Traffic Court Guide
Posting Of Bonds
Types Of Bonds
The Ashtabula Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Ashtabula Sheriff Department all issue traffic citations through this court. All minor misdemeanors are waiverable. Traffic Court is every Monday and Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. Magistrates Jon Field and David Sheldon hear traffic court. All waivers can be paid during our office hours and after hours and on the weekend at the dispatch window at the Ashtabula Police Department.
The traffic number: 440- 992-7112
We also have a deputy clerk in charge of back fines. If you fail to make a payment as scheduled, we will issue a bench warrant, forfeit your license and we will also send you to a collection agency where an additional 25% is charged.
The fine number is 440-992-7148
TRAFFIC COURT GUIDE
Judge, Albert S. Camplese
If you are here to appear in traffic court, first report to the clerk’s window and check in. Cases will be called in the order that the person has checked in. The judge or magistrate first hears all minor misdemeanor cases then the more serious ones.
Please show proof of insurance if you did not show it to the officer. Failure to show proof of insurance will result in a 90-day license suspension from the BMV.
The Judge or magistrate will advise you of your rights and pleas that are available to you. Your pleas are as follows:
Not Guilty – if you plead not guilty and request a pre-trial, your case will be continued to a later date. By requesting a pre-trial, your time limits are waived. You will then sign a waiver of time in writing. On your pre-trial date you will be able to discuss your case with the Prosecutor. If you are not satisfied on that day a trial date would then be set. The Judge will set bond at this time and a pre-trial notice will be given to you. If you do not want to waive your time limits your case will then be set for trial. Some minor traffic cases are set immediately for trial.
No Contest – if you plead no contest, you are admitting that the facts of the case are true but that admission cannot be used against you in any civil lawsuit (this should be used in an accident case). If you waive your evidentiary hearing this will be handled the same manner as the guilty plea, and you will be sentenced.
Guilty- if you plead guilty, you waive certain rights and the court will hear your case immediately. You will be allowed to explain any circumstances that you feel the court should take into consideration before sentencing.
If you are charged with an offense that has a jail sentence and you cannot afford an attorney you may ask the judge to appoint legal aid. At that time an indigency form will be given to you to fill out.
You may pay your fine by cash or credit card. If a payment agreement is signed be sure you follow the agreement or the Bureau of Motor Vehicles will cancel your license until payment is made in full. A warrant will also be issued for your arrest.
If you have questions please ask the Deputy Clerks at the window.
Clerk of Court
POSTING OF BONDS:
Posting bond is to assure the defendants appearance in court for a misdemeanor or felony case. Bond can be personal recognizance, 10%, cash or surety. The Judge can impose conditions of bond.
Bonds may be posted 24 hours a day 8:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Clerks office and after hours and during the weekend at the dispatch window at the Ashtabula Police Department.
TYPES OF BONDS
Personal Recognizance: A personal recognizance bond requires only the defendants signature guaranteeing the defendant’s appearance. Failure to appear after signing a personal bond is punishable by six months in jail and/or a fine of $1,000, regardless of the out come of the original charge. Plus the defendant may be charged the amount of the bond.
10% : The defendant will post 10% of the bond amount. All receipts are in the defendant’s name. When the bond is returned, it will be returned less 10%. The bond may also be ordered applied to the defendant’s fines.
Cash/surety: The defendant has the choice of depositing the full amount of the bond or using a professional bonding company. The Court cannot recommend a bondsman.
Cash: The full amount of the bond has to be posted. The full amount is then returned to the defendant.
IF THE DEFENDANT FAILS TO APPEAR FOR HIS/HER HEARING THE BOND MAYBE ORDERED FORFEITED AND A BENCH WARRANT WILL BE ISSUED. A NEW BOND WILL BE SET.
ALL BONDS MUST BE PAID IN CASH OR CERTIFIED CHECK. NO PERSONAL CHECKS OR CREDIT CARDS.
Lookup Unclaimed Bonds
The criminal cases heard in the Ashtabula Municipal Court are misdemeanor charges that carry a maximum penalty of twelve (12) months in jail and a maximum of $1,000. Felony cases are filed here for Preliminary Hearings (probable cause hearings) only. If probable cause is found final disposition will be heard and determined by the Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court.
The criminal division schedules all hearings. If a case is set for Pre-trial or Trial a continuance is to be submitted in writing 3 days prior to the hearing date. The Judge is the only person that can grant a continuance. We do except fax filings.
The criminal number: 440-992-7147