Chapter 4549: MOTOR VEHICLE CRIMES

4549.01 Stopping motor vehicle when signaled by horse-drawn vehicle or horse rider.

(A) No person while operating a motor vehicle shall fail to slow down and stop the vehicle when signalled to do so upon meeting or overtaking a horse-drawn vehicle or person on horseback and to remain stationary until the vehicle or person has passed, provided the signal to stop is given in good faith, under circumstances of necessity, and only as often and for that length of time as is required for the vehicle or person to pass, whether it is approaching from the front or rear.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.02 Stopping after accident on public roads or highways.

(A) In case of accident to or collision with persons or property upon any of the public roads or highways, due to the driving or operation thereon of any motor vehicle, the person driving or operating the motor vehicle, having knowledge of the accident or collision, immediately shall stop the driver's or operator's motor vehicle at the scene of the accident or collision and shall remain at the scene of the accident or collision until the driver or operator has given the driver's or operator's name and address and, if the driver or operator is not the owner, the name and address of the owner of that motor vehicle, together with the registered number of that motor vehicle, to any person injured in the accident or collision or to the operator, occupant, owner, or attendant of any motor vehicle damaged in the accident or collision, or to any police officer at the scene of the accident or collision.

In the event the injured person is unable to comprehend and record the information required to be given by this section, the other driver involved in the accident or collision forthwith shall notify the nearest police authority concerning the location of the accident or collision, and the driver's name, address, and the registered number of the motor vehicle the driver was operating, and then remain at the scene of the accident or collision until a police officer arrives, unless removed from the scene by an emergency vehicle operated by a political subdivision or an ambulance.

If the accident or collision is with an unoccupied or unattended motor vehicle, the operator who collides with the motor vehicle shall securely attach the information required to be given in this section, in writing, to a conspicuous place in or on the unoccupied or unattended motor vehicle.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of failure to stop after an accident, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the accident or collision results in serious physical harm to a person, failure to stop after an accident is a felony of the fifth degree. If the accident or collision results in the death of a person, failure to stop after an accident is a felony of the third degree. The court, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, shall impose upon the offender a class five suspension of the offender's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege from the range specified in division (A)(5) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code. No judge shall suspend the first six months of suspension of an offender's license, permit, or privilege required by this division.

The offender shall provide the court with proof of financial responsibility as defined in section 4509.01 of the Revised Code. If the offender fails to provide that proof of financial responsibility, then, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, the court may order restitution pursuant to section 2929.18 or 2929.28 of the Revised Code in an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars for any economic loss arising from an accident or collision that was the direct and proximate result of the offender's operation of the motor vehicle before, during, or after committing the offense charged under this section.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.25, HB 5, §1, eff. 9/23/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.52, HB 338, §1, eff. 9/17/2010.

Effective Date: 2004 SB123 01-01-2004; 2004 HB50 01-01-2004

4549.021 Stopping after accident on other than public roads or highways.

(A) In case of accident or collision resulting in injury or damage to persons or property upon any public or private property other than public roads or highways, due to the driving or operation thereon of any motor vehicle, the person driving or operating the motor vehicle, having knowledge of the accident or collision, shall stop, and, upon request of the person injured or damaged, or any other person, shall give that person the driver's or operator's name and address, and, if the driver or operator is not the owner, the name and address of the owner of that motor vehicle, together with the registered number of that motor vehicle, and, if available, exhibit the driver's or operator's driver's or commercial driver's license.

If the owner or person in charge of the damaged property is not furnished such information, the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the accident or collision, within twenty-four hours after the accident or collision, shall forward to the police department of the city or village in which the accident or collision occurred or if it occurred outside the corporate limits of a city or village to the sheriff of the county in which the accident or collision occurred the same information required to be given to the owner or person in control of the damaged property and give the date, time, and location of the accident or collision.

If the accident or collision is with an unoccupied or unattended motor vehicle, the operator who collides with the motor vehicle shall securely attach the information required to be given in this section, in writing, to a conspicuous place in or on the unoccupied or unattended motor vehicle.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of failure to stop after a nonpublic road accident, a misdemeanor of the first degree. If the accident or collision results in serious physical harm to a person, failure to stop after a nonpublic road accident is a felony of the fifth degree. If the accident or collision results in the death of a person, failure to stop after a nonpublic road accident is a felony of the third degree. The court, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, shall impose upon the offender a class five suspension of the offender's driver's license, commercial driver's license, temporary instruction permit, probationary license, or nonresident operating privilege from the range specified in division (A)(5) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code. No judge shall suspend the first six months of suspension of an offender's license, permit, or privilege required by this division.

The offender shall provide the court with proof of financial responsibility as defined in section 4509.01 of the Revised Code. If the offender fails to provide that proof of financial responsibility, then, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, the court may order restitution pursuant to section 2929.18 or 2929.28 of the Revised Code in an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars for any economic loss arising from an accident or collision that was the direct and proximate result of the offender's operation of the motor vehicle before, during, or after committing the offense charged under this section.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.25, HB 5, §1, eff. 9/23/2011.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.52, HB 338, §1, eff. 9/17/2010.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.03 Stopping after accident involving damage to realty or personal property attached to real property.

