Cincinnati Reckless Driving Attorney
Reckless Driving Charges in Ohio
Hundreds of individuals are pulled over for driving recklessly on Ohio roadways every day. But this is more than a minor traffic citation. Reckless driving is a criminal offense in Ohio, and a conviction can hurt your criminal and driving record, cost you money in fines, and may even require time in jail.
To properly handle a reckless driving charge and protect your license, it’s best to consult a capable and experienced Cincinnati traffic lawyer. Call attorney Brad Groene and the Luftman, Heck, & Associates team in Cincinnati, Ohio. We’ll review the facts and explain what’s next. Call (513) 338-1890 for a free consultation.
Reckless Operation of a Vehicle in Ohio: (ORC 4511.20)
According to Ohio Revised Code (ORC 4511.20), reckless driving or reckless operation of a vehicle occurs when anyone operates a motor vehicle in a manner that purposefully or intentionally causes harm or danger to others or property.
The offense of Reckless driving covers anyone who operates a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, road, or highway in a way that’s purposefully and intentionally harmful or destructive to the well-being of individuals or property.
The following are examples of reckless driving/operation:
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Neglecting to yield to emergency vehicles
- Swerving, disregarding traffic signs, or other aggressive driving
- Excessive speeding
Reckless Driving Penalties
A first offense of reckless driving in Ohio is considered a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum $150 fine. However, if you are charged under Cincinnati Municipal Code Sec. 506-6 or have been convicted or plead guilty to another traffic violation within the past year, reckless driving could be charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor. This entails a maximum of 30 days in jail and fines of up to $250.
If you have been convicted of two or more vehicle offenses within the past year, you will be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor. This is punished with a maximum of 60 days in jail and fines of up to $500.
Reckless Driving & Your Ohio Driver’s License
In addition to jail time and fines, a reckless driving / reckless operation conviction also puts four points on your Ohio driving record. If you accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record, your driver’s license will be suspended.
Why Get a Lawyer for Reckless Driving Charges
When it comes to traffic offenses, it can be tempting to either accept your fate and plead guilty or attempt to handle the matter alone. However, a reckless driving conviction on your record is much more severe than a regular speeding ticket. And the negative impact on your license and insurance rates can be enough on their own to support the decision to work with a lawyer.
In addition, you won’t know all the nuances of traffic court and the alternatives available to you when charged with reckless driving. A lesser traffic offense may apply to your case, or a safe driving diversion class may keep points off your license. These are just a few ways an experienced defense lawyer can improve your circumstances when charged with reckless driving in Cincinnati.
Reckless Driving Defenses
While every case is different, with an attorney’s help, there may be any number of ways to challenge and defend against a reckless operation of a vehicle charge. The most common defenses in reckless driving cases are:
- The defendant was not physically driving the vehicle
- The diver’s actions may have been careless but not legally reckless
- The driver was distracted by something outside their control
- The police used uncalibrated equipment to gauge the driver’s speed
- The driver was acting out of necessity
Regardless of the unique details, the sooner you speak with an attorney, the better your options if you’re accused of reckless driving. The Luftman, Heck & Associates defense team has successfully defended hundreds of individuals charged with reckless driving/operation in the Cincinnati area. Let us use this knowledge, experience, and insight to preserve your license and record from unnecessary harm.
Cited for Reckless Driving? Get a Free Legal Consult Today.
Criminal charges can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. You are probably worried and have a lot of questions. You can rest assured because Cincinnati traffic lawyer Brad Groene is here for you.