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Reckless Operation or Driving Laws in Ohio

In Ohio, reckless driving is referred to as “operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property“ under R.C. Section 4511.20. The offense is vague because it allows a law enforcement officer or a prosecutor to determine whether the offense rises to the level of the “willful and wanton disregard.”

More extreme civil traffic violations can sometimes lead to these charges especially aggressive driving, following too closely, speeding over 90 miles per hour, street racing, or weaving in and out of traffic. Alternatively, an OVI charge can be reduced to to reckless driving under R.C. Section 4511.20.

If you were arrested for operating a vehicle with a wanton or willful disregard of the safety of another person or property under R.C. Section 4511.20 then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Joslyn Law Firm. We represent clients charged with a wide variety of traffic offense in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio.


Penalties for Reckless Operation in Cincinnati, Ohio

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor which carries with it a maximum penalty is a fine of $150. For a second offense with a year of a prior conviction, the charge is a fourth degree misdemeanor with a potential maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail and fines up to $250. For a third offense within a year, reckless driving can be charged as a third degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

A conviction for reckless operation causes four "points" to be placed on your Ohio driver's license as provided in Ohio’s R.C. 4510.036(C).

Elements of Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle in Ohio

Elements of R.C. Section 4511.20 for operating a vehicle with a wanton or willful disregard of the safety of another person or property include:

  • Operating a vehicle;
  • On any street or highway;
  • In wanton or willful disregard for the safety of persons or property.

Related offenses for reckless operation include:

  • reckless operation while off-road under O.R.C. 4511.201l; and
  • reckless operation while on a watercraft under O.R.C. 1547.07).

Additional Resources

4511.20 Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property - Visit the LAWriter website for Ohio Laws and Rules on traffic laws involving the operation of motor vehicles under Chapter 4511.


Finding an Attorney for Reckless Operation in Cincinnati, Ohio

If you are arrested for reckless operation in Cincinnati, Ohio, or the surrounding areas in Hamilton County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Joslyn Law Firm. We represent clients on a wide variety of traffic offense and motor vehicle crimes.

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