(A) The driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in damage to real property, or personal property attached to real property, legally upon or adjacent to a public road or highway immediately shall stop and take reasonable steps to locate and notify the owner or person in charge of the property of that fact, of the driver's name and address, and of the registration number of the vehicle the driver is driving and, upon request and if available, shall exhibit the driver's or commercial driver's license.

If the owner or person in charge of the property cannot be located after reasonable search, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident resulting in damage to the property, within twenty-four hours after the accident, shall forward to the police department of the city or village in which the accident or collision occurred, or if it occurred outside the corporate limits of a city or village to the sheriff of the county in which the accident or collision occurred, the same information required to be given to the owner or person in control of the property and give the location of the accident and a description of the damage insofar as it is known.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of failure to stop after an accident involving the property of others, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

The offender shall provide the court with proof of financial responsibility as defined in section 4509.01 of the Revised Code. If the offender fails to provide that proof of financial responsibility, then, in addition to any other penalties provided by law, the court may order restitution pursuant to section 2929.28 of the Revised Code in an amount not exceeding five thousand dollars for any economic loss arising from an accident or collision that was the direct and proximate result of the offender's operation of the motor vehicle before, during, or after committing the offense charged under this section.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.25, HB 5, §1, eff. 9/23/2011.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.04, 4549.041 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

4549.042 Sale or possession of master key designed to fit more than one motor vehicle.

(A)

(1) No person shall sell or otherwise dispose of a master key designed to fit more than one motor vehicle, knowing or having reasonable cause to believe the key will be used to commit a crime.

(2) No person shall buy, receive, or have in the person's possession a master key designed to fit more than one motor vehicle, for the purpose of using the key to commit a crime.

(B) Whoever violates division (A)(1) or (2) of this section is guilty of a motor vehicle master key violation, a felony of the fifth degree on a first offense and a felony of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.05 Removing ignition key left in ignition switch.

A law enforcement officer may remove the ignition key left in the ignition switch of an unlocked and unattended motor vehicle parked on a street or highway. The officer removing said key shall place notification upon the vehicle detailing his name and badge number, the place where said key may be reclaimed, and the procedure for reclaiming said key. The key shall be returned to the owner of the motor vehicle upon presentation of proof of ownership.

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

4549.06 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

4549.07 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 03-28-1985

4549.08 Fictitious license plates or identification number or mark.

(A) No person shall operate or drive a motor vehicle upon the public roads and highways in this state if it displays a license plate or a distinctive number or identification mark that meets any of the following criteria:

(1) Is fictitious;

(2) Is a counterfeit or an unlawfully made copy of any distinctive number or identification mark;

(3) Belongs to another motor vehicle, provided that this section does not apply to a motor vehicle that is operated on the public roads and highways in this state when the motor vehicle displays license plates that originally were issued for a motor vehicle that previously was owned by the same person who owns the motor vehicle that is operated on the public roads and highways in this state, during the thirty-day period described in division (A)(4) of section 4503.12 of the Revised Code.

(B) A person who fails to comply with the transfer of registration provisions of section 4503.12 of the Revised Code and is charged with a violation of that section shall not be charged with a violation of this section.

(C) Whoever violates division (A)(1), (2), or (3) of this section is guilty of operating a motor vehicle bearing an invalid license plate or identification mark, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the third degree on each subsequent offense.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.081 Rules for electronic clearance devices.

(A) The superintendent of the state highway patrol shall adopt rules governing the use of an electronic clearance device that enables an operator of a commercial motor vehicle, in accordance with division (B) of section 4511.121 of the Revised Code, to bypass a scale location established for the purpose of determining the weight of the vehicle and its load. The superintendent shall establish the acceptable types and features of such devices. The rules of the superintendent also shall establish a method for a peace officer to determine that the device and its use are in compliance with this section and the rules of the superintendent.

(B) No person shall use an electronic clearance device if the device or its use is not in compliance with rules of the superintendent.

(C) Whoever violates division (B) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the third degree on each subsequent offense.

Effective Date: 09-16-2004

4549.09 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

4549.10 Operating manufacturer vehicle without placard.

(A) No person shall operate or cause to be operated upon a public road or highway a motor vehicle of a manufacturer or dealer unless the vehicle carries and displays two placards, except as provided in section 4503.21 of the Revised Code, issued by the director of public safety that bear the registration number of its manufacturer or dealer.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of illegal operation of a manufacturer's or dealer's motor vehicle, a minor misdemeanor .

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.11 Operating with number of former owner.

(A) No person shall operate or drive upon the highways of this state a motor vehicle acquired from a former owner who has registered the motor vehicle, while the motor vehicle displays the distinctive number or identification mark assigned to it upon its original registration.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of operation of a motor vehicle bearing license plates or an identification mark issued to another, a minor misdemeanor on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.12 Resident operating with number issued by foreign state.

