Hit and Skip in Columbus, Ohio

In Ohio, the most common offense for leaving the scene of a crash is a violation of subsection 2(a) of Ohio Revised Code 4549 for “Stopping after accident; exchange of identity and vehicle registration.” The offense is charged as a misdemeanor of the first degree. See R.C. 4549 .02(A). This offense is often called a “hit and skip,” “hit and run,” or “tap and run.”

A different statute in Ohio for “Failure to stop after accident involving property of others” can be charged under subsection 3(A) of Ohio Revised Code 4549.03 when the crash involves property adjacent to the roadway. See R.C. 4549.03(3)(A).

Officers often charge a person with the wrong statute. The statutes distinguish between the reporting requirements after a crash with property damage on the roadway or off the roadway. The statute also distinguishes between a crash with a person or vehicle as opposed to other types of property, such as a building, fence, stop sign, or mail box.


After Leaving the Scene, Expect Law Enforcement Officers to Coming Looking for You

If you leave the scene of an accident involving either personal injury or property damage, you should expect law enforcement officers to aggressively investigate the crash. When they identify a suspect, they will often go to the suspect’s home or work to interrogate the suspect and find the vehicle involved in the crash.

If you retain a criminal defense lawyer in Columbus, Ohio for a hit and skip incident, your attorney can assist you by making contact with the officers investigating the incident. The attorney can also help you invoke your right to remain silent, which might discourage the officers from coming to your house or place of business. Anything you say can be used against you, so attorneys can be particularly helpful in these types of cases.

If law enforcement officers do not have sufficient evidence, then a defense attorney can help convince them not to pursue the charges. If they do decide to seek an arrest warrant, an attorney can also help you deal negotiate your surrender in a way that might save you time, money and frustration.

Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbus, Ohio, to discuss your case. We can help you understand the difference between the two different types of hit-and-run statutes in Ohio.


What To Do After a Crash

If you are involved in an accident, then Ohio law requires you to stop and remain at the scene. You are also required to provide the other person involved, the driver of the other vehicle, or a police officer on the scene with the following information:

  • Your name;
  • Your address;
  • The registration number of your vehicle; and
  • The name and address of the owner of the vehicle (if you are not the owner of the vehicle).

Although it is not required in the statute, you should also provide your insurance information. It is a good idea to make a copy of your insurance card and driver’s license and leave these documents in your glove box. Then if you are ever in an accident, it is easy to give the other person involved all of the information necessary to comply with Ohio law.

Regardless of whether the crash was your fault or the other party’s fault, you are required to remain at the scene until the information has been exchanged. If the other vehicle involved in the crash is not occupied and you cannot find the owner, then you should leave the require information in writing and attach it to the vehicle so that it is visible.


R.C. 4549.02(A) — Ohio “Hit and Skip”

The Courts in Ohio have previously held that Revised Code 4549.02(A) applies when the defendant’s vehicle collides with either a pedestrian or another motor vehicle. Ohio’s “Hit-Skip” Statute describes what constitutes a violation of R.C. 4549.02(A) and reads as follows:

(A) In case of accident to or collision with persons or property upon any of the public roads or highways, due to the driving or operation thereon of any motor vehicle, the person driving or operating the motor vehicle, having knowledge of the accident or collision, immediately shall stop the … vehicle at the scene of the accident or collision and shall remain at the scene of the accident or collision until the driver … has given the driver’s … name and address … to any person injured in the accident or collision or to the operator, occupant, owner, or attendant of any motor vehicle damaged in the accident or collision, or to any police officer at the scene of the accident or collision.

By its very terms, R.C. 4549.02 provides that any accident subject to the “Hit and Skip” section involves a collision with either a pedestrian or another motor vehicle. Without evidence of an accident or collision involving a pedestrian or another vehicle, there would be insufficient evidence to support the charge. In other words, the prosecutor must prove that another person was injured or another motor vehicle was damaged as a result of the accident. The charges are not appropriate in a case involving a one-car accident when no pedestrian is injured.

These cases are common in situations where the defendant is accused of striking a pedestrian, a person riding a bike, or another vehicle where people are injured. R.C. 4549.02(A) also applies when drivers hit parked vehicles and leave the scene without stopping to provide their information.

A key requirement of R.C. 4549.02(A) is the “failure to notify” one of the specified parties. “Hit-Skip” in violation of R.C. 4549.02(A) requires proof of multiple elements including that there was an accident or collision with persons or property upon the roadway, and the defendant failed to report it to any of three types of people before leaving the scene, including:

  • any person injured in the accident or collision; or
  • the operator, occupant, owner, or attendant of any motor vehicle damaged in the accident or collision; or
  • any police officer at the scene of the accident or collision

When determining whether a crash occurred with property upon the roadway, it is important to note that Revised Code 4511.01(EE) defines “roadway” as “that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, except the berm or shoulder. If a highway includes two or more separate roadways the term ‘roadway’ means any such roadway separately but not all such roadways collectively.”

