When you think of reckless driving, you may imagine teens drag racing late at night on local streets. But this type of incident does not singularly represent reckless driving. 

Ohio laws broadly define reckless driving, and many responsible citizens find themselves needing legal representation for a charge of reckless driving in Ohio. All drivers need to understand the law surrounding reckless driving. Ohio courts take the charges seriously, and you must as well.

What Is Reckless Driving in Ohio?

Some specific and essential elements create reckless driving. These are:

  • Operating a vehicle;
  • Willfully and wantonly; and
  • While disregarding the safety of people or property

For a conviction, the State must prove all three of these elements. First, they must prove you were driving a motorized vehicle. Next, they have to prove that you purposely drove (in a public or private area) in a reckless way. Finally, they will need to demonstrate that you did or could have injured someone or something by your actions.

Make a note of this crucial additional fact: Whether your driving actually injures a person or property is not relevant to this charge.

Can You Give Me an Example of Reckless Operation in Ohio?

Let’s make a comparison of situations. Say you are driving and have a medical seizure. Your car veers off the road. That would not be reckless driving. Ohio law would not permit criminal charges because you were not intentionally reckless or wanton.

On the other hand, if you are late for work, traveling 60 mph in a 25 mph zone, and go past a stop sign without stopping, that could be considered reckless driving in Ohio. You knew you were driving too fast, and you understand that speeding is dangerous. On top of that, no doubt running the stop sign could have led to a severe accident and injury.

What Is the Difference Between Reckless Driving in Ohio and Reckless Operation in Ohio?

In Ohio, the reckless operation is a term interchangeable with Ohio reckless driving—different terminology but the same offense. You can find the specific statute in the Ohio Criminal Code

What Should I Do If the Police Charge Me with Violating Ohio Reckless Operation Laws?

Once the State charges you with reckless operation, Ohio courts get involved. You have one singular and crucial step to take: Get a lawyer. 

If convicted of this charge, you may face myriad outcomes. Depending on whether it is your first offense, and based on the judge’s discretion, if convicted your sentence may include:

  • A suspended driver license,
  • Probation,
  • Time in jail, and
  • Hundreds of dollars in fines.

Some people minimize their charges of reckless driving. Ohio courts do not. You should have a lawyer safeguard your rights, fight to get your charges dismissed or reduced, and advocate for you in court if it comes to that. 

Gounaris Abboud, LPA: The Dedicated Lawyers You Deserve

With offices throughout Ohio, Gounaris Abboud, LPA, has a long history of providing exceptional legal defense services. We pride ourselves on offering one-on-one attention to every single client. You can reach us by calling 937-222-1515 or by visiting our website.

At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we are available for a free case analysis. Please reach out to us for your legal needs.

Author Photo

Nicholas Gounaris

Nick Gounaris attended Miami University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree and then went on to attend
University of Dayton School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate. In 2011, Mr. Gounaris was awarded a 10.0 “Superb” rating by Avvo, which is an attorney rating website recognized around the nation. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI DefenseCriminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

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