(A) No person who is the owner of a motor vehicle and a resident of this state shall operate or drive the motor vehicle upon the highways of this state, while it displays a distinctive number or identification mark issued by or under the authority of another state, without complying with the laws of this state relating to the registration and identification of motor vehicles.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of illegal operation by a resident of this state of a motor vehicle bearing the distinctive number or identification mark issued by a foreign jurisdiction, a minor misdemeanor .

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.13 Marking and equipment for motor vehicle used by traffic enforcement officers.

Any motor vehicle used by a member of the state highway patrol or by any other peace officer, while said officer is on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing the motor vehicle or traffic laws of this state, provided the offense is punishable as a misdemeanor, shall be marked in some distinctive manner or color and shall be equipped with, but need not necessarily have in operation at all times, at least one flashing, oscillating, or rotating colored light mounted outside on top of the vehicle. The superintendent of the state highway patrol shall specify what constitutes such a distinctive marking or color for the state highway patrol.

Effective Date: 10-25-1979

4549.14 Incompetency of officer as witness.

Any officer arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, a person charged with violating the motor vehicle or traffic laws of this state, provided the offense is punishable as a misdemeanor, such officer being on duty exclusively or for the main purpose of enforcing such laws, is incompetent to testify as a witness in any prosecution against such arrested person if such officer at the time of the arrest was using a motor vehicle not marked in accordance with section 4549.13 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4549.15 Distinctive uniform for traffic officers.

Every member of the state highway patrol and every other peace officer, while such officer is on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing motor vehicle or traffic laws of this state, provided the offense is punishable as a misdemeanor, shall wear a distinctive uniform. The superintendent of the patrol shall specify what constitutes such a distinctive uniform for the state highway patrol.

Effective Date: 10-25-1979

4549.16 Arresting officer as witness.

Any officer arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, a person charged with violating the motor vehicle or traffic laws of this state, provided the offense is punishable as a misdemeanor, such officer being on duty exclusively or for the main purpose of enforcing such laws is incompetent to testify as a witness in any prosecution against such arrested person if such officer at the time of the arrest was not wearing a distinctive uniform in accordance with section 4549.15 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4549.17 Restriction on issuing traffic citations where only small portion of freeway located in jurisdiction.

(A) No law enforcement officer employed by a law enforcement agency of a municipal corporation, township, or joint police district shall issue any citation, summons, or ticket for a violation of section 4511.21 of the Revised Code or a substantially similar municipal ordinance or for a violation of section 5577.04 of the Revised Code or a substantially similar municipal ordinance, if all of the following apply:

(1) The citation, summons, or ticket would be issued for a violation described in division (A) of this section that occurs on a freeway that is part of the interstate system;

(2) The municipal corporation, township, or joint police district that employs the law enforcement officer has less than eight hundred eighty yards of the freeway that is part of the interstate system within its jurisdiction;

(3) The law enforcement officer must travel outside the boundaries of the municipal corporation, township, or joint police district that employs the officer in order to enter onto the freeway;

(4) The law enforcement officer travels onto the freeway for the primary purpose of issuing citations, summonses, or tickets for violations of section 4511.21 of the Revised Code or a substantially similar municipal ordinance or for violations of section 5577.04 of the Revised Code or a substantially similar municipal ordinance.

(B) As used in this section, "interstate system" has the same meaning as in section 5516.01 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 9/29/2011.

Effective Date: 10-12-1994

4549.18 Certificate of registration of commercial vehicles.

(A) The operator of a "commercial car," as defined in section 4501.01 of the Revised Code, when the commercial car is required to be registered under the Revised Code, shall, when operating the commercial car, trailer, or semitrailer on the streets, roads, or highways of this state, display inside or on the vehicle the certificate of registration for the commercial car, trailer, or semitrailer provided for in section 4503.19 of the Revised Code, or shall carry the certificate on the operator's person and display it upon the demand of any state highway patrol trooper or other peace officer.

Every person operating a commercial car, trailer, or semitrailer required to be registered under the Revised Code shall permit the inspection of the certificate of registration upon demand of the superintendent or any member of the state highway patrol or other peace officer of this state.

(B) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of a commercial car certificate of registration violation, a minor misdemeanor.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.19 Enforcement of proceedings against violators.

Proceedings to enforce section 4549.18 of the Revised Code shall be brought in any court of record situated in the county in which the violation occurred, and all municipal courts shall have county-wide jurisdiction over such violations. Such actions shall be governed by section 4507.15 of the Revised Code. Commercial cars which are registered under the laws of another state, the owners of which are not residents of this state and which are operated in compliance with the laws of the state of their owner's residence, are not subject to this section and section 4549.18 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

4549.20 Improper replacement of motor vehicle air bag.

(A) As used in this section :

(1) "Air bag" has the same meaning as in 49 C.F.R. 579.4, as amended.

(2) "Counterfeit air bag" means an air bag displaying a mark identical or similar to the genuine mark of a motor vehicle manufacturer, without the authorization of the motor vehicle manufacturer.

(3) "Nonfunctional air bag" means any of the following:

(a) A replacement air bag that has been previously deployed or damaged;

(b) A replacement air bag that has an electrical fault that is detected by the air bag diagnostic system of a vehicle after the air bag is installed;

(c) A counterfeit air bag, air bag cover, or some other object that is installed in a vehicle to deceive an owner or operator of the vehicle into believing that a functional air bag has been installed.

