Failure to maintain control

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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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