Posts Tagged ‘Misdemeanor’

Ohio DUI Laws: An Overview

August 12th, 2013

ohio dui lawsThis post collects together in one place many of the Ohio DUI Laws that arise in drunk driving cases.  

Some Ohio DUI laws are listed because law enforcement will charge these offenses to establish probable cause for pulling over your vehicle.  If you need to find out more about a specific law, or how the statute has been interpreted or applied, call Charles M. Rowland II at (937) 318-1384 or read about the specific Ohio DUI law at the Ohio DUI Law Blog.

Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI); O.R.C. 4511.19

This is Ohio’s drunk driving statute (Ohio’s DUI law).  It is a complex and constantly changing statute that encompasses impaired driving by having a prohibited concentration of alcohol or drugs as well as the charge of driving impaired based on no test or a defendant’s refusal to take a chemical test.  The statue has been expanded to include both high-tier and low-tier OVI charges as well as setting the under 21 prohibited concentration.  Ohio DUI laws are complex and require the assistance of an experienced Ohio DUI attorney.

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide; O.R.C. 2903.06

Ohio DUI Laws: Aggravated Vehicular Homicide is a crime that results from the death of another caused by the defendant’soperating a vehicle while impaired (a violation of R.C. 4511.19)  or while driving negligently or recklessly.  The statute  encompasses driving an automobile recklessly or negligently (called Vehicular homicide) whether or not alcohol played a part in the death.

Aggravated Vehicular Assault; O.R.C. 2903.08

Ohio DUI Laws: Aggravated Vehicular Assault is the crime of causing serious physical harm to a person while violating Ohio’s drunk driving statute.

Operating A Vehicle After Underage Consumption (OVUAC); O.R.C. 4511.19(B)

Ohio DUI Laws: O.R.C. 4511.19(B) makes it illegal for persons under 21 years of age to drive a vehicle with a concentration of .02 percent, but less than .08 percent by weight of alcohol by whole blood or breath, or with an equivalent amount by blood serum or plasma or urine.  (1994 S.B. 82, eff. 5/4/94).

Having Physical Control of a Vehicle While Under the Influence (Physical Control); O.R.C. 4511.194

Ohio DUI Laws: The crime of “Physical Control” involves being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse.  This definition means that you do not have to be driving or operating the car.

Reckless Operation; O.R.C. 4511.20

Reckless operation in Ohio can constitute any number of offenses within the Ohio Revised Code dealing with operation of a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard to persons or property. It can be charged as a 3rd degree misdemeanor, a 4th degree misdemeanor or as a minor misdemeanor under Ohio law.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI); O.R.C. 1547.11

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence offenses are set forth at O.R.C. 1547.99 and are similar to those provided for DUI/OVI offenses.  Boating Under the Influence is a first degree misdemeanor and is subject to a minimum 3-day jail sentence and a maximum 6 months in jail.  The 3-day jail sentence can be served in a qualified driver intervention program.  The minimum mandatory fine for a first BUI offense is $150.  The language of the statute is broad, including control of any vessel underway or shall manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device on Ohio waterways.

Driving in Marked Lanes (Marked Lanes); O.R.C. 4511.33

A marked lanes charge is often a companion charge to a DUI/OVI offense.  It is also a “cue” that the officer may look for based on his/her National Highway Transportation Safety Administration training.

Lanes of travel upon roadways of sufficient width; O.R.C. 4511.25

Going the wrong way on a designated roadway or traveling into the “other” lane may be a violation of the “Lanes of Travel” law.  Some experienced officers choose to charge this offense rather than a Marked Lanes violation or charge this in combination with a Marked Lanes violation.

Turn and Stop Signals; O.R.C. 4511.39

“No person shall turn a vehicle… or move right or left upon a highway unless and until such person has exercised due care to ascertain that the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided. When required, a signal of intention to turn or move right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle… before turning.”

Underage Consumption or Possession; O.R.C. 4301.69

This statue encompasses the crime of possessing and furnishing alcohol to minors.  If you are under 21 years old, drinking alcohol is illegal in the State of Ohio.  Ohio Revised Code 4301.69(E)(1) provides that “No underage person shall knowingly order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public or private place. No underage person shall knowingly be under the influence of any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public place.”  As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your teen’s friends under the age of 21, under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent’s permission.

Speeding and Assured Clear Distance, Following Too Closely; O.R.C. 4511.21

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.  According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were more than 65,500 crashes statewide last year because of drivers following too closely. And of those crashes, 58 died and 18,552 were injured.

