Posts Tagged ‘Miami valley traffic lawyer’

Snow: What is the Law in Ohio? (by DaytonDUI)

December 9th, 2013

English: Trees covered by snow in Boreal, Cali...

With the return of winter weather, we have received some questions about what constitutes a snow emergency and under what authority a snow emergency can be deemed to exist.  We have also counseled clients who wanted to know what law would circumscribe their behavior during a snow event.  Here is what we learned:

A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare a snow emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his/her jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion 97-015, issued April 1, 1997, concluded that this authority includes state roads, county and township roads and municipal streets.

Ohio law provides for three levels of snow emergency.

Snow Emergency Classifications

LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.

LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.

LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

Ohio Revised Code 2917.13 sets forth the crime of “Misconduct at an Emergency.”  Any person who knowingly hampers or fails to obey a lawful order of the sheriff declaring a snow emergency and temporarily closing highways, roads and/or streets within his/her jurisdiction may be subject to criminal prosecution under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.13, “Misconduct at an emergency” or other applicable law or ordinance. A violation under that section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $250. If the misconduct creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.  Below is the full text of the statute.

ORC 2917.13. Misconduct at emergency.

(A) No person shall knowingly do any of the following:

  • 1. Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other authorized person, engaged in the person’s duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot or emergency of any kind;
  • 2. Hamper the lawful activities of any emergency facility person who is engaged in the person’s duties in an emergency facility;
  • 3. Fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer’s duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster or emergency of any kind.

(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit access or deny information to any news media representative in the lawful exercise of the news media representative’s duties.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of misconduct at an emergency. Except as otherwise provided in this division, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If a violation of this section creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) As used in this section:

  • 1. “Emergency medical services person” is the singular of “emergency medical services personnel” as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.
  • 2. “Emergency facility person” is the singular of “emergency facility personnel” as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
  • 3. “Emergency facility” has the same meaning as in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 03-22-2004

To view the state’s weather-related road closures and restrictions, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation’s traffic Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI”

Speeding in Ohio – What is the Law?

November 8th, 2012
A typical speed limit sign in the United State...

SPEEDING: What is the law?

  • The speed law is set forth at Ohio Revised Code 4511.21.  It states:(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.

The law goes on to set forth the “speed limits” or presumed speed limits as follows:

  • (2) Twenty-five miles per hour in all other portions of a municipal corporation, except on state routes outside business districts, through highways outside business districts, and alleys;(3) Thirty-five miles per hour on all state routes or through highways within municipal corporations outside business districts, except as provided in divisions (B)(4) and (6) of this section;(4) Fifty miles per hour on controlled-access highways and expressways within municipal corporations;(5) Fifty-five miles per hour on highways outside of municipal corporations, other than freeways as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;(6) Fifty miles per hour on state routes within municipal corporations outside urban districts unless a lower prima-facie speed is established as further provided in this section;

    (7) Fifteen miles per hour on all alleys within the municipal corporation;

    (8) Fifty-five miles per hour at all times on freeways with paved shoulders inside municipal corporations, other than freeways as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;

    (9) Fifty-five miles per hour at all times on freeways outside municipal corporations, other than freeways as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;

    (10) Fifty-five miles per hour at all times on all portions of freeways that are part of the interstate system and on all portions of freeways that are not part of the interstate system, but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system for operators of any motor vehicle weighing in excess of eight thousand pounds empty weight and any noncommercial bus;

    (11) Fifty-five miles per hour for operators of any motor vehicle weighing eight thousand pounds or less empty weight and any commercial bus at all times on all portions of freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995, and freeways that are not part of the interstate system, but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995, unless a higher speed limit is established under division (L) of this section;

    (12) Sixty-five miles per hour for operators of any motor vehicle weighing eight thousand pounds or less empty weight and any commercial bus at all times on all portions of the following:

