Protecting the safety of airline passengers and the integrity of airport operations is a vital interest for the state of Ohio. To that end, Cleveland prosecutors have a number of options when it comes to how they charge a person under the Endangering Aircraft or Airport Operations (O.R.C. 2909.08) statute.
Endangering an Aircraft Sentence in Ohio
For Endangering Airport Operations, firing a weapon on airport property is a second-degree misdemeanor with a 90-day maximum sentence. When firing a weapon on airport property creates a risk of physical harm to any person, the charge is instead a fifth-degree felony with six to 12 months possible upon conviction. Where the risk of harm is substantial, the charge can go as high as a fourth-degree felony, with up to 18 months.
When it comes to Endangering Aircraft, firing a weapon at or throwing an object at an aircraft starts as a first-degree misdemeanor, with up to 180 days if convicted. When the violation puts people at risk, it is a fifth-degree felony, with six to 12 months possible if you are convicted. When the conduct puts people at substantial risk, or where the aircraft is occupied, you’ll face a fourth-degree felony charge and up to 18 months if convicted of Endangering Aircraft.
Interfering with Operation of Aircraft with Laser Arrests
According to O.R.C. 2909.081, the use of laser pointers is common everywhere today, which has led to a rash of incidents where individuals have turned the laser pointer toward an aircraft. Because of the way that lasers function and the tight beam of photons it creates, a laser hitting the cockpit windshield can cause significant vision problems for pilots, even when the plane is pretty far away from the laser pointer. To this end, it is a crime in Cleveland to shine a laser device at an aircraft as it is taking off, landing, or in flight.
This is a second-degree felony that can result in a 2-8 year prison sentence. Experienced legal help is a must when facing a charge this serious. In most cases, the operator of the laser meant no harm and had no idea that they were doing anything wrong. The attorneys at Patituce & Associates can protect your rights and freedoms when confronted with charges this serious.
At Patituce & Associates, our team of experienced former prosecutors can help build a strong case to protect you from jail time and a criminal record. If you or a family member need help, call us today for a free consultation.