2006 Ohio Revised Code - 2913.03. Unauthorized use of a vehicle.
(A) No person shall knowingly use or operate an aircraft, motor vehicle, motorcycle, motorboat, or other motor-propelled vehicle without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent.
(B) No person shall knowingly use or operate an aircraft, motor vehicle, motorboat, or other motor-propelled vehicle without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent, and either remove it from this state or keep possession of it for more than forty-eight hours.
(C) The following are affirmative defenses to a charge under this section:
(1) At the time of the alleged offense, the actor, though mistaken, reasonably believed that the actor was authorized to use or operate the property.
(2) At the time of the alleged offense, the actor reasonably believed that the owner or person empowered to give consent would authorize the actor to use or operate the property.
(D) (1) Whoever violates this section is guilty of unauthorized use of a vehicle.
(2) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(4) of this section, a violation of division (A) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(4) of this section, a violation of division (B) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree.
(4) If the victim of the offense is an elderly person or disabled adult and if the victim incurs a loss as a result of the violation, a violation of division (A) or (B) of this section is whichever of the following is applicable:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in division (D)(4)(b), (c), (d), or (e)Å of this section, a felony of the fifth degree;
(b) If the loss to the victim is five hundred dollars or more and is less than five thousand dollars, a felony of the fourth degree;
(c) If the loss to the victim is five thousand dollars or more and is less than twenty-five thousand dollars, a felony of the third degree;
HISTORY: 134 v H 511 (Eff 1-1-74); 146 v S 2 (Eff 7-1-96); 148 v H 2. Eff 11-10-99.
Å So in enrolled bill, division (D)(4)(a). There is no division (D)(4)(e).
Not analogous to former RC § 2913.03 (RS § 7092a; 81 v 165; GC § 13085; Bureau of Code Revision, 10-1-53), repealed 134 v H 511, § 2, eff 1-1-74.
19xx Committee Report or Comment.
1974 Committee Comment to H 511
This section defines two degrees of the offense commonly known as "joyriding." For some years auto theft has been an increasing problem, and in this type of offense it is often difficult to prove that the offender intended to permanently deprive the owner of the car. The offense of joyriding was designed to alleviate the enforcement problem this creates and the gist of the offense is simply an unauthorized use of a vehicle. It is unnecessary to prove an intent to permanently deprive the owner.
In addition to automobile joyriding, the section covers joyriding in planes, motorcycles, motor boats, and other motor-propelled vehicles.
Also, the offense is much more serious if the vehicle is either taken out of the state, or is kept by the offender for more than two days. In the latter context, the offender must actually keep possession of the vehicle for more than two days. It is not sufficient if he abandons the vehicle and it is not recovered within that time. The rationale for making joyriding more serious under these circumstances is, first, because taking the stolen vehicle out of the state or keeping it for more than 48 hours enormously complicates enforcement problems and, second, because either of such acts may suggest that the offender's purpose was more than just a short joyride.
Two affirmative defenses to a charges under the section are spelled out, both dealing with a bona fide belief on the actor's part that he had the owner's express or implied consent to use the vehicle.
Unauthorized use of a vehicle which is taken out of the state or kept for more than 48 hours is a felony of the fourth degree. Otherwise, unauthorized use of a vehicle is a misdemeanor of the first degree, unless the offender has a prior theft offense conviction, in which case the offense is a felony of the fourth degree.
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