2901.04 Rules of construction for statutes and rules of procedure.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in division (C) or (D) of this section, sections of the Revised Code defining offenses or penalties shall be strictly construed against the state, and liberally construed in favor of the accused.

(B) Rules of criminal procedure and sections of the Revised Code providing for criminal procedure shall be construed so as to effect the fair, impartial, speedy, and sure administration of justice.

(C) Any provision of a section of the Revised Code that refers to a previous conviction of or plea of guilty to a violation of a section of the Revised Code or of a division of a section of the Revised Code shall be construed to also refer to a previous conviction of or plea of guilty to a substantially equivalent offense under an existing or former law of this state, another state, or the United States or under an existing or former municipal ordinance.

(D) Any provision of the Revised Code that refers to a section, or to a division of a section, of the Revised Code that defines or specifies a criminal offense shall be construed to also refer to an existing or former law of this state, another state, or the United States, to an existing or former municipal ordinance, or to an existing or former division of any such existing or former law or ordinance that defines or specifies, or that defined or specified, a substantially equivalent offense.

Effective Date: 03-23-2000; 09-23-2004