    • (a) Freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995, and freeways that are not part of the interstate system, but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system and that had such a speed limit established prior to October 1, 1995;(b) Freeways that are part of the interstate system and freeways that are not part of the interstate system but are built to the standards and specifications that are applicable to freeways that are part of the interstate system, and that had such a speed limit established under division (L) of this section(c) Rural, divided, multi-lane highways that are designated as part of the national highway system under the “National Highway System Designation Act of 1995,” 109 Stat. 568, 23 U.S.C.A. 103, and that had such a speed limit established under division (M) of this section.
  • (C) It is prima-facie unlawful for any person to exceed any of the speed limitations in divisions (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), and (7) of this section, or any declared pursuant to this section by the director or local authorities and it is unlawful for any person to exceed any of the speed limitations in division (D) of this section. No person shall be convicted of more than one violation of this section for the same conduct, although violations of more than one provision of this section may be charged in the alternative in a single affidavit.(D) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar upon a street or highway as follows:
    • (1) At a speed exceeding fifty-five miles per hour, except upon a freeway as provided in division (B)(12) of this section;(2) At a speed exceeding sixty-five miles per hour upon a freeway as provided in division (B)(12) of this section except as otherwise provided in division (D)(3) of this section;(3) If a motor vehicle weighing in excess of eight thousand pounds empty weight or a noncommercial bus as prescribed in division (B)(10) of this section, at a speed exceeding fifty-five miles per hour upon a freeway as provided in that division;(4) At a speed exceeding the posted speed limit upon a freeway for which the director has determined and declared a speed limit of not more than sixty-five miles per hour pursuant to division (L)(2) or (M) of this section;(5) At a speed exceeding sixty-five miles per hour upon a freeway for which such a speed limit has been established through the operation of division (L)(3) of this section;

      (6) At a speed exceeding the posted speed limit upon a freeway for which the director has determined and declared a speed limit pursuant to division (I)(2) of this section.

  • (E) In every charge of violation of this section the affidavit and warrant shall specify the time, place, and speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven, and in charges made in reliance upon division (C) of this section also the speed which division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of, or a limit declared pursuant to, this section declares is prima-facie lawful at the time and place of such alleged violation, except that in affidavits where a person is alleged to have driven at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring the vehicle to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead the affidavit and warrant need not specify the speed at which the defendant is alleged to have driven.(F) When a speed in excess of both a prima-facie limitation and a limitation in division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section is alleged, the defendant shall be charged in a single affidavit, alleging a single act, with a violation indicated of both division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of this section, or of a limit declared pursuant to this section by the director or local authorities, and of the limitation in division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section. If the court finds a violation of division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of, or a limit declared pursuant to, this section has occurred, it shall enter a judgment of conviction under such division and dismiss the charge under division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section. If it finds no violation of division (B)(1)(a), (2), (3), (4), (6), or (7) of, or a limit declared pursuant to, this section, it shall then consider whether the evidence supports a conviction under division (D)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), or (6) of this section.(G) Points shall be assessed for violation of a limitation under division (D) of this section in accordance with section 4510.036 of the Revised Code.

Ohio Speeding Law Update: Laser Guns & Admissibility

June 7th, 2011
A typical speed limit sign in the United State...

Great Speeding Decision from the 12th Appellate District

In State v. Starks, 2011-Ohio-2344 the Defendant was stopped for a speeding violation  in a construction zone and went to trial pro se. He objected to any testimony regarding a laser gun.  The trial court took judicial notice of the reliability of the laser gun and the defendant was convicted.  He appealed to the 12th District Court of Appeals and his conviction was reversed.  The Court ruled,

Although the underlying principles of laser technology may be the same from one device to another, generally judicial notice as to the reliability of a speed-measuring device is device specific. State v. Kincaid, 124 Ohio Misc.2d 92, 2003-Ohio-4632, ¶15.  Therefore, expert testimony is necessary, “whether it be a new device or an upgrade of an existing device, before the court may take judicial notice of that particular device in future
proceedings.” Id. at ¶20.

If you need an attorney to challenge your speeding case anywhere in the Miami Valley, or throughout Ohio,  contact Charles M. Rowland II at (937)318-1384 or 1-888-ROWLANDOhio traffic attorney Charles M. Rowland  is a former city prosecutor and has defended speeding cases for over fifteen year.  You can find the decision discussed above HERE.

Ohio’s 6th Circuit Federal Appeals Court Embraces Speed Cameras

March 30th, 2010
A red-light camera in use in Beaverton, Oregon...

Image via Wikipedia

From www.TheNewspaper.com:  A divided three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit yesterday upheld the imposition of automated tickets on individuals who may or may not have committed any crime. The judges ruled on a case that began when Kelly Mendenhall received a ticket in the mail for allegedly speeding in Akron, Ohio in December 2005. Although the ticket against her was dismissed, her husband, Warner, fought the legitimacy of the Akron ordinance all the way to the state supreme court which, unlike the high courts in Minnesota and Missouri, approved of speed camera use (view decision).

The Sixth Circuit panel briefly decided that the automated enforcement fine was civil in nature and therefore that full due process protections did not apply. The judges decided to keep the decision unpublished because it agreed with the lower court opinion on the subject and was not interested in rehashing the same argument.

