Failure to Comply in Ohio

Charges of Failure to Comply and Fleeing / Eluding
The charges of Failure to Comply and Fleeing and Eluding are defined by section 2921.331 of the Ohio Revised Code.  According to that code section, the offenses may be committed in two ways:

(1) fail to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer invested with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic.

(2) operate a motor vehicle so as willfully to elude or flee a police officer after receiving a visible or audible signal from a police officer to bring the motor vehicle to a stop.

If a police officer is directing traffic and orders you drive in a certain way, failure to follow that order may result in a charge for Failure To Comply.  If an officer orders you to stop your vehicle and you instead flee from the officer, you will likely face a charge of Fleeing and Eluding.  Whether you are charged with Failure To Comply or Fleeing and Eluding, representation by a good criminal defense attorney in Columbus / Central Ohio can help improve the outcome of the case.

Sentencing for Failure to Comply and Fleeing/Eluding in Ohio
These charges are typically categorized as first-degree misdemeanors. However, the charge of Fleeing and Eluding may be charged as a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.

For these charges which are first degree misdemeanors, potential penalties include:

  • Mandatory License Suspension from 6 months to 3 years
  • Jail time of up to 180 days
  • Fine of up to $1,000 plus court costs
  • Probation for up to five years
  • 6 points under Ohio’s driver license point system

A Fleeing and Eluding violation may be a felony under certain circumstances. Some of those circumstances include:

  • in committing the offense, the offender was fleeing immediately after the commission of a felony
  • the operation of the motor vehicle by the offender was a proximate cause of serious physical harm to persons or property
  • the operation of the motor vehicle by the offender caused a substantial risk of serious physical harm to persons or property
Potential Defenses to a Failure to Comply Violation in Ohio
Simple interactions with police officers may prove to be stressful, and what started out with good intentions may lead to miscommunications and charges of Failure To Comply. 

Potential defenses to a failure to comply violation may include the following:
  • You were not aware of or misunderstood the police officer’s orders
  • You did not intentionally disobey the officer’s orders
  • There was a mistake of fact
  • You acted out of necessity
  • You acted under duress
What To Do When Charged
If you are charged with Failure To Comply or Fleeing and Eluding, the first thing to do is educate yourself about the situation.  This page is a good place to start.  You may also want to read the statute, Ohio Revised Code section 2921.331, as well as the page on this site about the court process.

After you learn more about your situation, you will need to make some decisions.  First, you will need to decide whether you want to plead Guilty or Not Guilty at the first court appearance.  Second, you should determine whether you will represent yourself or hire a lawyer.  Third, if you decide you are hiring a lawyer, you will need to choose which attorney to hire.  If you hire a lawyer, you will want to find a lawyer with experience handling cases involving Failure To Comply and Fleeing and Eluding.

Columbus, Ohio Attorneys for Failure to Comply and Fleeing/Eluding
The Dominy Law Firm is focused on representing clients charged with traffic offenses, including Failure To Comply and Fleeing/Eluding. For more information about the Dominy Law Firm, please see the 'About Us' page. You may also be interested in outcomes from previous cases and reviews from past clients. To schedule a free phone consultation, please call 614-717-1177 or by complete a CONTACT FORM.
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