Aggravated Vehicular Assault: What is Operation?
In order to convict a person of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, the State is required to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that, “while operating * * * a motor vehicle, * * * cause[d] serious physical harm to another person * * * [a]s the proximate result of committing a violation of division (A) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code * * *.” R.C. 2903.08(A)(1)(a).
The Ohio Jury Instructions with respect to vehicular assault provide a definition of “operate” which mimics that found in R.C. 4511.01(HHH). The definition of “operate” in R.C. 4511.01(HHH) encompasses past or completed movement of a vehicle. Ohio Jury Instructions, CR Section 503.08 (Rev. Jan. 23, 2010); State v. Lindsey, 190 Ohio App.3d 595, 2010-Ohio-5859, 943 N.E.2d 613, ¶ 22 (10th Dist.).
In State v. Miranda, 2014-Ohio-5312, the issue before this court was whether a defendant may be found to be “operating” a vehicle where that vehicle has been rendered inoperable as a result of the defendant’s driving under the influence of alcohol.
Miranda urged the court to interpret “while operating” in a strictly temporal sense, so as to require Miranda to have been actually operating the Prism at the time of the collision with the victim’s car. The State urged the court to apply the definition of “operate” set forth in R.C. 4511.01(HHH): “‘Operate’ means to cause or have caused movement of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley.”
Based on the law and analysis given above the court agreed with the broader definition of “operate” as set forth above and upheld the defendant’s conviction of Aggravated Vehicular Assault.
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For more info on Ohio Aggravated Vehicular Assault law, check these city-specific sites at the following links:
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Keywords: Ohio DUI law, Ohio Aggravated Vehicular Assault