Reckless Driving / Reckless Operation

A citation for reckless driving, or operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of person or property in Ohio, can be punishable with a fine and/or jail sentence. Additionally, each traffic violation an individual pleads guilty to (or pays the fine to) will result in points under Ohio’s driving point system. If a person receives 12 points within a two year period, their driver’s license may be suspended for a period of six months. Further, subsequent points under the driving system could lead to a complete revocation of a person’s license.

If an alleged offender pleads guilty to or is convicted of subsequent reckless driving offenses, the individual could receive a criminal record that will be permanent. Additionally, a guilty plea or conviction to reckless driving in Ohio could result in increased automobile insurance rates for a lengthy period of time.

Therefore, even if you have been charged with your first reckless driving offense and are only required to pay a fine, it is still important to hire a criminal defense attorney to represent your best interests.

Columbus Reckless Driving Attorney

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today to discuss the particular facts of your case. Brian Joslyn is knowledgeable in Ohio’s traffic laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussion for your offense. Call (614) 444-1900 for a free consultation about your reckless driving offense in Franklin County and surrounding counties of Ohio.


Ohio Reckless Driving Information Center


Reckless Driving under Ohio Law

Reckless driving in Ohio is more commonly known as Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of the Safety of Persons or Property under § 4511.20 of the Ohio Revised Code. This offense occurs when a person operates a vehicle on any street or highway of the state in an intentional or deliberate manner regardless of the safety of others or property.

Operating a vehicle in Ohio with willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property can result in four points under Ohio’s driving point system. If any driver receives 12 or more points in a two-year period, their license will be suspended under a class D suspension. This class of suspension could result in a suspension of driving privileges for up to six months.


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Potential Penalties for Reckless Driving

Operation is willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property is punishable as a minor, fourth or third degree misdemeanor, depending on the number of previous convictions.

A first offense is a minor misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $150.

If the alleged offender has been convicted or pleaded guilty to another traffic offense within the preceding one year, the offense is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. This offense is punishable by jail time up to 30 days and/or fines not exceeding $250.

If the alleged offender has been convicted of two or more traffic offenses within the preceding one year, the offense is a misdemeanor of the third degree. This offense is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and/or fines up to $500.


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Similar Statutes to Reckless Driving in Ohio

Ohio Rev. Code § 4511.201 – Operation Off Street or Highway in Willful or Wanton Disregard of the Safety of Persons or Property: This offense occurs when an individual operates a vehicle on nay public or private property other than streets or highways in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property. This offense can be punishable as a minor misdemeanor, misdemeanor of the third degree or misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

Ohio Rev. Code § 4511.202 – Operation Without Being in Reasonable Control of Vehicle, Trolley or Streetcar: This offense occurs when an individual operates a vehicle on any street, highway or property open to the public without being in reasonable control of the vehicle. This offense is punishable as a minor misdemeanor.


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Defenses to Reckless Driving in Ohio

Sometimes law enforcement officials charge drivers with reckless driving offenses even though the charge should have been speeding, operating a vehicle without being in reasonable control, or other moving violations.

A person may be able to provide defenses to their reckless driving charge in Ohio, which could result in a charge of a lesser offense or a complete dismissal of the charge. For example, many courts have determined speeding is not enough to charge an alleged offender with reckless driving.

If you have been charged with a willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property, it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who will be able to advise you whether defenses exist in your particular case.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Reckless Driving Attorney in Columbus, OH

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm today for a consultation about your reckless driving offense in Columbus, Ohio. Brian Joslyn is experienced Columbus traffic lawyer who will aggressively fight the charges against you and make every effort to find the best possible outcome to your situation.

Call the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your reckless driving traffic offense in Franklin County or surrounding counties, including Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.