Receiving a reckless operation citation in Ohio is not like getting handed a regular traffic ticket. State statutes define driving recklessly as a criminal offense, and even pleading guilty without contesting the charge requires going to court to have the sentence imposed. Working with an experienced Franklin County reckless driving lawyer can protect a driver from serious penalties.
Local police officers and state troopers in Ohio have a great deal of authority to charge a driver with reckless operation. The sole legal standard, as stated in section 4511.20 of the Ohio Revised Code, is demonstrating “willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” Actions that law enforcement officers often cite as reckless include
Causing an accident raises the risk of getting charged with reckless operation, especially if the wreck happens at an intersection or in the course of a lane change.
Asking a reckless operation attorney in Franklin County about possible defenses can be a good idea. A conviction or guilty plea puts 4 points on the driver’s license, and having a reckless charge on your record can make getting or keeping a truck, bus, or construction equipment driving job difficult or impossible.
Anyone facing a second or third serious traffic violation case in a year should absolutely consider hiring a Franklin County reckless driving attorney because the charge moves up the misdemeanor offense chart to where jail time becomes a distinct possibility. Also, each conviction would put additional points on their driver’s license. Racking up 12 points within a 24-month period results in a 180-day license suspension.
Most alleged reckless operation offenses occur on roads and highways, but Ohio also has laws that make certain behaviors by boaters and pilots illegal. The reckless boating statute is actually more precise than its reckless driving counterpart, specifying that no one steering a boat or personal watercraft like a Jet Ski can follow a water-skier too closely, jump wakes, exceed speed limits in marked channels, or weave in and out of slower-moving vessels.
An experienced reckless operation attorney in Franklin County will be able to help boaters and pilots, as well as drivers. When the evidence or judgment of the law enforcement officer who made the charge of reckless operation can be called into question, pleading down to a lesser traffic violation or getting the charge dismissed altogether is often possible.
Do not simply accept guilt for reckless operation in central Ohio without first discussing your case with a Columbus reckless driving lawyer. Based in Columbus and available to appear in court in all the towns and villages around the capital city, the traffic ticket and criminal defense attorney with The Maher Law Firm offer free consultations. Call us at (614) 205-2208 to speak to a Columbus traffic ticket lawyer now or complete this online contact form.