.

What is a juvenile trial like in Ohio? ›

It is similar to a trial in adult court however, there is no jury except in very rare circumstances. In the vast majority of cases, the judge or magistrate decides all issues of law and fact.

What are the four stages of the juvenile court process? ›

What are the steps or stages in the juvenile justice system? The juvenile justice system is a multistage process: (1) delinquent behavior, (2) referral, (3) intake/​diversion, (4) transfer/​waiver, (5) detention, (6) adjudication, (7) disposition, (8) juvenile corrections and (9) aftercare.

At what age does juvenile jurisdiction end in Ohio? ›

Ten (10) is the minimal age for secure detention of a juvenile unless it is a capital offense. Must be at least thirteen (13) years of age in order to be declared as a JSO. The age of 18 triggers adult court jurisdiction.

How long does it take to seal a juvenile record in Ohio? ›

(A) The juvenile court shall expunge all records sealed under section 2151.356 of the Revised Code five years after the court issues a sealing order or upon the twenty-third birthday of the person who is the subject of the sealing order, whichever date is earlier.

How do I get a traffic ticket dismissed in Ohio? ›

How to get a speeding ticket dismissed in Ohio
  1. Contest the officer's evidence.
  2. Provide just reason for speeding or violating another traffic law.
  3. Prove incorrect information on the ticket.
  4. Defend yourself in court if the officer doesn't show up.
  5. Prove you're enrolled in a driving course.

How long do traffic violations stay on your record in Ohio? ›

Each set of points stays on the penalized driver's Ohio BMV record for two years. The record is public information, like a criminal or arrest record. Insurance companies and employers will be able to access it if they want.

How long does it take for traffic violations to fall off your record in Ohio? ›

When do speeding tickets fall off your driving record?
StateHow long a speeding ticket stays on your driving record
New York1.5 years
North Carolina3 years
North Dakota3 years
Ohio2 years
47 more rows
Feb 14, 2022

How many points is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

While first-time minor misdemeanor traffic violations will carry a penalty of two points, some traffic offenses are classified in the first instance as higher grade misdemeanors. For instance, reckless operation of your vehicle would carry a penalty of four points on your record.

What is considered a minor traffic violation in Ohio? ›

Moving Violations

Additional minor traffic violations include: driving over the line, evading, making an illegal turn, and drag racing. Officers who see this behavior will hand out a ticket for the reckless behavior. You can also receive points on your license for these minor traffic violations.

What is the maximum fine for a minor misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

Fines for Misdemeanors in Ohio

If you are convicted of a minor misdemeanor, there will be no confinement in jail. You may, however, have to pay a fine of up to $150. If you are convicted of a 4th degree misdemeanor, you may have to spend up to 30 days in the local jail, and pay fines of up to $250.

What is the most common driving violation? ›

5 Common Traffic Violations & Tips to Avoid Them
  1. Speeding. Driving faster than the posted speed limit is a violation of the law. ...
  2. Driving Under the Influence. ...
  3. Reckless Driving. ...
  4. Distracted Driving. ...
  5. Running a Red Light.

What is the most common traffic violation committed by a driver? ›

According to Digital Journal, speeding is the most common driving violation. In fact, speeding accounts for 60 percent of all traffic violations. You may sometimes be in a hurry to get somewhere or simply be trying to keep up with traffic and find yourself going over the speed limit.

How many points are most minor moving violations? ›

Each moving violation gets assessed one or two points depending on the severity of the infraction. Minor infractions of the CA Vehicle Code (CVC) are one point, and major infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies are two points.

What is the most common juvenile offense? ›

Most Common Juvenile Crimes

Roughly half of all youth arrests are made on account of theft, simple assault, drug abuse, disorderly conduct, and curfew violations. OJJDP statistics show theft as the greatest cause of youth arrests.

What are some punishments given to juvenile offenders? ›

The most common penalties for minors convicted of a juvenile crime include informal probation, court ordered treatment or counseling, placement in foster care, enrollment in a juvenile offender school, or commitment to a state juvenile detention center.

Is probation the most common sentence in juvenile courts? ›

Probation is perhaps the most common penalty in the juvenile justice system. Judges have considerable discretion to set the terms of probation. These may be specific to the circumstances of the case.

What is the first step taken in a juvenile offender's case? ›

Unlike adult criminal cases, juveniles are not given the option of posting bail and may have to remain in custody pending their detention hearing on serious criminal charges. The first step in the juvenile court process is the filing of a petition by the District Attorney's Office or Juvenile Probation Department.