Also, Revised Code 4511.01(BB) defines “[s]treet” or “highway” as “the entire width between the boundary lines of every way open to the use of the public as a thoroughfare for purposes of vehicular travel.”


R.C. 4549.03(A) — Failure to Stop After an Accident in Ohio

“Failure to stop after accident involving property of others” in violation of Revised Code 4549.03(A) reads as follows:

(A) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in damage to real property, or personal property attached to real property, legally upon or adjacent to a public road or highway immediately shall stop and take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property of that fact[.]

Charges under R.C. 4549.03 are appropriate when the facts of the case involve a collision with property located adjacent to a highway. For instance, when an accident involves a utility pole, mailbox or fence, it is may be difficult to identify the owner of the property. The statute provides for a 24-hour period for reporting such an accident.


Additional Resources

Warrants for “Hit-and-Skip” Cases in Columbus, Ohio — Visit the website of the Columbus City Attorney, Richard C. Pfeiffer, to find information on outstanding warrants for “hit-skip.” The website shows “wanted” photos of the individuals accused of this offense as shown by the Clerk of the Franklin County Municipal Court. Related offenses often include Driving Under OVI Suspension, No Operator’s License, Driving Under Suspension, Failure to Reinstate License, and Failure to Stop-Accident. The City Attorney’s Office is located at 77 N. Front St., Columbus, Ohio 43215.


Finding a Hit Skip Attorney in Columbus, OH

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your criminal charges for failure to stop after an accident in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, and Fairfield County in Ohio. We also represent clients on charges of hit and run or hit-skip in Columbus, Ohio, and the surrounding areas.

Annual Permits for Hotels and Motels Proposed to Deter Prostitution and Solicitation Crimes in Columbus

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Columbus officials are working to implement a new plan that would create stronger regulations on hotels and motels in the city in an attempt to curb solicitation and prostitution crimes occurring at the businesses, according to a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch.

The Columbus City Council plans to hold a hearing on the proposed law on July 30, 2015, after more than one year of planning and drafting. According to the article, the law would require annual permits for hotel and motel operators. If the business has a high crime rate, the permit to operate could be denied.

Officials who drafted the law studied a similar one that was adopted in Chula Vista, California, in 2006. The city, located near San Diego, can deny annual hotel and motel permits if officials decide the businesses had too many arrests related to drugs and prostitution. This regulation would be the first of its kind in Ohio.

Several Columbus area hotel and motel businesses have been involved in controversial crime stories in recent years. Three motels near the Interstate 71 and Route 161 interchange that were widely known as a site for drug and prostitution crimes have been closed by court order.

Law enforcement officers with the Columbus Ohio Division of Police typically use these locations for undercover sting operations. An undercover office may pose as a prostitute near the motel and another officer would arrest those who solicit him or her for sexual acts.

In many of these cases, an entrapment defense comes into play because the undercover police officers posing as prostitutes tend to use aggressive techniques to pursue the unsuspecting man to engage in conduct that could be considered soliciting a prostitute.

Ohio law states soliciting a prostitute is a third-degree misdemeanor for a first offense. This could be punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both. In these cases, the person does not have to be an actual prostitute for it to qualify as an offense.

For instance, if a person solicits an undercover police officer to engage in sexual activity in exchange for compensation, he or she still could face solicitation charges. Additionally, the compensation does not have to be money. It could be any type of good, service or object, including narcotics.

Ohio law also outlines loitering in an attempt to solicit a prostitute a criminal offense. According to state law, a person who is attempting to solicit another to engage in sexual activity for hire while in or near a public place cannot do any of the following:

  • Beckon to, stop or attempt to stop another person;
  • Engage or attempt to engage another in conversation;
  • Stop or attempt to stop a vehicle operator; or
  • Interfere with the passage of another.

A public place, according to the law, could mean a street, road, highway, bikeway, walkway, bridge, alley, plaza, park, driveway and a parking lot. Loitering near a hotel or motel with the intent to solicit a person for sexual activity could result in an arrest.

Although being accused of a solicitation or prostitution crime could feel like the end of the world, there are options for building a strong defense. Weakening the prosecution’s case before it even goes to trial could help to ensure your life remains on track. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.

