Many drivers in Ohio mistakenly believe driving violations are insignificant moving violations that will be resolved upon payment of a fine or completion of a driving safety course. However, many driving-related offenses are more serious, and can lead to severe repercussions, including jail or prison time, license suspension and vehicle forfeiture.
Common criminal traffic offenses in Ohio can include:
- Reckless Operation / Reckless Driving
- Driving with a Suspended License
- Leaving the Scene / Hit and Run
- Vehicular Traffic Stops
- Vehicular Assault
- Texting While Driving
- Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI)
- Willful or Wanton Operation of a Vehicle
- Street Racing
- Vehicular Homicide
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Failure to Comply with Police Order / Fleeing and Eluding
If you have allegedly committed several moving violations, or if you have been found in violation a more serious traffic offense, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony that can incur harsh penalties if you are convicted or found guilty.
Traffic Lawyer for Traffic Crimes in Columbus, OH
The Joslyn Law Firm can help you learn more about your traffic charge and assist you in finding the best possible outcome for your situation in the Columbus, Ohio area. If you do not hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may face severe consequences. Call for a free consultation today about your traffic violation in Franklin County and surrounding counties of Ohio.
Call for a free consultation today about your traffic violation in Franklin County and surrounding counties of Ohio.
Ohio Traffic Violation Information Center
- Ohio’s Driving Point System
- Common Traffic Violations in Ohio
- Driver’s License Suspension Classes
- Resources in Ohio for Traffic Law
Ohio’s Point System
Ohio has a driving point system, according to the Ohio Revised Code § 4510.036, where certain points are assigned to certain traffic violations, a driver has incurred. The number of points assigned depends on the type of offense and how serious it is. A person’s driver’s license can be temporarily or permanently suspended for incurring too many points within a specified time period. The following is a list of the various offenses that may receive point penalties and the assignment of points for each offense:
A person’s driver’s license can be temporarily or permanently suspended for incurring too many points within a specified time period. The following is a list of the various offenses that may receive point penalties and the assignment of points for each offense:
|Vehicular Manslaughter, Vehicular Homicide, or Aggravated Vehicular Homicide||6|
|OVI (Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs)||6|
|Failure to Stop After Accident||6|
|Failure to Comply with a Police Officer||6|
|Driving Under Suspension of a License||6|
|Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle||6|
|Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard for Persons or Property||4|
|Underage Operation of a Vehicle Under the Influence (UOVI)||4|
|Speeding in excess of 30 miles per hour of the speed limit||4|
|Speeding in excess of 11 to 29 miles per hour of a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or more||2|
|Speeding 6 to 29 miles per hour of a posted speed limit of 54 miles per hour or less||2|
|Other moving violations||2|
|Operating a vehicle in violation of the restrictions imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) registrar||2|
If any driver receives more than five points, the registrar of the BMV will send a warning letter listing the reported violations, the number of points for each violation, and the possible license suspensions.
If any person receives 12 or more points in a two-year period, the registrar of the BMV will send written notice to the person that their driver license is suspended under a class D suspension. The suspension is effective 20 days after the date of the notice. The driver is permitted to file a petition appealing the suspension in the 20 days before the suspension becomes effective.
Anyone who has between two and 20 points can take a driving instruction course, if it is not court-ordered, for a two-point credit on their driving record. The credit will apply after successful completion of the course. Only one credit is permitted in any three-year period, and a maximum of five credits may be used in a lifetime.
In order to have a license reinstated upon completion of a suspension, the driver is required to complete an approved driving instruction course, show proof of financial responsibility (automobile insurance), and take a driver’s license examination and/or a physical examination conducted by the registrar of the BMV.
Common Traffic Violations in Ohio
- Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of the Safety of Persons or Property under § 4511.20 of the Ohio Revised Code occurs when a person operating a vehicle on any street or highway of the state does so intentionally or deliberately regardless of the safety of others or property. This offense is punishable as a minor, fourth or third-degree misdemeanor.
- Driving Under Suspension or in Violation of License Restriction is defined in § 4510.11 of the Ohio Revised Code as operating a motor vehicle upon the public roads or highways or private property used for public travel while their license is suspended unless they have been granted limited driving privileges. This offense is punishable as misdemeanor of the first degree or as an unclassified misdemeanor, depending on how the license was suspended.
- Vehicular Manslaughter is causing the death of another while operating a vehicle in violation of a municipal ordinance or in violation of Title 45 of the Revised Code that is a minor misdemeanor, according to § 2903.06 of the Ohio Revised Code. This offense can be a misdemeanor of the first or second degree.
- Vehicular Homicide under § 2903.06 of the Ohio Revised Code is causing the death of another while operating a vehicle negligently. A violation of this statute can be a misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the fourth degree. Depending on the degree of the offense, a mandatory prison term may be required.
- Aggravated Vehicular Homicide according to § 2903.06 of the Ohio Revised Code is causing the death of another while operating a motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance or recklessly operating a motor vehicle that causes the death of another. This offense is punishable as a felony of the third, second or first degree. Depending on the degree of the offense, a mandatory prison sentence may be imposed.
- Street Racing, as defined in § 4511.251 of the Ohio Revised Code, occurs when two or more vehicles compete to out-distance each other while racing side by side, or the operation of one or more vehicles on a selected course for competitive timing on any public road, street or highway. This offense is punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.
