Reckless Driving Charge

It is virtually impossible to be a perfect driver at all times. Whether a result of inattention or distraction, people often exceed the speed limit, change lanes without signaling, or perform other unsafe maneuvers. While such actions may be uncommon or even an isolated incident, they nonetheless have the potential for a reckless driving charge.

Reckless Driving, as set forth in Ohio Revised Code §4511.20, can be a serious charge. The effects of a guilty plea can be far-reaching. The penalties can include costly fines, points on your driving record, a possible suspension of your driver’s license, and even jail time. You need an experienced defense attorney to aggressively defend your rights.

 
What constitutes as Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving is defined as a person driving a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other persons or property. If you are driving in a dangerous manner that poses a risk of harm to people or property, you could be cited for this offense.

Examples of reckless driving:

  • Driving at an excessive speed which places yourself, other motorists, or pedestrians at risk
  • Switching lanes swiftly and carelessly or without regard to surrounding traffic
  • Deliberately tailgating another vehicle (failing to maintain an assured clear distance ahead)
  • Driving in the wrong direction down a one way street

 

Reckless Driving vs. Careless Driving

You may wonder why you received the more serious reckless driving charge, rather than the charge of Careless Driving. The reason is that the ticketing officer believed you were “willfully” driving dangerously, as opposed to acting negligently. “Willfull” is the key factor and is, therefore, the element we will focus on in attempting to beat a reckless driving ticket.

Possible penalties for reckless driving.

A first offense State (city ordinances may be more severe) reckless operation with no previous predicate traffic offenses is a minor misdemeanor. However, if you have one or more predicate traffic offenses, the penalties are increased and can include:

  • License suspension of 6 months to 3 years
  • Up to 60 days in jail
  • Four points on your driving record
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Fines up to $500.00

At Akamine Law, we will review any and all factors that may constitute a defense to the reckless driving charge. It is important to remember that the prosecutor must be able to prove all the elements of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a difficult burden when the State must rely on the subjective observations of law enforcement. It is important to have an attorney familiar with law enforcement fallibilities.

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