(B) No person shall install or reinstall in any motor vehicle a counterfeit or nonfunctional air bag or any object intended to fulfill the function of an air bag other than an air bag that was designed in conformance with or that is regulated by federal motor vehicle safety standard number 208 for the make, model, and model year of the vehicle, knowing that the object is not in accordance with that standard.

(C) No person shall knowingly manufacture, import, sell, or offer for sale any of the following:

(1) A counterfeit air bag;

(2) A nonfunctional air bag;

(3) Any other object that is intended to be installed in a motor vehicle to fulfill the function of an air bag and that is not in conformance with federal motor vehicle safety standard number 208 for the make, model, and model year of the vehicle in which the object is intended to be installed.

(D) No person shall knowingly sell, install, or reinstall a device in a motor vehicle that causes the diagnostic system of a vehicle to inaccurately indicate that the vehicle is equipped with a functional air bag.

(E)

(1) Whoever violates division (B) or (D) of this section is guilty of improper replacement of a motor vehicle air bag, a misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense. On each subsequent offense, or if the violation results in serious physical harm to an individual, the person is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

(2) A violation of division (C) of this section is a felony of the fifth degree except as provided as follows:

(a) If the cumulative sales price of the air bags or objects involved in the violation of division (C) of this section is five thousand dollars or more but less than one hundred thousand dollars or if the number of air bags or objects involved in the violation of division (C) of this section is more than one hundred but less than one thousand, a violation of division (C) of this section is a felony of the fourth degree.

(b) If the cumulative sales price of the air bags or objects involved in the violation of division (C) of this section is one hundred thousand dollars or more or if the number of air bags or objects involved in the violation of division (C) of this section is one thousand or more, a violation of division (C) of this section is a felony of the third degree.

(3) Each manufacture, importation, installation, reinstallation, sale, or offer for sale in violation of this section shall constitute a separate and distinct violation.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. 54, HB 177, §1, eff. 3/20/2014.

Effective Date: 09-16-2004

4549.21 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-1974

4549.31 Venue.

(A) Any person who as a part of a continuing course of criminal conduct commits auto theft offenses in more than one county may be indicted and tried for all such offenses in any county where one such offense was committed. It is prima-facie evidence of a continuing course of criminal conduct if an offender commits two or more auto theft offenses within a period of six months.

(B) As used in this section, "auto theft offense" means any of the following:

(1) A violation of section 4505.19 , 4549.05 , 4549.08 , or 4549.62 of the Revised Code;

(2) A violation of a law of another state or the United States substantially equivalent to any offense listed in division (B)(1) of this section;

(3) A violation of a law of this or any other state, or of the United States, of which an element is forging or altering a motor vehicle title or registration, or obtaining a motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts or accessories by theft or fraud, or wrongful conversion of a motor vehicle, or taking, operating, or keeping a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner, or receiving or disposing of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts or accessories knowing the same to have been unlawfully obtained.

Effective Date: 03-28-1985

4549.41 Odometer rollback and disclosure act definitions.

As used in sections 4549.41 to 4549.51 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Person" includes an individual, corporation, government, governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, association, or cooperative or any other legal entity, whether acting individually or by their agents, officers, employees, or representatives.

(B) "Motor vehicle" means any vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power for use on the public streets, roads, or highways.

(C) "Odometer" means an instrument for measuring and recording the total distance that a motor vehicle travels while in operation, including any cable, line, or other part necessary to make the instrument function properly. Odometer does not include any auxiliary odometer designed to be reset by the operator of a motor vehicle for the purpose of recording mileage on trips.

(D) "Transfer" means to change ownership of a motor vehicle by purchase, by gift, or, except as otherwise provided in this division, by any other means. A "transfer" does not include a change of ownership as a result of a bequest, under the laws of intestate succession, as a result of a surviving spouse's actions pursuant to section 2106.18 or 4505.10 of the Revised Code, as a result of the operation of section 2131.12 or 2131.13 of the Revised Code, or in connection with the creation of a security interest.

(E) "Transferor" means the person involved in a transfer, who transfers ownership of a motor vehicle.

(F) "Transferee" means the person involved in a transfer, to whom the ownership of a motor vehicle is transferred.

(G) "Service" means to repair or replace an odometer that is not properly functioning.

Effective Date: 07-23-2002

4549.42 Tampering with or disconnection of odometers.

(A) No person shall adjust, alter, change, tamper with, advance, set back, disconnect, or fail to connect, an odometer of a motor vehicle, or cause any of the foregoing to occur to an odometer of a motor vehicle with the intent to alter the number of miles registered on the odometer.

(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to the disconnection of an odometer used for registering the mileage of any new motor vehicle being tested by the manufacturer prior to delivery to a franchise dealer.

(C) Nothing in this section prevents the service of an odometer, provided that after the service a completed form, captioned "notice of odometer repair," shall be attached to the left door frame of the motor vehicle by the person performing the repairs. The notice shall contain, in bold-face type, the following information and statements:

"Notice of Odometer Repair

The odometer of this motor vehicle was repaired or replaced on ................. (date of service).