- Failure to Comply with Order or Signal of Police Officer, also known as fleeing and eluding, is defined in §2921.331 of the Ohio Revised Code as operating a vehicle to intentionally elude or flee from a police officer after being signaled to stop their vehicle. This offense is punishable as either a misdemeanor of the first degree or felony of the third or fourth degree.
- Failure to Stop After an Accident on Public Roads or Highways is a violation due to the requirement for any person operating a motor vehicle on public roads or highways to immediately stop when they had knowledge of the accident or collision. They are also required to stay at the scene until they have given their information to the other driver, any person injured, or the police officer, according to the Ohio Revised Code § 4549.02. Violation of this offense is also known as hit and run or leaving the scene. A violation of this statute can be a misdemeanor of the first degree or a felony of the fifth or third degree.
In addition to the statutory penalties for the degree of the offense, other penalties can include, depending on the number of prior convictions, immobilization of the offender’s vehicle, impoundment of the vehicle’s license plates, driver’s license suspension, and forfeiture of the driver’s vehicle.
Driver’s License Suspension Classes
Ohio’s laws provide for various classes of license suspension depending on the severity of the traffic offense an alleged offender has committed. A driver’s license suspension is the permanent or temporary withdrawal of a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license (CDL), temporary permit, or probationary license by the court or bureau of motor vehicles. A person is not permitted to drive if their license has been suspended.
According to Ohio Rev. Code § 4510.02, the court is required to impose certain suspension ranges for each specified license suspension class. If a license suspension is a permissible punishment for a traffic offense or violation, the suspension class will be listed in the penalties for the offense. The following are the required suspension periods for each class:
- Class One Suspension – Suspension for life;
- Class Two Suspension – Suspension for three years to life;
- Class Three Suspension – Suspension for two to 10 years;
- Class Four Suspension – Suspension for one to five years;
- Class Five Suspension – Suspension for six months to three years;
- Class Six Suspension – Suspension for three months to two years; and
- Class Seven Suspension – Suspension for up to one year.
The required suspension classes and suspension periods when the bureau of motor vehicles suspends a license are:
- Class A Suspension – Suspension for three years;
- Class B Suspension – Suspension for two years;
- Class C Suspension – Suspension for one year;
- Class D Suspension – Suspension for six months;
- Class E Suspension – Suspension for three months; and
- Class F Suspension – Suspension until the required conditions are met.
Types of Driver’s License Offenses in Ohio
Ohio law provides for several different types of driver’s license offenses including:
- Operating a motor vehicle while under a suspended license in violation of R.C. 4510.11(A);
- Operating a motor vehicle in violation of license restriction in violation of R.C. 4510.11(B);
- Operating a motor vehicle without a valid license (no license ever issued) in violation of R.C. 4510.12(A)(1);
- Operating a motor vehicle without a valid license (expired license);
- Operating a motorcycle without a valid motorcycle license or endorsement in violation of R.C. 4510.12(A);
- Operating or permitting operation of a motor vehicle while under financial responsibility suspension or cancellation in violation of R.C. 4510.16;
- Failure to reinstate license in violation of R.C. 4510.21
Motor Vehicles Crimes in Cincinnati, OH
The most common motor vehicle crimes under Ohio law that are prosecuted in Columbus, OH, include:
- Stopping motor vehicle when signaled in violation of R.C. 4549.01
- Failure to stop after an accident and exchange of identity and vehicle registration in violation of R.C. 4549.02
- Failure to stop after a nonpublic road accident in violation of R.C. 4549.021
- Failure to stop after an accident involving the property of others in violation of R.C. 4549.03
- Tampering with vehicle identification numbers (VINs) in violation of CR 749.62(A)
- Tampering with owner’s VIN in violation of CR 749.62(B)
- Counterfeit VIN in violation of CR 749.62(C)
- Possessing or dealing in vehicle with tampered VIN in violation of CR 749.62(D)
Resources in Ohio for Traffic Law
Ohio Department of Public Safety – The ODPS has information about Driver’s License Suspensions, Ohio’s driving point system, information on reinstating your driver’s license, reinstatement of driver’s licenses, how to obtain a commercial driver’s license, and the registry of Habitual OVI offenders in the state.
Ohio State Highway Patrol – This law enforcement branch in Ohio seeks to enforce the state’s traffic laws and promote highway safety by providing prompt responses to vehicle crashes, information on patrol stations and ongoing initiatives of the department. The OSHP can be contacted at:Ohio State Highway Patrol
P.O. Box 182074
Columbus, Ohio 43223
Ohio Driving Point System – This link is to Ohio’s laws regarding the offenses and number of points that can be assessed for each traffic violation. The laws regarding the driving point system can be found in Title 45 of the Ohio Revised Code, and this particular section is also codified as Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4510.036.
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles – The Ohio BMV website provides information about Ohio’s driving point system, driving records, commonly requested driving forms, crash reports and BMV facts and figures. The Ohio BMV is located at:Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 16520
Columbus, Ohio 43216
Phone: (614) 752-7500
Joslyn Law Firm | Traffic Violation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio
Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today for a consultation about your traffic-related offense in Columbus, Ohio. There may be defenses or other factors applicable in your case to have your charge reduced or even dismissed. By speaking directly to an experienced criminal defense attorney in Columbus, you can ensure that your rights are protected.
Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm is ready to discuss your case with you. Call (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your traffic offense in Franklin County and surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.