Should I Hire an Attorney to Fight my Reckless Operation Charge in Ohio?
Any person charged with reckless operation in Columbus, Ohio, should probably hire a defense attorney. We don’t say this only because we are Columbus based reckless operation defense attorneys. Rather, as we discuss in detail here, a reckless operation charge is pretty much a judgment call by the police officer who issues the traffic citation.
Ohio’s law on what other states call reckless driving does not list specific actions as being reckless. Instead, the statute uses the phrase “willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” Everything from being accused to crossing a double yellow line to getting pulled over for allegedly going 30 miles an hour over the speed limit can be cited as reckless behavior. So can supposedly ignoring a yield sign or allegedly being spotted running up on a curb for a second or two.
Taking the officer who issued the reckless operation ticket to court to compel him or her to convince a judge that the defendant acted recklessly only makes sense. To secure a conviction, the officer will need to present evidence like footage from a dashboard camera, readings from a radar gun, or testimony from other witnesses. That evidence will need to show that the accused driver could have and should have acted in a much safer manner.
A second reason to fight a reckless operation charge with assistance from a Columbus traffic ticket lawyer is to avoid harsh penalties. Any conviction or guilty plea for reckless operation generally carries a 4-point license penalty. A second reckless offense within a year carries the possibility of a 30-day jail sentence. Additionally, having reckless operation on one’s driving record increases insurance costs and puts a commercial driving job at great risk.
One of the greatest services a reckless operation attorney can perform involves negotiating a plea deal. Simply stating the intention to fight a reckless charge can convince the charging officer and the prosecutor assigned to the case to consider accepting a plea to a lesser offense like minor speeding or marked lanes that would result in less points on one’s record and likely lower fines.
If you need help with a reckless operation case in Columbus, consider reaching out to The Maher Law Firm. They offer consultations at no cost and take most clients on a flat fee basis.