The mileage registered on the odometer of this motor vehicle before repair was ........... (mileage).

The mileage registered on the odometer of this motor vehicle after repair is ........... (mileage).

.................Repairer's signature"

(D) No person shall intentionally remove or alter the notice required by division (C) of this section.

(E) If after the service of an odometer, the odometer can be set at the same mileage as before the service, the odometer shall be adjusted to reflect that mileage registered on the odometer of the motor vehicle before the service. If the odometer cannot be set at the same mileage as before the service, the odometer of the motor vehicle shall be adjusted to read "zero."

(F) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of tampering with an odometer, a felony of the fifth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section or of any provision of sections 4549.43 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, tampering with an odometer is a felony of the fourth degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.43 Sale or use of fraudulent odometer.

(A) No person, with intent to defraud, shall advertise for sale, sell, use, or install on any part of any motor vehicle or an odometer in any motor vehicle any device that causes the odometer to register any mileage other than the actual mileage driven by the motor vehicle. For the purpose of this section, the actual mileage driven is that mileage driven by the motor vehicle as registered by an odometer within the manufacturer's designed tolerance.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of selling or installing an odometer tampering device, a felony of the fourth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section, section 4549.42 , or any provision of sections 4549.44 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, selling or installing an odometer tampering device is a felony of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.44 Operating with disconnected or nonfunctional odometer.

(A) No person, with intent to defraud, shall operate a motor vehicle on any public street, road, or highway of this state knowing that the odometer of the vehicle is disconnected or nonfunctional.

A person's intent to defraud under this section may be inferred from evidence of the circumstances of the vehicle's operation, including facts pertaining to the length of time or number of miles of operation with a nonfunctioning or disconnected odometer, and the fact that the person subsequently transferred the vehicle without disclosing the inoperative odometer to the transferee in violation of section 4549.45 of the Revised Code.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of fraudulent driving without a functional odometer, a felony of the fourth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section, section 4549.42 or 4549.43 , or any provision of sections 4549.45 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, fraudulent driving without a functional odometer is a felony of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.45 Written notice of tampering or nonfunction.

(A) No person shall transfer a motor vehicle if the person knows or recklessly disregards facts indicating that the odometer of the motor vehicle has been changed, tampered with, or disconnected, or has been in any other manner nonfunctional, to reflect a lesser mileage or use, unless that person gives clear and unequivocal notice of the tampering or nonfunction or of the person's reasonable belief of tampering or nonfunction, to the transferee in writing prior to the transfer. In a prosecution for violation of this section, evidence that a transferor or the transferor's agent has changed, tampered with, disconnected, or failed to connect the odometer of the motor vehicle constitutes prima-facie evidence of knowledge of the odometer's altered condition.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of transferring a motor vehicle that has a tampered or nonfunctional odometer, a felony of the fourth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section, any provision of sections 4549.42 to 4549.44 , or any provision of section 4549.451 or 4549.46 of the Revised Code, transferring a motor vehicle that has a tampered or nonfunctional odometer is a felony of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.451 Auctioneer's statement of disconnected or nonfunctional odometer.

(A) No auctioneer licensed under Chapter 4707. of the Revised Code shall advertise for sale by means of any written advertisement, brochure, flyer, or other writing, any motor vehicle the auctioneer knows or has reason to believe has an odometer that has been changed, tampered with, or disconnected, or in any other manner has been nonfunctional, unless the listing or description of the vehicle contained in the written advertisement, brochure, flyer, or other writing contains one of the two following statements:

(1) "This motor vehicle has an odometer that has been changed, tampered with, or disconnected, or otherwise has been nonfunctional."

(2) "Nonactual odometer reading: warning - odometer discrepancy."

(B) The statement selected by the auctioneer shall be printed in type identical in size to the other type used in the listing or description, and shall be located within the listing or description and not located as a footnote to the listing or description.

(C) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section, any provision of sections 4549.42 to 4549.45 , or section 4549.46 of the Revised Code, whoever violates this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.46 Written odometer disclosure statement.

(A) No transferor shall fail to provide the true and complete odometer disclosures required by section 4505.06 of the Revised Code. The transferor of a motor vehicle is not in violation of this division requiring a true odometer reading if the odometer reading is incorrect due to a previous owner's violation of any of the provisions contained in sections 4549.42 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, unless the transferor knows of or recklessly disregards facts indicating the violation.

(B) No dealer or wholesaler who acquires ownership of a motor vehicle shall accept any written odometer disclosure statement unless the statement is completed as required by section 4505.06 of the Revised Code.

(C) A motor vehicle leasing dealer may obtain a written odometer disclosure statement completed as required by section 4505.06 of the Revised Code from a motor vehicle lessee that can be used as prima-facie evidence in any legal action arising under sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code.

(D) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates division (A) or (B) of this section is guilty of an odometer disclosure violation, a felony of the fourth degree. If the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a violation of this section or any provision of sections 4549.42 to 4549.451 of the Revised Code, a violation of this section is a felony of the third degree.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.47 Attorney general investigations.