“We find that the district court properly applied the law and ably articulated the reasons supporting the conclusion that this enforcement scheme is civil in nature,” Judge Ralph B. Guy, Jr wrote. “We… reject plaintiff’s assertion that it violates due process to impose civil penalties for speeding violations irrespective of whether the owner was, in fact, driving the vehicle when the violation was recorded.”

Judge Eric L. Clay disagreed, writing that he would have invalidated the speed camera ordinance in Akron because it does not present the opportunity for a fair hearing to the innocent.

“Akron’s civil speed enforcement scheme violates due process by failing to provide vehicle owners with an opportunity to avoid liability by proving that they did not commit the infraction,” Clay wrote. “While the owner may request an administrative hearing at which she can present witnesses, documents, or other evidence relating to the issue of liability, the ordinance does not indicate that proof that the owner was not in fact driving the vehicle at the time of the violation can provide a basis for avoiding liability at the administrative hearing.”

Clay pointed out that the city could easily have included a provision to allow an owner to offer evidence that would show someone else had been driving. The city, however, only cares that someone pays the ticket, not whether the recipient is guilty or not.

“Akron does not provide an owner with a mechanism to avoid an erroneous deprivation of her property interest by proving that she was not driving at the time the violation occurred,” Clay wrote. “Rather, Akron holds a driver liable regardless of whether she was the person who committed the act in question.”

A copy of the decision is available in an 80k PDF file at the source link below. Source

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Due Process for Traffic Offenders (from the National Motorists Association)

December 15th, 2009

due-process-traffic-tickets

By James Baxter, NMA President

There’s a random pattern around the country where state and local courts are systematically making it harder and more expensive for ticket recipients to fight traffic tickets.

This is an admission by the judiciary and state and local governments that there is growing public resistance to being ripped off via bad laws, unethical enforcement, and revenue hungry courts.

Defendants are growing in numbers, they are coming to court better prepared to defend themselves, the police are being found lacking in knowledge and compliance with mandated procedures, ignorant arbitrary judges are being exposed, and pro-se defendants are mucking up the good “ole” boy plea bargaining system and demanding trials.

This could lead to the collapse of the whole money grubbing system that has evolved around the traffic ticket industry.

To protect itself, the “system” is fighting back. Here are a few of its strategies being implemented around the country:

1) The State of Massachusetts passed a law requiring traffic ticket defendants to pay $25 to contest a ticket; non-refundable.
To appeal a case to a more legitimate court requires payment of $50, again; non-refundable. Win, lose, or draw the court gets $75 — regardless of the merit of the ticket. What an incredible incentive for the police to write bogus tickets by the thousands! Why not, every ticket will generate at least $25 to $75, regardless of the outcome.

2) Some of the ticket camera operations run their own court systems.
There is no thought given to the obvious conflict of interest, plus requiring pre-payment of the fine and additional fees to get a one sided hearing. Even when solid evidence is provided that shows the defendant is innocent, the evidence is ignored and the victim’s money is kept.

3) If defendants learn of a law that requires certain procedures be implemented before enforcement activities can commence, the law is changed or eliminated.
For example, in California, the speed trap law required traffic engineering studies be done every five years, and the speed limit was to be set according to the results of the study. Many communities sloughed off on the engineering studies and as a result speeding tickets had to be dismissed. The State Legislature addressed this by extending the time period between studies from once every five years to once every ten years.

4) In Marion County, Indiana the local court is telling defendants that if they challenge their ticket in court they will be assessed additional fines up to $2500!
Let’s see, I can pay my $150 bogus ticket or I can challenge it in court and be on the hook for ten times, or more, than the cost of the original ticket. What’s the wisest thing to do? That would be a rhetorical question.

5) Under the guise of classifying traffic tickets as civil violations, state and local units of government strip defendants of the right to discovery, jury trials, public defenders and the requirement that guilt be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The testimony of police officers is openly given more credibility than that of defendants, supposedly because they have no direct or financial interest in the outcome—other than bonuses, retirement benefits, preferential work schedules, promotions, and income-pumping overtime; all rewards for being a “producer.”

The catch-22 is that to challenge this cascade of lost due process rights takes us right back to the same court system that is bent on protecting its prerogatives and its cash flow, along with reducing its work load. Here’s an idea; lets eliminate all the arbitrary, irrational, pre-emptive, and just plain stupid traffic laws seemingly intended to make every driver in America a criminal. That will kill the cash flow, but it will also cut back on the courts’ work load. The trade-off is less money, but more time on the golf course. That can’t be too bad a deal.

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