Failure to maintain control
UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022
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Failure to maintain control
Last night my twenty year old grandson made a wrong turn and ended up
lost on a narrow city street. There was no lighting on the street at all,
he had followed th street around a ninety degree turn, and decided he
should try to turn around. As he backed around the dark curve, he missed
the road and backed into a ditch. There was no damage to the vehicle or
any property but he was given a citation for failure to maintain control.
Ohio statute specifically states ‘reasonable control’. I contend that
given the narrow streets and no lighting, he was in reasonable control.
Should we appear and fight this?
Asked on December 8, 2016 under General Practice, Ohio
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
Fighting it is not going work: in any single-car incident (i.e. not other car forcing you off the road in some way), ending up in a ditch will be seen as failing to maintain adequate control. You're not going to convince the court that ending up in a ditch was being in control. But if your grandson otherwise has a clean record, there is a more-than-reasonable chance that the prosecutor will offer him a plea to a lesser offense--or *maybe* agree to dismiss voluntarily. Your grandson should appear for court--show up a little early--and discuss the matter with the prosecutor. He should respectfully, without being defensive, law out the circumstances, stress a good record (assuming he has one), and be appropriately contrite; he may well then be able to get a good plea.
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