Why did you stop me?

The most common reasons are:

Moving violations, such as speeding, weaving, lane straddling, running a red light or stop sign, reckless operation, failure to yield the right-of-way, etc.

Registration or Equipment Violations are other reasons a vehicle may be stopped. It is not uncommon for a driver to be in violation of a law and not know it. It's your responsibility to maintain a safe vehicle and know the laws governing driving privileges.

Criminal Investigations often involve searching for a "getaway" car involved in a crash, robbery, vandalism, assault, etc. Your vehicle may match the description of a suspect's vehicle.

Safety concerns are another reason an officer may stop your vehicle. For instance, your trunk may be open, something may be hanging from under your vehicle, or you may have left items on your roof.

Steps to follow if you are stopped ...

Stop your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as possible. Turn your flashers on and motion to the officer that you are going to comply.

Stay in your vehicle and turn on the interior light. Good lighting assists in good communications. Relax and remain in your vehicle. If you leave the vehicle, you subject yourself and the officer to the dangers of traffic.

Keep your hands in view, preferably on the steering wheel. Wait for the officer to request your license, registration and proof of insurance.

Provide the proper documentation - A Valid Driver's License, Proof of Vehicle Registration, & Proof of Insurance for the Vehicle

If you are stopped and don't have all these items with you, a citation may be issued.

Court Appearances

ADULTS receiving a citation will have a court date and time set by the officer for your initial arraignment hearing in Jackson County Municipal Court. A cash bond, if applicable, will also be noted on the ticket. The citation will indicate whether you MUST APPEAR before the judge or can simply pay the bond (prior to your hearing) as a fine.

Arraignment hearings are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8:30 am at Jackson County Municipal Court, 350 Portsmouth Street, Jackson, OH 45640. Your hearing date and time will be marked on your citation.

You will be asked to enter a plea of Guilty, Not Guilty or No Contest. If your plea is "not guilty", the judge will set a trial date during your arraignment hearing. Contact your attorney prior to the arraignment hearing and seek legal advice.

Bring your copy of the citation to court. Be on time. If you don't show up, a bench warrant is normally issued for your arrest. If you fail to appear, the judge may also order that you be jailed until another arraignment hearing can be held. If you have questions about the court's procedure, contact your attorney or Jackson County Municipal Court at (740) 286-2718.

Cash bonds using exact change are accepted at Jackson County Municipal Court, Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, excluding holidays. The court is located in the Corrections complex at 350 Portsmouth Street, next to the Sheriff's Office and Jail. The Jackson Police Department, Wellston Police Department and the Jackson County Sheriff's Office can accept exact change cash bonds for Municipal Court 24 hours a day.

If you need to show proof of insurance, bring all paperwork when you pay the ticket. Acceptable proof of insurance includes the printed card or letter from your insurance company showing the vehicle in question had state-required minimum insurance coverage at the date and time the citation was issued. Getting insurance after the citation was written is not acceptable.

If all paperwork is correct, the person taking your bond will advise the court you had proper insurance coverage when stopped. If you did not have insurance coverage, we cannot take your bond money. You will need to appear in court and explain to the judge.

Cash bonds MUST be paid before the court date on your citation. Keep your receipt.

Additional information can be obtained from your attorney or Jackson County Municipal Court. The court can be contacted during business hours at (740) 286-2718.

Juvenile Court Cases

If you are a JUVENILE, your case will be handled through Jackson County Common Pleas Court, Probate and Juvenile Division. There are no cash bonds on Juvenile cases - you MUST APPEAR in court on all charges. Your parents will receive a letter from Juvenile Court establishing a court date and time.

At least one parent or guardian must accompany you to court. Your parents should contact an attorney, if desired, prior to the hearing date. For additional information on Juvenile cases, contact Juvenile Court at (740) 286-6405.

Juvenile Court is located in the basement of the Jackson County Courthouse, 226 E Main Street, Jackson, OH 45640.

Juveniles who reside in another Ohio county but receive a citation in Jackson County can have their case heard in their county of residence. Jackson County Juvenile Court will forward all paperwork to the appropriate local court, and, when subpoenad, the Jackson Police Department will send officers and bring any case files, evidence, witnesses, etc. to the designated county Juvenile Court when the hearing is conducted.


As the driver, you are responsible for the conduct of all occupants of your vehicle. This covers such things as passengers wearing their seat belts, littering, screaming or yelling at other motorists, or creating a noise disturbance that may affect your ability to control your vehicle.

If you don't agree with the citation or the officer's demeanor, DO NOT argue at the scene.

All citizens have the right to question their citation before a judge.

Every police department has an internal affairs system to investigate citizen complaints if the officer acted improperly. Contact the law enforcement agency by telephone after the citation is issued and ask to speak to a supervisor.

The Jackson Police phone number is (740) 286-4131.

An "in your face" roadside confrontation with a police officer may lead to your arrest.