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Reckless Driving

While some alleged offenders are able to have operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) charges reduced to reckless driving (also referred to as “wet reckless”), many others are simultaneously charged with drunk driving and reckless driving. While reckless operation is frequently charged as a minor misdemeanor that results in no more than a fine, aggravating factors can make this a more serious offense that leads to possible imprisonment and driver’s license suspension.

Even when reckless driving is a first offense classified as a minor misdemeanor, a guilty plea or conviction can still lead to points being added to a person’s driving record and increased insurance rates. Because the wording of the reckless operation statute is so remarkably vague, police officers can tack this charge on to almost any driving under the influence (DUI) arrest that they see fit.

Reckless Driving Lawyer in Cincinnati, Ohio

If you are facing reckless operation and OVI charges in Ohio, make sure that you have legal counsel who will know how to achieve the best possible outcome to your case. The Joslyn Law Firm fights to get these types of charges reduced or dismissed for clients in Cincinnati and the greater Hamilton County area, including Middletown, Hamilton, Lebanon, and Norwood.

Cincinnati OVI attorney Brian Joslyn also handles cases in surrounding areas like Mason in Franklin County, Marysville in Warren County, and Wilmington in Greene County. Call (513) 339-6289 right now to take advantage of a free consultation that will let out lawyer review your case.


Overview of Reckless Operation in Hamilton County


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Reckless Driving Charges in Ohio

Reckless driving is officially titled “Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property” under Ohio Revised Code § 4511.20. Simply put, any person who operates a vehicle on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property is a minor misdemeanor.

Black’s Law Dictionary defines willful misconduct as “conduct committed with an intentional or reckless disregard for the safety of others, or with an intentional disregard of a duty necessary to the safety of another's property.” Wanton is defined as “Reckless, heedless, malicious; characterized by extreme recklessness or foolhardiness; recklessly disregardful of the rights or safety of others or of consequences.”

If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of or pleaded guilty to a traffic offense within one year of the reckless operation offense, the crime becomes a fourth-degree misdemeanor. If an alleged offender has been convicted of or pleaded guilty two or more traffic offenses in the year prior to the reckless operation offense, then the crime is classified as a third-degree misdemeanor.


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Reckless Operation Penalties in Cincinnati

The classification of a reckless driving offense will dictate the possible sentence if an alleged offender is convicted. Punishments may include any of the following, depending on an alleged offender’s criminal record:

  • Minor Misdemeanor — Maximum fine of $150;
  • Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum fine of $250 and up to 30 days in jail; or
  • Third-Degree Misdemeanor — Maximum fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail.

In addition to fines and possible imprisonment, reckless operation convictions also result in four points being added to a driver’s record under Ohio’s driver's license point system. If a person accumulates 12 or more points in two years, then that driver’s license is automatically suspended for six months.

It is important to note that Ohio Revised Code § 4510.15 provides courts with the power to impose a class five suspension of the alleged offender’s driver’s license for any reckless operation offense. A class five license suspension is for a definite period of at least six months up to three years.


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Ohio Reckless Driving Resources

Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) — The OSHP is responsible for enforcing traffic laws throughout the Buckeye State. On this website, you can find a link to download the Safer Ohio App that allows users to report activity such as reckless driving. You can also view enforcement statistics, crash reports, and traffic safety features.

OSHP Cincinnati District Headquarters
2855 West Hamilton-Granville Road
Cincinnati, OH 43235
Phone: (614) 799-9241

Cincinnati, Ohio Division of Police — The Cincinnati Division of Police is the primary police agency for the city of Cincinnati and the largest police department in the state of Ohio. On this website, you can view offense reports, review annual reports, and find answers to frequently asked questions. You can also find media releases, view a “Share the Road” tip card, and learn more about the police force.

Cincinnati Division of Police
120 Marconi Boulevard
Cincinnati Ohio 43215
(614) 645-4545


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Find a Reckless Operation Lawyer in Cincinnati, OH

Have you been charged with both reckless driving and OVI in Ohio? The Joslyn Law Firm also represents clients accused of similar offenses such as vehicular assault all over the greater Cincinnati area and nearby communities such as Oxford in Clinton County, Butler in Butler County, and Fairfield in Clermont County.

Brian Joslyn is an award-winning DUI defense attorney in Hamilton County who Cincinnati CEO Magazine named one of Central Ohio’s Top Lawyers. He will answer your questions and provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (513) 339-6289 or complete an online form today to arrange a free, confidential consultation.


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