(A) If by his own inquiries or as a result of complaints, the attorney general has reason to believe that a person has engaged, is engaging, or is preparing to engage, in a violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, he may investigate.

(B) For this purpose the attorney general may administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, adduce evidence, and require the production of relevant matter.

If the matter that the attorney general requires to be produced is located outside the state, he may designate representatives, including officials of the state in which the matter is located, to inspect the matter on his behalf, and he may respond to similar requests from officials of other states. The person subpoenaed may make the matter available to the attorney general at a convenient location within the state or pay the reasonable and necessary expenses for the attorney general or his representative to examine the matter at the place where it is located, provided that expenses shall not be charged to a party not subsequently found to have engaged in a violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code.

(C) At any time before the return day specified in the subpoena, or within twenty days after the subpoena has been served, whichever period is shorter, a petition to extend the return day, or to modify or quash the subpoena, stating good cause, may be filed in the court of common pleas in Franklin county or in the county where the person served resides or has his principal place of business.

(D) A person subpoenaed under this section shall comply with the terms of the subpoena unless otherwise provided by court order entered prior to the day for return contained in the subpoena or as extended by the court. If a person fails without lawful excuse to obey a subpoena or to produce relevant matter, the attorney general may apply to a court of common pleas and obtain an order doing any of the following:

(1) Adjudging the person in contempt of court;

(2) Granting injunctive relief to restrain the person from engaging in any conduct that violates sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code;

(3) Granting injunctive relief to preserve or restore the status quo;

(4) Granting such other relief as may be required until the person obeys the subpoena.

If a person violates any order entered by a court under this section, the violation shall be punished as a violation of an injunction issued under division (A) of section 4549.48 of the Revised Code.

(E) The attorney general may request that an individual who refuses to testify or to produce relevant matter on the ground that the testimony or matter may incriminate him be ordered by the court to provide the testimony or matter. With the exception of a prosecution for perjury and an action for damages under section 4549.49 of the Revised Code, an individual who complies with a court order to provide testimony or matter, after asserting a privilege against self-incrimination to which he is entitled by law, shall not be subjected to a criminal proceeding on the basis of the testimony or matter required to be disclosed or testimony or matter discovered through that testimony or matter.

Effective Date: 09-06-1977

4549.48 Injunctions.

(A) Whenever it appears that a person has violated, is violating, or is about to violate any provision of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, the attorney general may bring an action in the court of common pleas to enjoin the violation. Upon a showing of a violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction shall be granted without bond. The court may impose a penalty of not more than five thousand dollars for each day of violation of a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction issued under this section. The court may issue an order requiring the reimbursement of a consumer for any loss that results from a violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, for the recovery of any amounts for which a violator is liable pursuant to division (A) of section 4549.49 of the Revised Code, for the appointment of a referee or receiver, for the sequestration of assets, for the rescission of transfers of motor vehicles, or granting any other appropriate relief. The court may award the attorney general all costs together with all expenses of his investigation and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred in the prosecution of the action, which shall be deposited in the consumer protection enforcement fund created by section 1345.51 of the Revised Code.

(B) In addition to the remedies otherwise provided by this section, the attorney general may request and the court shall impose a civil penalty of not less than one thousand nor more than two thousand dollars for each violation. A violation of any provision of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code shall, for purposes of this section, constitute a separate violation with respect to each motor vehicle or unlawful device involved, except that the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars for any related series of violations by a person. Civil penalties ordered pursuant to this division shall be paid as follows: one-fourth of the amount to the treasurer of the county in which the action is brought; three-fourths to the consumer protection enforcement fund created by section 1345.51 of the Revised Code.

(C) The remedies prescribed by this section are cumulative and concurrent with any other remedy, and the existence or exercise of one remedy does not prevent the exercise of any other remedy.

Effective Date: 03-19-1987

4549.49 Liability to transferee subsequent to violation.

(A) Any person who violates any requirement imposed by sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code is liable to any transferee of the motor vehicle subsequent to the violation, in an amount equal to:

(1) Three times the amount of actual damages sustained or fifteen hundred dollars, whichever is greater; and

(2) In the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, the costs of the action together with reasonable attorneys' fees as determined by the court.

(B) An action to enforce any liability created under sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code may be brought in a court of common pleas without regard to the amount in controversy, or in any other court of competent jurisdiction, within two years from the date on which the liability arises. For the purpose of this section, liability arises when the transferee discovers, or with due diligence should have discovered, the violation.