License Plate Light Not Illuminated, O.R.C. 4513.05

In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a white light illuminating the rear registration plate. See O.R.C. 4513.05.  This law is often used as a pretext for a traffic stop which allows the officer to come into contact with the motorist. This is among the more “ticky-tack” reasons to pull someone over and the public views this as something of an underhanded trick used by law enforcement to justify a stop.

Driving Under SuspensionO.R.C.4510.14

Driving under an OVI suspension is a violation of Ohio Revised Code 4510.14.  It is a separate offense from a DUI/OVI charge and carries harsh mandatory penalties. With the use of “party plates” which stigmatize people convicted of DUI and their innocent family members, and the increased use of computer license plate readers, Ohioans are seeing an increase in the number of people being ticketed for driving under suspension.

Ohio DUI/OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville 

Affirmative Defenses to a Driving Under Suspension Charge

December 5th, 2012

Ohio law provides two affirmative defenses to the crime of driving under suspension.  Ohio Revised Code section 4510.04, Affirmative defenses to driving under suspension or cancellation, provides in pertinent part,

It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution brought under section 4510.114510.144510.16, or 4510.21 of the Revised Code or under any substantially equivalent municipal ordinance that the alleged offender drove under suspension, without a valid permit or driver’s or commercial driver’s license, or in violation of a restriction because of a substantial emergency, and because no other person was reasonably available to drive in response to the emergency.

It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution brought under section 4510.16 of the Revised Code that the order of suspension resulted from the failure of the alleged offender to respond to a financial responsibility random verification request under division (A)(3)(c) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code and that, at the time of the initial financial responsibility random verification request, the alleged offender was in compliance with division (A)(1) of section 4509.101 of the Revised Code as shown by proof of financial responsibility that was in effect at the time of that request.

Driving Under Suspension can be charged as a first degree misdemeanor or as an unclassified misdemeanor.  It is a serious crime.  It is also a crime that is treated very differently depending on the jurisdiction wherein your charge takes place.  Be sure to hire an attorney who knows the court where you will appear and is familiar with how the prosecutor and judge will approach your particular facts.  At DaytonDUS, we have been representing clients for over 16 years in courts throughout the Miami Valley.  As a former prosecutor, Charles M. Rowland II will aggressively advocate to keep you out of jail.  He will go the extra mile to get you valid.  This is not a time to gamble.  Call someone who has a track record of winning for his clients.  (937) 318-1DUS.

Reckless Operation in Ohio: What is the Law?

November 7th, 2012

RECKLESS OPERATION: What is the law?

Black's law Dictionary, photo by user:alex756

Reckless operation in Ohio can constitute any number of offenses within the Ohio Revised Code dealing with operation of a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard to persons or property.  Commonly, reckless operation is charged under O.R.C. 4511.20 (all codes sections are set forth below).  There is a separate O.R.C. section dealing with reckless operation while off-road (O.R.C. 4511.201) and while on a watercraft (O.R.C. 1547.07).  O.R.C. 4511.202 is Ohio’s Reasonable Control Statute.

The Ohio Supreme Court, in State v. Earlenbaugh (1985), 18 Ohio St.3d 19, 21-22, stated, “we believe that the statute simply provides two definite and clear bases upon which a finding of guilt may be premised. A person may be found guilty of violating R.C. 4511.20 if he acts willfully. Such conduct implies an act done intentionally, designedly, knowingly, or purposely, without justifiable excuse. Black’s Law Dictionary (5th Ed.1979) 1434. Or conversely, R.C. 4511.20 is violated when a person acts wantonly in disregard of the safety of others. A wanton act is an act done in reckless disregard of the rights of others which evinces a reckless indifference of the consequences to the life, limb, health, reputation, or property of others. (Citations omitted.)”  The statutory definition of reckless operation can be found at Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.20 which states:

4511.20 Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(A) No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

People who enjoy off-roading, whether in a motor vehicle, an ATV, a Gator, a snow machine or other machine are governed by Ohio’s off-roading reckless operation statute.

4511.201 Operation off street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(A) No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any public or private property other than streets or highways, in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

This section does not apply to the competitive operation of vehicles on public or private property when the owner of such property knowingly permits such operation thereon.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Ohio’s reasonable control statute is often a companion charge to a reckless operation violation.  It is not a lesser included offense to reckless operation.  State v. Lovell, 157 Ohio App. 3d 227, 2004-Ohio-2617 .  It is set forth at O.R.C. 4511.202.

