Everyone knows the feeling of driving down the interstate and seeing a law enforcement officer in the median...your stomach drops. You quickly glance at your speedometer and realize you were going well over the speed limit. Before you know it, the police officer has turned on their lights and pulled you over for speeding. On any given day, many Ohio drivers find themselves in this very scenario. Perhaps the most common traffic violation, a speeding ticket has more consequences than you would think. Depending on your traffic record, profession, or driver's license status, a person should be prepared to fight their ticket in court. While such cases can be minor, you should know your rights and be informed.
Ohio House Bill No. 468 was recently introduced which would overhaul Ohio's distracted driving laws. Currently, Ohio Revised Code § 4511.204 makes driving while texting illegal. However, unless the individual is under the age of 18, this offense is considered a secondary offense Ohio as the statute specifically states that law enforcement cannot stop someone solely as a result of he or she texting while driving. A driver can only be stopped and charged with this offense in conjunction with another traffic offense, such as speeding or going left of center.
The Sixth District Court of Appeals in State v. Huffman, 2017 Ohio 7007, recently released a decision clarifying what constitutes a marked lanes violation. This case is valuable for criminal defense attorneys not only because it delineates what constitutes a traffic offense but also because many of our clients charged with OVI are often initially stopped for such a violation. The Court held that a violation of Revised Code § 4511.33, the marked lanes statute, occurs when a driver travels completely across the center line or fog line.
A new law in Ohio allows drivers to go through red lights in certain circumstances when the light is not functioning properly. The legislature expanded Revised Code § 4511.132, which addressed operating a vehicle at an intersection with a malfunctioning traffic control signal light, to include situations where the traffic control light may be working, but the vehicle detector has failed to detect the presence of a vehicle.
The bitter cold weather has arrived here in Ohio and it doesn't appear it's going away anytime soon. Before the day begins, you may be inclined to start your car to warm it up and leave it unattended to finish getting ready for work. Many people do this. And they probably don't know they're breaking the law.
At Rittgers & Rittgers, our attorneys frequently hear people ask "Do I need a lawyer if I have been in a car accident?" The answer depends on the facts of the car accident and subsequent police investigation. There are a variety of scenarios that could result in a car accident. The short answer is that if you have been cited for a traffic violation or if you have been injured you should hire an attorney. We outline three common scenarios below.
Image by M.O. Stevens via Wikimedia Commons
The lawfulness of New Miami traffic cameras is back in question after a recent decision by a Butler County Judge.