What can occur for first time juvenile offenders who admit guilt? ›

The potential punishments in juvenile courts can be vast, and are ultimately decided by the judge, if the juvenile is found guilty or admits to the charges. For the juvenile, these punishments can include incarceration, being placed on probation, ordered to complete community service work, counseling, and fines.

What happens in juvenile court? ›

Juvenile offenders have adjudication hearings instead of trials. Juvenile offenders do not have the same constitutional rights as adult offenders. Their hearing is usually done by the judges themselves and in case of adult offenders, the trial is being done by their peer judges.

What is Rule 12 in Ohio juvenile? ›

Rule 12(A) Presiding Judge

Both the request for permission and the ruling on the request must be in writing and made a part of the record of the proceedings. The filming, videotaping, recording, or taking of photographs of victims or witnesses who object shall not be permitted.

What is juvenile rule 4 in Ohio? ›

Rule 4 - Assistance of Counsel; Guardian Ad Litem (A) Assistance of counsel. Every party shall have the right to be represented by counsel and every child, parent, custodian, or other person in loco parentis the right to appointed counsel if indigent.

What is Ohio juvenile Rule 35? ›

Rule 35 - Proceedings After Judgment (A) Continuing jurisdiction; invoked by motion. The continuing jurisdiction of the court shall be invoked by motion filed in the original proceeding, notice of which shall be served in the manner provided for the service of process.

Do juvenile crimes stay on your record in Ohio? ›

All juvenile records are eligible to be sealed, EXCEPT aggravated murder, murder, and rape. If a youth was adjudicated delinquent on any of those three charges, then that record can never be sealed. If the youth is under 18 years old, then he or she must wait 6 months from the final conclusion of the case.

Can a juvenile record be used against you in Ohio? ›

The Court can see your sealed juvenile record. If the record sealed involved a charge that would have been considered a violent felony if the juvenile had been an adult, then a prosecutor or law enforcement will still have access to the record.

Does Ohio automatically seal juvenile records? ›

Juvenile justice records are not automatically sealed at 18 years of age. A person may apply to seal a juvenile record 6 months after the final discharge of the offense (i.e., termination of probation), even if the person is still a juvenile.

Can I just pay my ticket and not go to court Ohio? ›

If I pay my traffic ticket, do I still have to appear in Court? As long as no appearance is required, you may pay the ticket and the case will be closed.

How do I get a case dismissed in Ohio? ›

5 Ways to Get Criminal Charges Dismissed in Ohio
  1. Lack of Probable Cause. Police must have probable cause to believe that you committed a crime and make a lawful arrest. ...
  2. Lack of Evidence. ...
  3. Illegal Search. ...
  4. Discretion of the Prosecutor. ...
  5. Lack of Jurisdiction. ...
  6. Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Columbus.
Jul 15, 2021

What happens if you don't pay a traffic ticket in Ohio? ›

If you do not pay the ticket or appear in court at the designated time, the court will likely issue a warrant for your arrest and place a block on your driver license. The first court appearance is an arraignment. At the arraignment, there will be an explanation of your rights and the pleas you can enter.

Can traffic cases be expunged in Ohio? ›

CAN I GET TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS OR TRAFFIC TICKETS SEALED / EXPUNGED IN OHIO? Generally, traffic offenses are not eligible for expungement. Traffic violations, such as a speeding ticket, a stop sign ticket, or a marked lanes ticket are generally not expungeable in Ohio.

How many years do you get for traffic violations? ›

– Those without a traffic violation record can now renew their Driver's License with a validity of 10 years. Meanwhile, applicants with a traffic violation records will remain on the 5-year validity of Driver's License.

Will 2 points affect my insurance in Ohio? ›

Getting points on your driver's license as a result of a traffic violation typically leads to an increase in car insurance costs. We analyzed quotes from several insurers and found that having two points on your driver's license could lead to a 180% increase in auto insurance rates.

Are all traffic violations misdemeanors in Ohio? ›

Penalties for Speeding in Ohio

Most speeding tickets are minor misdemeanors with a maximum fine of $150. However, a third speeding conviction within one year is a fourth degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up $250 and up to 30 days of jail time.

Are traffic violations criminal in Ohio? ›

Traffic offenses in Ohio are criminal offenses. Like other criminal offenses, traffic violations follow criminal procedure. Traffic violations fall into one of four categories: Moving violations.

What are the 6 point violations in Ohio? ›

Six-point violations in Ohio include:

Street racing; Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (OVI); Leaving the scene of an accident; Driving under a suspended license.