4511.202 Operation without being in reasonable control of vehicle, trolley, or streetcar.

(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic without being in reasonable control of the vehicle, trolley, or streetcar.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of operating a motor vehicle without being in control of it, a minor misdemeanor.

O.R.C. 1547.07 governs the behavior of operation of a water vessel.  It gives examples of prohibited behavior.

1547.07 Reckless or unsafe operation of vessel, water skis, aquaplane.

(A) Any person who operates any vessel or manipulates any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device on the waters in this state carelessly or heedlessly, or in disregard of the rights or safety of any person, vessel, or property, or without due caution, at a rate of speed or in a manner so as to endanger any person, vessel, or property is guilty of reckless operation of the vessel or other device.

(B) No person shall operate or permit the operation of a vessel in an unsafe manner. A vessel shall be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner at all times.

Unsafe vessel operation includes, without limitation, any of the following:

(1) A vessel becoming airborne or completely leaving the water while crossing the wake of another vessel at a distance of less than one hundred feet, or at an unsafe distance, from the vessel creating the wake;

(2) Operating at such a speed and proximity to another vessel or to a person attempting to ride on one or more water skis, surfboard, inflatable device, or similar device being towed by a vessel so as to require the operator of either vessel to swerve or turn abruptly to avoid collision;

(3) Operating less than two hundred feet directly behind a person water skiing or attempting to water ski;

(4) Weaving through congested traffic.

Reckless operation of a vehicle clearly falls under the definition of  a “traffic case.”  A defendant found guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor cannot be sentenced to more than 30 days in jail. R.C. 2929.21(B)(4). Thus, the advisement that is required in this case is misdemeanor traffic cases involving petty offenses. Such advisement is spelled out in Traf.R. 10(D), which is entitled “Misdemeanor cases involving petty offenses.” Traffic Rule 2 defines which cases fall under the Traffic Rules. It states:

(A) Traffic case’ means any proceeding, other than a proceeding resulting from a felony indictment, that involves one or more violations of a law, ordinance, or regulation governing the operation and use of vehicles, conduct of pedestrians in relation to vehicles, or weight, dimension, loads or equipment, or vehicles drawn or moved on highways and bridges. `Traffic case’ does not include any proceeding that results in a felony indictment.

(D) Petty offense’ means an offense for which the penalty prescribed by law includes confinement for six months or less.

(E) Serious offense’ means an offense for which the penalty prescribed by law includes confinement for more than six months.” Traf.R. 2.

Traffic Rule 10(D) reads:
“In misdemeanor cases involving petty offenses, except those processed in a traffic violations bureau, the court may refuse to accept a plea of guilty or no contest and shall not accept such pleas without first informing the defendant of the effect of the plea of guilty, no contest, and not guilty.”

Reckless operation carries four “points” on your Ohio driver’s license.  “Points” under Ohio law are set forth at O.R.C. 4510.036(C).

6 Point Violations

  • -Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
  • -Vehicular Homicide
  • -Vehicular Manslaughter
  • -Aggravated Vehicular Assault
  • -Willful Fleeing and Eluding,
  • -Failure to Stop and Disclose Identity at Accident
  • -Street Racing
  • -Driving Under Suspension
  • -OVI (drunk driving)
  • -Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  • -Any felony motor vehicle violation or any felony committed with motor vehicle

Four Point Violations

  • -Operation of a Vehicle After Underage Consumption
  • -Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of Safety (a reckless operation offense)
  • -Exceeding the Speed Limit by greater than 30 mph.

Two Point Violations

  • -Exceeding the Speed Limit of 55 by at least 10 but less than 30 mph
  • -Exceeding the Speed Limit less than 55 by at least 5 but less than 30 mph.
  • -Operating a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction imposed by the BMV
  • -Most other moving violations including operating a vehicle w/o a license.

Dayton DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’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, www.facebook.com/daytondui.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Ohio Revised Code 4511.194, Physical Control

October 2nd, 2012

Ohio Revised Code section 4511.194 defines the crime of “Physical Control.” 

Steering Wheel

The crime of “Physical Control” involves being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse.  This definition means that you do not have to be driving or operating the car.  If a person is in the driver’s position of the front seat of a vehicle, or in the driver’s position of a streetcar, or trackless trolley and having possession of the vehicle’s, streetcar’s or trackless trolley’s key, or other ignition device that person is in “physical control” of the vehicle.  See Cincinnati v. Kelley, 47 Ohio St.2d 94, 351 N.E.2d 85 (1976).