Effective Date: 09-06-1977

4549.50 Revocation or denial of license or permit as motor vehicle dealer.

Violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code by any person licensed or granted a permit by this state as a dealer, wholesaler, distributor, salesman, or auction owner under Chapter 4517. of the Revised Code, is prima-facie evidence of intent to defraud and constitutes cause for the revocation or denial of the license of such person to sell any motor vehicle in this state. Any person who violates sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code, upon receiving notice from the registrar of motor vehicles or motor vehicle dealers board of the intent to revoke or suspend a license or permit, shall immediately post a surety bond with the registrar in favor of the state in the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars and shall maintain the bond while the license or permit is in effect. The bond shall be for the use, benefit, and protection of any transferee damaged by the licensee's or permitee's violation of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code or for the payment of civil penalties or costs resulting from enforcement actions. Any transferee claiming against the bond or the attorney general may maintain an action against the transferor or the surety, except that the surety is liable only for actual damages. The aggregate liability of the surety shall not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars. Any money unclaimed by transferees after two years from the date of the conviction of or judgment against the transferor shall be deposited in the consumer protection enforcement fund created by section 1345.51 of the Revised Code. The surety bond shall remain in effect until the license or permit is revoked or suspended by the motor vehicle dealers board pursuant to section 4517.33 of the Revised Code. Upon reinstatement of a license or permit that has been suspended, or upon reissuance of a license or permit after the period of revocation, the licensee or permit[t]ee shall post an additional surety bond in accordance with this section. The surety bond shall remain in effect during the period in which the licensee or permitee engages in business in the state.

Effective Date: 03-19-1987

4549.51 Remedies.

The remedies under sections 4549.41 to 4549.51 of the Revised Code are in addition to remedies otherwise available for the same conduct under federal, state, or local law.

Effective Date: 09-06-1977

4549.52 Criminal action to enforce odometer violations.

The prosecuting attorney of the county in which a violation of any provision of sections 4549.41 to 4549.51 of the Revised Code occurs, or the attorney general, may bring a criminal action to enforce the provisions of sections 4549.41 to 4549.51 of the Revised Code. The attorney general and the prosecuting attorney of the county in which a person licensed or granted a permit under Chapter 4517. of the Revised Code is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of any provision of sections 4549.41 to 4549.46 of the Revised Code shall report the conviction or guilty plea to the registrar of motor vehicles within five business days of the conviction or plea.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004

4549.61 Tampering with identifying numbers definitions.

As used in sections 4549.61 to 4549.63 of the Revised Code, "vehicle identification number or derivative thereof" means any number or derivative of such a number that is embossed, engraved, etched, or otherwise marked on any vehicle or vehicle part by the manufacturer. "Vehicle identification number" also includes a duplicate vehicle identification number replaced upon a vehicle under the authority of the registrar of motor vehicles.

Effective Date: 03-28-1985

4549.62 Offenses with purpose to conceal or destroy identity.

(A) No person, with purpose to conceal or destroy the identity of a vehicle or vehicle part, shall remove, deface, cover, alter, or destroy any vehicle identification number or derivative of a vehicle identification number on a vehicle or vehicle part.

(B) No person, with purpose to conceal or destroy the identity of a vehicle or a vehicle part, shall remove, deface, cover, alter, or destroy any identifying number that has been lawfully placed upon a vehicle or vehicle part by an owner of the vehicle or vehicle part, other than the manufacturer, for the purpose of deterring its theft and facilitating its recovery if stolen.

(C) No person, with purpose to conceal or destroy the identity of a vehicle or vehicle part, shall place a counterfeit vehicle identification number or derivative of a vehicle identification number upon the vehicle or vehicle part.

(D)

(1) No person shall buy, offer to buy, sell, offer to sell, receive, dispose of, conceal, or, except as provided in division (D)(4) of this section, possess any vehicle or vehicle part with knowledge that the vehicle identification number or a derivative of the vehicle identification number has been removed, defaced, covered, altered, or destroyed in such a manner that the identity of the vehicle or part cannot be determined by a visual examination of the number at the site where the manufacturer placed the number.

(2)

(a) A vehicle or vehicle part from which the vehicle identification number or a derivative of the vehicle identification number has been so removed, defaced, covered, altered, or destroyed shall be seized and forfeited under Chapter 2981. of the Revised Code unless division (D)(3) or (4) of this section applies to the vehicle or part. If a derivative of the vehicle identification number has been removed, defaced, covered, altered, or destroyed in such a manner that the identity of the part cannot be determined, the entire vehicle is subject to seizure pending a determination of the original identity and ownership of the vehicle and parts of the vehicle, and the rights of innocent owners to reclaim the remainder or any part of the vehicle.

(b) The lawful owners of parts upon a vehicle that has been seized under this section and that is subject to forfeiture under Chapter 2981. of the Revised Code are entitled to reclaim their respective parts upon satisfactory proof of all of the following:

(i) That the part is not needed for evidence in pending proceedings involving the vehicle or part and is not subject to forfeiture under Chapter 2981. of the Revised Code;

(ii) That the original identity and ownership of the part can be determined and that the claimant is the lawful owner of the part;

(iii) That no vehicle identification number or derivative of a vehicle identification number on the part has been destroyed or concealed in such a manner that the identity of the part cannot be determined from that number;

(iv) Payment of all costs of removing the part.

(3) Divisions (A), (B), and (D)(1) and (2) of this section do not apply to the good faith acquisition and disposition of vehicles and vehicle parts as junk or scrap in the ordinary course of business by a scrap metal processing facility as defined in division (D) of section 4737.05 of the Revised Code or by a motor vehicle salvage dealer licensed under Chapter 4738. of the Revised Code. This division does not create an element of an offense or an affirmative defense, or affect the burden of proceeding with the evidence or burden of proof in a criminal proceeding.