Contact Columbus solicitation attorney Brian Joslyn of Joslyn Law Firm. Brian Joslyn has years of experience fighting for the rights of those accused of solicitation. He understands the sensitivity of your charges, and he will work with you discretely to solve your issues. Your future and reputation are important, and Brian can help you protect both. Call (614) 444-1900 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an experienced Columbus solicitation defense attorney.

The Basics of Extradition Procedures in Ohio

Although extradition is not an issue faced by the majority of those arrested, the process is unfamiliar to most people. With a daunting scenario hanging over the heads of those threatened by this process, it can be confusing to understand what extradition involves.

Extradition is a process that occurs when an individual is transferred to another state where that person has a warranted issued against them. This procedure can be lengthy and require a large amount of time and resources for the government. That is why, although extradition can be employed against any individual wanted by another state, it is usually only fully realized against those wanted for felonies or other serious offenses.

The state procedures for extradition are outlined in Ohio Revised Code §§ 2963.01 – 2963.35, and these rules generally follow those set forth in the United States Uniform Extradition Act(UCEA). The UCEA is a measure taken to standardize the extradition processes of each state in an effort to minimize confusion and clerical errors. The steps followed by each state may vary slightly, but most of them follow the ones listed in the UCEA, which generally include these stages:

-State requesting fugitive issues valid arrest warrant
-Requesting state’s governor or entity of equivalent authority issues valid formal written request
-Accused is arrested and provided due process rights such as an attorney
-Accused is given option to waive right to due process through extradition waiver
-If accused refuses waiver of extradition, court examines case for sufficient supporting facts and legal compliance
-Requesting state must take custody and transport the accused within 30 days of the extradition waiver or supporting fact hearing

Due to the expensive and lengthy process of extraditing an individual, courts are often eager to consider alternative to this scenario. A criminal defense attorney can seek out this other options on your behalf, such as pretrial intervention, seeking to dismiss the charges against you, or negotiating your voluntary appearance in exchange for withdrawal of the extradition request. Having an experienced defense lawyer on your side can be imperative when facing the possibility of extradition.

Four Armed Robbery Crime Alerts In One Month For Ohio State University

Today ignites uneasiness around the Ohio State University campus with the fourth police issued ‘timely’ crime alert in a month, due to reports of armed robbery.  The attacks came on or near campus this month, creating quite a stir among students, faculty and staff, with a concerning for safety.  All reports have at least one detail in common, the use of a “Deadly weapon” or “dangerous ordnance.”

Police are looking for those who match the descriptions by the victims of the reported armed robberies.  Victims described the first three robberies as robbed at gunpoint by a group of two to four African-American males ranging from early to late twenties; while, the most recent case, the victim claims being robbed at gunpoint by two white males between the ages of 20 to 25.  One of the men is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, 170 pounds with a full beard and moustache and the other 5 feet 9 inches tall and 170 pounds.

Armed robbery includes any forcible theft that occurs while a firearm is shown, displayed or present. Ohio court cases have concluded a weapon does not need to be seen, loaded or even real in order for the defendant to be convicted of armed robbery.  If you have been charged with armed robbery in Columbus, OH, it is important to understand your rights.

Robbery can be a felony of the third, second or first degree, depending on whether a deadly weapon was used or if the offender actually inflicts harm on the victim.  A person can be charged with Robbery if they have a deadly weapon on their body or under their control, they inflict, attempt to inflict, or threaten to inflict physical harm on another person, or they use or threaten immediate force against another while attempting or committing a theft offense, or while immediately fleeing after the attempt or commission of a theft offense.

Penalties vary by state and greatly depend on a case by case basis.  In Ohio, a person accused of armed robbery may be fined anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, serve 3 months to a year in prison and receive up to two years community service, depending on the seriousness of the crime.  To get an accurate idea of the penalties associated with a specific case of aggravated assault in Ohio, contact a criminal defense attorney in Columbus.

Ohio law, Chapter 2911: Robbery, Burglary, Trespassing and Safecracking, defines armed robbery that either displaying, saying or insinuating having a deadly weapon during a robbery could be justified as an armed robbery.  Convictions of armed robbery depend on several factors and punishments significantly rely upon the circumstances of the case.

State v. Meek (1978), ruled the use of an unloaded gun in the course of a robbery subjects the robber to conviction for aggravated robbery, and State v. Green (1996), decided the aggravated robbery conviction upheld where teller did not see gun, but robber’s words and actions suggested a gun was in an envelope covering his hand.  Court decisions and punishments depend on case details, evidence, people involved and other circumstances.  If you have been accused of an aggravated robbery, having an experienced attorney who builds a strong defense can help.