The Ohio Revised Code does not provide an exact definition of what constitutes reckless driving. Rather, the first paragraph of section 4511.20 states only that a driver can be convicted of reckless operation of a vehicle if he or she displays “willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.”
Some local ordinances and general law enforcement guidelines make clear that exceeding a posted speed limit by 25 mph or more can be considered reckless operation. Other alleged traffic violations that the Franklin County reckless driving attorneys with The Maher Law Firm have seen police officers and state troopers cite as “willful and wanton disregard of safety” include:
- Crossing a double yellow line
- Passing in a no-passing zone
- Jumping a curb
- Going airborne over a bump
- Running a stop sign
- Running a red light
- Weaving in and out of slower-moving traffic
- Causing an accident by not yielding right of way while turning, merging, exiting a parking lot
- Driving too fast on icy or wet pavement
- Using the highway shoulder to pass or driving in the median
- Failing to clear frost or snow from the windshield before driving
What is Reckless Driving in Ohio?
One reason to consider hiring a Franklin County reckless driving defense attorney and challenging a reckless operation charge is that the law enforcement official is allowed to use so much subjective judgment while issuing the citation. A lawyer will know how to request and question any evidence and opinions the prosecution wants to use to make the case that the driver acted without due regard for safety.
Another reason to think about fighting a reckless operation charge is that Ohio often considers reckless driving a serious offense. Unlike other traffic violations, a first-time reckless operation is punishable by up to 30 days in jail. A judge can also impose fines, court fees, 4 points on your driving record, and a license suspension. Working with an experienced Columbus traffic defense lawyer can help a driver avoid those harsh penalties, possibly by negotiating a plea to a lesser offense.
Contact a Franklin County Reckless Driving Defense Attorney
If you need help with a reckless driving case in or around Columbus, Ohio, consider contacting a traffic attorney at The Maher Law Firm.