(4)

(a) Divisions (D)(1) and (2) of this section do not apply to the possession of an owner, or the owner's insurer, who provides satisfactory evidence of all of the following:

(i) That the vehicle identification number or derivative thereof on the vehicle or part has been removed, defaced, covered, altered, or destroyed, after the owner acquired such possession, by another person without the consent of the owner, by accident or other casualty not due to the owner's purpose to conceal or destroy the identity of the vehicle or vehicle part, or by ordinary wear and tear;

(ii) That the person is the owner of the vehicle as shown on a valid certificate of title issued by this state or certificate of title or other lawful evidence of title issued in another state, in a clear chain of title beginning with the manufacturer;

(iii) That the original identity of the vehicle can be established in a manner that excludes any reasonable probability that the vehicle has been stolen from another person.

(b) The registrar of motor vehicles shall adopt rules under Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to permit an owner described in division (D)(4)(a) of this section, upon application and submission of satisfactory evidence to the registrar, to obtain authority to replace the vehicle identification number under the supervision of a peace officer, trooper of the state highway patrol, or representative of the registrar. The rules shall be designed to restore the identification of the vehicle in a manner that will deter its theft and facilitate its marketability. Until such rules are adopted, the registrar shall follow the existing procedure for the replacement of vehicle identification numbers that have been established by the registrar, with such modifications as the registrar determines to be necessary or appropriate for the administration of the laws the registrar is required to administer.

The registrar may issue a temporary permit to an owner of a motor vehicle who is described in division (D)(4)(a) of this section to authorize the owner to retain possession of the motor vehicle and to transfer title to the motor vehicle with the consent of the registrar.

(c) No owner described in division (D)(4)(a) of this section shall fail knowingly to apply to the registrar for authority to replace the vehicle identification number, within thirty days after the later of the following dates:

(i) The date of receipt by the applicant of actual knowledge of the concealment or destruction;

(ii) If the property has been stolen, the date thereafter upon which the applicant obtains possession of the vehicle or has been notified by a law enforcement agency that the vehicle has been recovered.

The requirement of division (D)(4)(c) of this section may be excused by the registrar for good cause shown.

(E) Whoever violates division (A), (B), (C), or (D)(1) of this section is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree on a first offense and a felony of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.

(F) Whoever violates division (D)(4)(c) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

Effective Date: 01-01-2004; 07-01-2007

4549.63 Seizing vehicle part.

(A) A law enforcement officer may seize and take possession of a vehicle or vehicle part if the officer has probable cause to believe that any vehicle identification number or derivative thereof on the vehicle or part has been removed, defaced, covered, altered, or destroyed in such a manner that the identity of the vehicle or part cannot be determined by visual examination of the number at the site where the manufacturer placed the number. The seizure shall be pursuant to a warrant, unless the circumstances are within one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement that have been established by the supreme court of the United States or of the supreme court of this state.

(B) A vehicle or vehicle part seized under division (A) of this section shall be held in custody pursuant to section 2981.11 of the Revised Code or any applicable municipal ordinance.

(C) A law enforcement officer who acts in good faith in the belief that the seizure of a vehicle or vehicle part is justified under division (A) of this section is immune from any civil or criminal liability for such seizure.

(D) The lawful owner of a vehicle or vehicle part seized under this section that is not needed as evidence and is not subject to forfeiture under division (D)(2) of section 4549.62 of the Revised Code may reclaim the property by submitting satisfactory proof of ownership to the law enforcement agency or court holding the property.

Effective Date: 03-28-1985; 07-01-2007

4549.65 Immunity.

(A) As used in this section:

(1) "Motor vehicle leasing dealer" has the meaning set forth in division (M) of section 4517.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Motor vehicle renting dealer" means any person engaged in the business of regularly making available, offering to make available, or arranging for another person to use a motor vehicle pursuant to a bailment, rental agreement, or other contractual arrangement for a period of less than thirty days under which a charge is made for its use at a periodic rate and the title to the motor vehicle is in a person other than the user, but does not mean a manufacturer or its affiliate renting to its employees or to dealers.

(B) A motor vehicle leasing dealer or a motor vehicle renting dealer and its officers, employees, agents, and representatives are not liable to a lessee or renter for damages or injuries sustained as a result of the lessee's or renter's being stopped, detained, arrested, or charged in connection with a theft offense involving the leased or rented motor vehicle if such dealer, its officers, employees, agents, or representatives act in good faith upon a reasonable belief that the motor vehicle was or is being converted or stolen or if both of the following apply:

(1) The lessee or renter did not return the motor vehicle at the time and place specified in the lease or rental contract;

(2) The lessee or renter failed to return the motor vehicle within twenty-four hours after the dealer, or an officer, employee, agent, or representative of the dealer has served a written notice upon the lessee or renter, requesting the return of the motor vehicle, at the lessee's or renter's address set forth in the lease or rental contract. Service may be by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal or residence service.

Effective Date: 03-28-1985

4549.99 [Repealed].

Effective Date: 01-01-2004