2945.75 Degree of offense - proof of prior convictions.

(A) When the presence of one or more additional elements makes an offense one of more serious degree:

(1) The affidavit, complaint, indictment, or information either shall state the degree of the offense which the accused is alleged to have committed, or shall allege such additional element or elements. Otherwise, such affidavit, complaint, indictment, or information is effective to charge only the least degree of the offense.

(2) A guilty verdict shall state either the degree of the offense of which the offender is found guilty, or that such additional element or elements are present. Otherwise, a guilty verdict constitutes a finding of guilty of the least degree of the offense charged.

(B)

(1) Whenever in any case it is necessary to prove a prior conviction, a certified copy of the entry of judgment in such prior conviction together with evidence sufficient to identify the defendant named in the entry as the offender in the case at bar, is sufficient to prove such prior conviction.

(2) Whenever in any case it is necessary to prove a prior conviction of an offense for which the registrar of motor vehicles maintains a record, a certified copy of the record that shows the name, date of birth, and social security number of the accused is prima-facie evidence of the identity of the accused and prima-facie evidence of all prior convictions shown on the record. The accused may offer evidence to rebut the prima-facie evidence of the accused's identity and the evidence of prior convictions. Proof of a prior conviction of an offense for which the registrar maintains a record may also be proved as provided in division (B)(1) of this section.

(3) If the defendant claims a constitutional defect in any prior conviction, the defendant has the burden of proving the defect by a preponderance of the evidence.

Cite as R.C. § 2945.75

History. Effective Date: 01-01-1974; 04-04-2007; 2008 SB17 09-30-2008