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Am. S. B. No. 361 As Reported by the Senate Criminal Justice CommitteeAs Reported by the Senate Criminal Justice Committee
|130th General Assembly|
Senators Eklund, Obhof, LaRose, Bacon, Patton
To amend sections 2901.21 and 2901.22 and to enact
section 2901.20 of the Revised Code to clarify
when strict criminal liability is imposed or a
degree of culpability is required for the
commission of an offense, to modify the concept of
acting recklessly, and to require that future acts
creating criminal offenses specify the requisite
degree of culpability.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 2901.21 and 2901.22 be amended and
section 2901.20 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 2901.20. (A) Every act enacted on or after the
effective date of this section that creates a new criminal offense
shall specify the degree of mental culpability required for
commission of the offense. A criminal offense for which no degree
of mental culpability is specified that is enacted in an act in
violation of this
division is void.
(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to the
amendment of a criminal offense that existed on the effective date
of this section, but it does apply to a new criminal offense added
to a statute that existed on the effective date of this section.
Sec. 2901.21. (A) Except as provided in division (B) of this
section, a person is not guilty of an offense unless both of the
(1) The person's liability is based on conduct that includes
either a voluntary act, or an omission to perform an act or duty
that the person is capable of performing;
(2) The person has the requisite degree of culpability for
each element as to which a culpable mental state is specified by
section language defining the offense.
(B) When the
section language defining an offense does not
specify any degree of culpability, and plainly indicates a purpose
to impose strict criminal liability for the conduct described in
the section, then culpability is not required for a person to be
guilty of the offense. The fact that one division of a section
plainly indicates a purpose to impose strict liability for an
offense defined in that division does not by itself plainly
indicate a purpose to impose strict criminal liability for an
offense defined in other divisions of the section that do not
specify a degree of culpability.
the section language defining an element of an
offense that is related to knowledge or intent or to which mens
rea could fairly be applied neither specifies culpability nor
plainly indicates a purpose to impose strict liability,
recklessness is sufficient culpability to commit the offense the
element of the offense is established only if a person acts
(2) Division (C)(1) of this section does not apply to
offenses defined in Title XLV of the Revised Code.
(3) Division (C)(1) of this section does not relieve the
prosecution of the burden of proving the culpable mental state
required by any definition incorporated into the offense.
(C)(E) Voluntary intoxication may not be taken into
consideration in determining the existence of a mental state that
is an element of a criminal offense. Voluntary intoxication does
not relieve a person of a duty to act if failure to act
constitutes a criminal offense. Evidence that a person was
voluntarily intoxicated may be admissible to show whether or not
the person was physically capable of performing the act with which
the person is charged.
(D)(F) As used in this section:
(1) Possession is a voluntary act if the possessor knowingly
procured or received the thing possessed, or was aware of the
possessor's control of the thing possessed for a sufficient time
to have ended possession.
(2) Reflexes, convulsions, body movements during
unconsciousness or sleep, and body movements that are not
otherwise a product of the actor's volition, are involuntary acts.
(3) "Culpability" means purpose, knowledge, recklessness, or
negligence, as defined in section 2901.22 of the Revised Code.
(4) "Intoxication" includes, but is not limited to,
intoxication resulting from the ingestion of alcohol, a drug, or
alcohol and a drug.
Sec. 2901.22. (A) A person acts purposely when it is
person's specific intention to cause a certain result, or, when
the gist of the offense is a prohibition against conduct of a
certain nature, regardless of what the offender intends to
accomplish thereby, it is his the offender's specific intention to
engage in conduct of that nature.
(B) A person acts knowingly, regardless of
his purpose, when
he the person is aware that his the person's conduct will probably
cause a certain result or will probably be of a certain nature. A
person has knowledge of circumstances when he the person is aware
that such circumstances probably exist. When knowledge of the
existence of a particular fact is an element of an offense, such
knowledge is established if a person subjectively believes that
there is a high probability of its existence and fails to make
inquiry or acts with a conscious purpose to avoid learning the
(C) A person acts recklessly when, with heedless indifference
to the consequences,
he perversely the person disregards a known
substantial and unjustifiable risk that his the person's conduct
is likely to cause a certain result or is likely to be of a
certain nature. A person is reckless with respect to circumstances
when, with heedless indifference to the consequences, he
perversely the person disregards a known substantial and
unjustifiable risk that such circumstances are likely to exist.
(D) A person acts negligently when, because of a substantial
lapse from due care,
he the person fails to perceive or avoid a
risk that his the person's conduct may cause a certain result or
may be of a certain nature. A person is negligent with respect to
circumstances when, because of a substantial lapse from due care,
he the person fails to perceive or avoid a risk that such
circumstances may exist.
(E) When the section defining an offense provides that
negligence suffices to establish an element thereof, then
recklessness, knowledge, or purpose is also sufficient culpability
for such element. When recklessness suffices to establish an
element of an offense, then knowledge or purpose is also
sufficient culpability for such element. When knowledge suffices
to establish an element of an offense, then purpose is also
sufficient culpability for such element.
Section 2. That existing sections 2901.21 and 2901.22 of the
Revised Code are hereby repealed.