Am. Sub. Senate Bill 288 takes effect April 4, 2023. Perhaps the best-known provision of the criminal law legislation expands the texting-while-driving prohibition to prohibit a person from using, holding or physically supporting an electronic wireless communication device (EWCD, more commonly called a mobile device) while driving. The new law generally allows only limited and mostly hands-free use of a mobile device while driving and makes use of a mobile device while driving a primary offense. Warnings are to be issued for violations of the ordinance over the first six months following its effective date, with hefty penalties for violations following this initial six month period.
Another provision of note clarifies the duty of a “mandatory reporter” of adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation to report such conduct, adding a “knowingly” mens rea regarding the duty. A mandatory reporter violates this duty if he or she has reasonable cause to believe that an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited and “knowingly” fails to immediately report that belief. Pursuant to R.C.5101.63(A)(2), attorneys are mandatory reporters. See Supreme Court website Elder Abuse Mandatory Reporter Training Materials.
The legislation also makes changes to criminal record sealing and expungement, modifying the list of conviction records that cannot be sealed and the timeframe when certain conviction records may be sealed. The new law additionally creates the offense of “strangulation” and provides that there is no period of limitations for the prosecution of a conspiracy to commit, attempt to commit, or complicity in committing “aggravated murder” or “murder.” Click for the full text of SB 288 as enrolled and the Final Analysis of the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.