Vehicle is defined at R.C. 4511.01(A) as

every device, including a motorized bicycle, in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except that “vehicle” does not include any motorized wheelchair, any electric personal assistive mobility device, and device that is moved by power collected from overhead electric trolley wires, or that is used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, or any device, other than a bicycle, that is moved by human power.

Thus, one could be convicted of Physical Control of a bicycle, but not a unicycle, tricycle, wheelbarrow or shopping cart. This same quirky logic applies to Ohio’s OVI (drunk driving) statute, R.C. 4511.19.

“Operate” is defined at R.C. 4511.01(HHH) as “to cause or have caused movement.”  But, being found slumped over the wheel of a vehicle whilst the vehicle is running has been found to be operation of the vehicle, State v. Adams, 2007-Ohio-4932 (Ohio Ct. App. 3d Dist. Crawford 2007).  In State v. Mackie, 128 Ohio App.3d 167, 714 N.E.2d 405 (1st Dist. Hamilton County 1998), a defendant’s car was stuck in a snowbank and was incapable of movement.  His conviction was reversed due to insufficient evidence to show intoxication when the vehicle was operable.   The Mackie decision offers a good discussion of the intricacies that are raised by attempting to define “operation.”

Physical Control is a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio which is punishable by a maximum $1,000.00 fine, a license suspension of up to one year and a maximum jail sentence of six (6) months.  Physical Control is preferable to some commercial drivers because it may not count as a “major incident” for CDL purposes.  Unlike a reckless operation charge (O.R.C. 4511.20), Physical Control carries no “POINTS” on your Ohio license.  The court may also require the defendant to attend a 3-day weekend intervention alcohol education course.  Another major benefit of the Physical Control statute (which is also true of Reckless Operation) is that whereas prior OVI convictions trigger enhanced minimum penalties for future OVI convictions, prior physical control convictions would not trigger those enhanced penalties for future OVI convictions.

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.

What Constitutes a Felony DUI in Ohio?

September 4th, 2012

Ohio has enacted two “look-back” statutes which enhance the penalties for a DUI; a six year look-back and a twenty year look-back.  This post will focus on when a DUI becomes a felony.  For a complete list of penalties for DUI offenses check out my previous article OHIO OVI PENALTIES.

Six Year Look-Back

If you receive a second DUI six years from the conviction date of your first DUI, the penalties are enhanced.  Both a first and second DUI within a six year period are first degree misdemeanors which carry a maximum fine of $1,075.00 and a maximum incarceration of six (6) months.  A second DUI within six years is enhanced, meaning that the minimum number of incarceration days and the fine are heavier. R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(a) and (b).  A third offense within six years has even heavier fines and incarceration and carries a possibility of one year of incarceration, owing to the fact that a third offense is an unclassified misdemeanor. R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(c).  A DUI becomes a fourth degree felony if it is a fourth offense within six (6) years. R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(d).

Twenty Year Look-Back

A sixth or greater offense within a twenty year look-back period is a fourth degree felony. R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(d).  Another harsh provision under Ohio law is the “once a felony, always a felony” rule contained in R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(e), meaning that any future DUI regardless of how many years have passed is charged as a third-degree felony.  This means that if you have many years of sobriety in between DUI convictions, you still face a felony rather than having your case treated as a first-in-six misdemeanor offense.

DUI defense attorneys have challenged the constitutionality of these look-back provisions on the grounds that they violated due process and that they are a retroactive application of laws.  In State v. Miccap, 2006-Ohio-2854 (Ohio Ct. App. 9th Dist, Summit County), the 9th District Court of Appeals rejected these arguments and upheld the enhanced punishments.  It stated that the penalties imposed were not enhancements punishing prior conduct, but punishing any violations that occur after enactment of the enhancement provision.  In State v. Brooke, 113 Ohio St.3d 199, 863 N.E.2d 1024 (2007), the court upheld the right of a defendant to challenge whether or not a prior conviction was conducted in accordance with the rule of law.  For a complete discussion of Attack on prior convictions, see Ohio Driving Under the Influence Law, Weiler & Weiler J., 2009-2010 ed., pp 333-335.

Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  Contact Charles Rowland at (937)318-1384 [318-1DUI], 1-888-769-5263 [888-ROWLAND] or visit his web site at www.DaytonDUI.com or www.facebook.com/DaytonDUI or on Twitter @DaytonDUI.

“All I do is DUI.”