What’s a “Failure to Control”?
The charge of failure to control, which is found in the Ohio Revised Code 4511.202, occurs when a driver fails to exercise and maintain reasonable, physical control over a motor vehicle on a public roadway.
It’s a minor misdemeanor but still comes with significant enough penalties to warrant seeking the services of an experienced lawyer. If you plead to or are convicted of failure to control a motor vehicle, you’ll be looking at a fifth-degree misdemeanor on your record and will likely be forced to pay fines and court costs.
What Actions Constitute Failure to Control in Ohio?
- Driving Too Fast for Conditions
- Poor or Inadequate Braking or Stopping
- Overcorrection or Swerving in and Out of Lanes
- Ignoring Vehicular Traffic Signals or Signs
- Driving While Distracted
- Driving While in a State of Impairment
- Driving While Fatigued or Drowsy
- Neglecting Vehicle Maintenance
- Navigating Curves or Turns Too Quickly or Without Proper Visibility
- Driving a Motor Vehicle Without the Requisite Skill or Experience
- Driving Aggressively or Engaging in Road Rage
These actions are all in some way negligent, and some may even be reckless. In other words, failure to maintain control typically arises out of negligence or reckless actions.
Common Situations Where Failure to Control Claims Arise
Various forces can lead to situations that result in a charge of failure to control Ohio. Take a look at some of the most common of them.
Adverse Weather: Adverse weather conditions often lead to a lack of vehicle control.
Sudden Stops or Traffic Jams: Failure to control can arise from sudden stops and stop-and-go traffic.
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving easily leads to failure to control.
Driving While Impaired or Intoxicated: Driving while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicating substances impairs a driver’s ability to control their vehicle.
Mechanical Issues: Car trouble can lead to little to no control over the vehicle by the driver.
Navigating Turns and Curves: Approaching curves and turns too fast or without enough visibility can cause control to be wrested from the driver.
Unforeseen Obstacles: Flying objects or objects left in the road can pop up unexpectedly and cause a driver to lose control.
Inexperience or Negligence: Both inexperience and negligence involve drivers who are incapable of maintaining a standard of safety when driving under certain circumstances.
Construction Zones: Construction zones alter the speed limit and other factors that affect driving.
Parking Lot Incidents: Accidents in parking lots are often attributable to a drop in awareness and attentiveness that occurs once drivers leave the road.
A cursory understanding of some of the common causes of failure to control charges can help you avoid legal problems as well as dangerous accidents.
Ohio Regulation and Penalties for Failure to Control
Ohio regulates the charge of failure to control through the Ohio Revised Code statute 4511.202. The statute provides that a person who is guilty of the charge found in the statute is also guilty of a misdemeanor in the fifth degree, which is considered to be a minor misdemeanor.
Failure to control can be punished by a fine of up to $150 and up to 30 hours of community service. The Ohio Supreme Court also regulates the charge by interpreting the statute in light of controversial cases.
Repeat traffic offenders in Ohio face more serious consequences than one-time offenders. If you’ve been convicted of a predicate motor vehicle offense within one year of your failure to control charge, you could be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor.
A fourth-degree misdemeanor imparts fines of up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail. It also provides for community service sanctions.
ChargePenaltiesFailure to control– Misdemeanor in the fifth degree (considered a minor misdemeanor)
– Fine up to $150
– Up to 30 hours of community serviceRepeat traffic offenders within one year of failure to control charge– Fourth-degree misdemeanor
– Fine up to $250
– Up to 30 days in jail
– Community service sanctions
Potential Consequences of a Failure to Control Violation
Failure to control is not the most dangerous traffic violation in Ohio. However, it is taken quite seriously. A conviction or guilty plea to failure to control charges can bring serious penalties with it, especially for those with violations already on their records. Some of the potential consequences include:
- Points on Your License: Failure to control is a moving violation that adds two points to your driving record. Twelve points or more on your license typically means a six-month license suspension
- Background Check Issues: If you are convicted or plead guilty to failure to control, your record will reflect as much. Unfortunately, employers and other organizations do background checks. A failure to control charge can reflect negatively on a person, especially if other charges are present on the record
- Higher Insurance Premiums: Insurance companies carefully scrutinize a policyholder’s record, before and during the time they cover them. When traffic charges find their way onto a driver’s record, the result is typically an increase in premiums and may even lead to cancellation for drivers with many violations and charges
- Civil Liability Issues: If you plead guilty to or are convicted of a charge of failure to control, you could also face significant liability through a personal injury lawsuit or claim for compensation. The conviction or guilty plea can be taken as evidence that you are indeed civilly responsible for any losses that occurred in the crash
To protect yourself from such results, seek the services of a Dayton traffic charges lawyer. With a powerful defense, you could be out from under your charges in a reasonable time period and back on the road.