Legal Question in Traffic Law in Ohio

Fictitious Plates

Man do I wish I found this site earlier. I purchased a vehicle in June and now in November I have yet to receive the title to the vehicle. I was pulled over the day after and cited for expired tags as the previous owner had not renewed them since april. (charges dropped by prosecutor because I did not own the vehicle but secured insurance for it) I parked the vehicle since that until the other evening I drove it to take my girlfriend to an appointment (being dark I did not want her walking in the the area she was going) I was pulled over and cited again for exp tags and now for fictitious plates because there was a new sticker affixed to the tag. I worked at an auto salvage distributor and the only thing I can think is that one of my former coworkers thought it was helping me out to put the sticker on there to make it look legal. I am scheduled for court tomorrow and will be requesting a continuance. Beyond that, should I secure counsel? What are the penalties I face and does my lack of anything above minor traffic offenses in the past help my case?

Asked on 11/01/07, 11:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Cline Office of the Ohio Public Defender

Re: Fictitious Plates

The charges you face are expired license plates and fictitous plates. Those are both misdemeanor offenses. The failure to display is a minor misdemeanor under the Columbus City Code (zip code 43228). Max fine for MM is $150.00, court costs, and community service. The fictitous plates charge is an M-4, which could carry 30 days in jail, $250.00 fine, and court costs.

Few judges would put you in jail for the fictitous plate charge, but it is important that you demostrate to the Court that you have taken steps to solve the problem. If you own the car, why don't you have the title? If the prior owner has been paid but still refuses to transfer title, what have you done to resolve that issue? These are the types of questions you must be ready to answer.

If the charge carries the possibiility of jail, I always recommend that you have an attorney represent you.

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Answered on 11/02/07, 9:57 am

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