2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2901.22. Culpable mental states.

§ 2901.22. Culpable mental states.
 

(A)  A person acts purposely when it is his specific intention to cause a certain result, or, when the gist of the offense is a prohibition against conduct of a certain nature, regardless of what the offender intends to accomplish thereby, it is his specific intention to engage in conduct of that nature. 

(B)  A person acts knowingly, regardless of his purpose, when he is aware that his conduct will probably cause a certain result or will probably be of a certain nature. A person has knowledge of circumstances when he is aware that such circumstances probably exist. 

(C)  A person acts recklessly when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that his conduct is likely to cause a certain result or is likely to be of a certain nature. A person is reckless with respect to circumstances when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he perversely disregards a known risk that such circumstances are likely to exist. 

(D)  A person acts negligently when, because of a substantial lapse from due care, he fails to perceive or avoid a risk that his conduct may cause a certain result or may be of a certain nature. A person is negligent with respect to circumstances when, because of a substantial lapse from due care, he fails to perceive or avoid a risk that such circumstances may exist. 

(E)  When the section defining an offense provides that negligence suffices to establish an element thereof, then recklessness, knowledge, or purpose is also sufficient culpability for such element. When recklessness suffices to establish an element of an offense, then knowledge or purpose is also sufficient culpability for such element. When knowledge suffices to establish an element of an offense, then purpose is also sufficient culpability for such element. 
 

HISTORY: 134 v H 511. Eff 1-1-74.
 

Not analogous to former RC § 2901.22 (RS § 6819-2; 90 v 353; GC § 12419; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.

The effective date is set by section 4 of HB 511. 

 

19xx Committee Report or Comment.

1974 Committee Comment to H 511

In place of the large number of terms which former law employed to describe guilty states of mind, this section defines four mental states - purpose, knowledge, recklessness, and negligence - to describe the degrees of culpability which may be attached to a crime or to one or more elements in a crime. 

Purpose is defined in terms of a specific intention either to cause a certain result, or to engage in conduct of a certain nature regardless of what the offender intends to accomplish through that conduct. "Purposely" in the new code equates with "purposely," "intentionally," "willfully," or "deliberately" in the former law. 

"Knowledge" is cast in this section in terms of an awareness of the probability that one's conduct will cause a certain result or be of a certain nature, or that certain circumstances exist. "Knowingly" in the new code is the same as "knowingly" in the former law. 

A person is said to be reckless under the section when, without caring about the consequences, he obstinately disregards a known and significant possibility that his conduct is likely to cause a certain result or be of a certain nature, or that certain circumstances are likely to exist. In substance, the definition follows the definition of recklessness found in Roszman v. Sammett, 26 Ohio St.2d 94, 55 O.O. 2d 165, 269 N.E.2d 420 (1971). 

Basing the definition of knowledge on probability and the definition of recklessness on likelihood is intentional. Something is "probable" when there is more reason for expectation or belief than not, whereas something is "likely" when there is merely good reason for expectation or belief. 

A person is said to be negligent under the section when, because of a substantial slip from the standard of care required of him under the circumstances, he fails to notice or take steps to evade a risk that his conduct may cause a certain result or be of a certain nature, or that certain circumstances may exist. Although the definition of "negligence" in the new code is structured similarly to the definition of ordinary negligence used in tort law, it defines a higher degree of negligence than ordinary negligence. For one to be negligent under this section he must be guilty of a substantial departure from due care, whereas ordinary negligence merely requires a failure to exercise due care. 

Also, the section provides that proof of any degree of culpable mental state is sufficient to prove all lesser degrees. That is, proof of purpose is also proof of knowledge, recklessness, and negligence; proof of knowledge is also proof of recklessness and negligence; and proof of recklessness is also proof of negligence. 

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