Ohio Reckless Operation
An Ohio reckless operation conviction can have serious consequences, including hefty fines, potential jail time, and possible license suspension. If you or a loved one have been charged with reckless operation in Ohio, we can help.
Ohio Reckless Operation Laws
In the state of Ohio, drivers can be charged with “reckless operation” if they operate a vehicle with the “willful or wanton disregard of safety of persons or property.” The terms “willful or wanton” essentially mean that the driver either acted intentionally or understood that the behavior was risky and did it anyway.
The vague language of the law allows an officer to determine whether the driver’s behavior was willful or wanton.
If you are convicted of reckless driving in Ohio, the penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case, the jurisdiction in which you were charged, and whether you have previous convictions:
- No previous traffic convictions in the last year: Minor misdemeanor. No jail time and a $100 fine.
- One previous traffic conviction in the last year: Fourth-degree misdemeanor. Up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $250 fine.
- Two previous traffic convictions in the last year: Third-degree misdemeanor. Up to 60 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine.
Although it’s not required, the judge can suspend your driver’s license for six months to three years, even if you have no previous convictions.
A reckless driving conviction will also add four points to your Ohio driver’s license.
Several factors will be considered in a reckless driving case, including:
- Weather conditions at the time of the offense
- Time of day
- Whether there were other vehicles on the road at the time of the incident
- Whether the act was negligent
Should I Hire an Ohio Reckless Operation Lawyer?
If you have been charged with reckless operation in Ohio, an attorney can help you understand your rights and the best course of action to take. The consequences of a conviction can be serious.
- If the judge decides to suspend your license, it may be difficult or impossible for you to get to work.
- If you have one or more prior traffic convictions, you face potential jail time and expensive fines. Your freedom and ability to drive may be on the line.
An attorney will advocate for your rights and may be able to negotiate a lesser charge or reduced penalties.
Here is What You Need to Know About Ohio Reckless Operation
What qualifies as reckless driving in Ohio? Although the language of the law is vague, authorities may charge drivers with this offense if they are:
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Passing other vehicles illegally
- Disregarding traffic signs
- Tailgating other vehicles
In Ohio, drivers may also be convicted of other offenses related to reckless operation, such as:
Operation Without Reasonable Control
In some cases, drivers may be charged with “operation without reasonable control.” This offense is similar to reckless operation, but the penalties are less severe.
- Your license cannot be suspended
- The offense is always considered a minor misdemeanor, even if you have prior convictions
One significant difference between “operation without reasonable control” and “reckless operation” is that you can be charged with “operation without reasonable control” for accidentally losing control of your vehicle.
The law deems Ohio drivers responsible for maintaining control of their vehicles and stopping in time to avoid collisions.
“Wet Reckless” Driving
If a driver is charged with a DUI or OVI in Ohio, it’s possible to plea bargain for a lesser charge. When reduced to a reckless driving charge, the offense is often referred to as “wet reckless” driving.
When a driver’s reckless behavior causes “serious physical harm” to another person, he or she may be charged with “vehicular assault.”
Vehicular assault is a fourth-degree felony and comes with harsh penalties:
- 6-18 months in prison
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- 1-5-year license suspension
Vehicular assault is a serious offense, and you will need the help of an attorney if you are facing this charge. An attorney may be your best chance of having your charges reduced.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is considered reckless operation in Ohio?
Reckless operation is a misdemeanor charge in Ohio and could be a result of many different actions a driver took. Some common infractions include excessive speeding, passing illegally, tailgating, and otherwise putting themselves and others on the road in danger.
What is the penalty for reckless operation in Ohio?
The penalties for reckless operation depend on whether or not the driver has had previous infractions, as well as the severity of the infraction itself. Penalties can include fines, jail time, and even license suspension.
How long does a reckless operation stay on your record in Ohio?
If you have been convicted of reckless operation, that will remain on your record forever. Traffic violations cannot get expunged, the only way for reckless operation to be removed from your record is if it is dismissed before going to trial or if you were acquitted or found not guilty.
Charged with Reckless Operation? Find the Best Ohio Reckless Operation Attorney Near You
If you have been charged with reckless operation in Ohio, it is crucial to hire an attorney with experience handling reckless operation cases. There are many defenses that can help reduce or eliminate the charges.
- Law enforcement may have charged you with reckless driving when you should have been charged with speeding or a different offense.
- There may not be enough evidence to prove “willful or wanton disregard.”
Only an experienced attorney can help you navigate this complex area of the law and help you find the best course of action to take.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and get the help you deserve.