Do minor misdemeanors show on a background check Ohio? ›

Some minor misdemeanor convictions will show up on a criminal background check, while others will not. For example, under Ohio's marijuana laws, a minor misdemeanor conviction for possession of a small amount of marijuana does not constitute a criminal record and does not need to be disclosed as a conviction.

Do you have to go to court for a minor misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

Generally, if you are charged with a minor misdemeanor criminal offense you do not have to appear in Court and can pay a bond to waive your appearance. Minor misdemeanor offenses are punishable by a maximum fine of $ 150.00 and/or court costs. These types of offenses are not punishable by jail.

Can you go to jail for a misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

Ohio misdemeanor offenses may not be as serious as a felony charge, but they still carry the possibility of jail time, steep fines and court costs, and the loss of your driver's license.

What is the most typical punishment for first time misdemeanor? ›

If a first-time misdemeanor offense results in a conviction, it could lead to consequences such as entry into a diversion program, fines, probation, jail time, and/or diminished job prospects. Note that misdemeanors are criminal offenses for which the maximum penalty is generally up to one year in county jail.

How long is a minor misdemeanor on your record Ohio? ›

Under Ohio law, most misdemeanor criminal records can be expunged. Misdemeanor convictions leave a permanent criminal record that is accessible to the public, including employers. Many people mistakenly believe that misdemeanor convictions automatically drop off of court records after a few years.

What is the most serious misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

A first-degree misdemeanor is the most serious a crime can be without being a felony. In the state of Ohio, first-degree misdemeanors are punishable by the following: Up to 180 days in jail. A maximum $1,000 fine.

What is a minor traffic violation in Ohio? ›

Moving Violations

Additional minor traffic violations include: driving over the line, evading, making an illegal turn, and drag racing. Officers who see this behavior will hand out a ticket for the reckless behavior. You can also receive points on your license for these minor traffic violations.

What happens if a minor gets caught driving without a license in Ohio? ›

You will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

What is the penalty for a minor misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

A fifth-degree offense or “minor” misdemeanor can include infractions, such as possessing a small amount of marijuana. There is little to no jail time for these offenses, and fines are capped at $150. Fourth Degree. A fourth-degree offense may result in up to 30 days in jail and fines up to $250.

What is the fine for a minor misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

A minor misdemeanor is the least serious type of criminal offense, carrying a penalty of no jail time and a fine of up to $150. Typically, being convicted of a crime will give you a criminal record. Minor misdemeanors are different, in that only some convictions will show up during a criminal background check.

How many points do you need to suspend a minor license in Ohio? ›

In Ohio, accumulating 12 points or more on your driving record in a two-year period can result in having your license suspended.

What is an example for a minor violation? ›

Failure to stop or yield to pedestrian.

What age can you drive without a parent in Ohio? ›

If under age 16, drivers must have a parent, guardian or licensed driving instructor in the passenger seat when driving.

What is a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

For a misdemeanor of the first degree, violators are not to serve more than six months in jail or pay more than $1,000 in fines. Examples of first-degree misdemeanors in Ohio include driving under the influence (DUI), driving under suspension (DUS), domestic violence, assault, or theft of property valued under $500.

Do first-time misdemeanor offenders go to jail Ohio? ›

Generally, a first-time misdemeanor charge will not result in a jail sentence. However, in the case of more serious misdemeanors, jail time may be on the table. Additionally, some first-degree misdemeanors carry mandatory minimum sentences.

Do minor misdemeanors create a criminal record in Ohio? ›

In Ohio, convictions for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree misdemeanors and any felony conviction will give you a criminal record. CONVICTIONS FOR MINOR MISDEMEANORS (IE. PUBLIC INTOX, OPEN CONTAINER, POT POSSESSION OF UNDER 100 GRAMS) DO NOT-REPEAT DO NOT GIVE YOU A "CRIMINAL RECORD".

How long do you go to jail for a misdemeanor in Ohio? ›

(1) For a misdemeanor of the first degree, not more than one hundred eighty days; (2) For a misdemeanor of the second degree, not more than ninety days; (3) For a misdemeanor of the third degree, not more than sixty days; (4) For a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, not more than thirty days.

What is the lowest misdemeanor? ›

The least serious misdemeanors are classified as Class C or Level Three. These crimes can result in fines and jail time of up to a year, and may also offer the chance of probation. The federal criminal code and the criminal laws of every state divide crimes into two levels, felonies and misdemeanors.


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