Posts Tagged ‘reckless op’

Reckless Operation in Ohio: What is the Law?

November 7th, 2012

RECKLESS OPERATION: What is the law?

Black's law Dictionary, photo by user:alex756

Reckless operation in Ohio can constitute any number of offenses within the Ohio Revised Code dealing with operation of a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard to persons or property.  Commonly, reckless operation is charged under O.R.C. 4511.20 (all codes sections are set forth below).  There is a separate O.R.C. section dealing with reckless operation while off-road (O.R.C. 4511.201) and while on a watercraft (O.R.C. 1547.07).  O.R.C. 4511.202 is Ohio’s Reasonable Control Statute.

The Ohio Supreme Court, in State v. Earlenbaugh (1985), 18 Ohio St.3d 19, 21-22, stated, “we believe that the statute simply provides two definite and clear bases upon which a finding of guilt may be premised. A person may be found guilty of violating R.C. 4511.20 if he acts willfully. Such conduct implies an act done intentionally, designedly, knowingly, or purposely, without justifiable excuse. Black’s Law Dictionary (5th Ed.1979) 1434. Or conversely, R.C. 4511.20 is violated when a person acts wantonly in disregard of the safety of others. A wanton act is an act done in reckless disregard of the rights of others which evinces a reckless indifference of the consequences to the life, limb, health, reputation, or property of others. (Citations omitted.)”  The statutory definition of reckless operation can be found at Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.20 which states:

4511.20 Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(A) No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

People who enjoy off-roading, whether in a motor vehicle, an ATV, a Gator, a snow machine or other machine are governed by Ohio’s off-roading reckless operation statute.

4511.201 Operation off street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(A) No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any public or private property other than streets or highways, in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

This section does not apply to the competitive operation of vehicles on public or private property when the owner of such property knowingly permits such operation thereon.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Ohio’s reasonable control statute is often a companion charge to a reckless operation violation.  It is not a lesser included offense to reckless operation.  State v. Lovell, 157 Ohio App. 3d 227, 2004-Ohio-2617 .  It is set forth at O.R.C. 4511.202.

4511.202 Operation without being in reasonable control of vehicle, trolley, or streetcar.

(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic without being in reasonable control of the vehicle, trolley, or streetcar.

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of operating a motor vehicle without being in control of it, a minor misdemeanor.

O.R.C. 1547.07 governs the behavior of operation of a water vessel.  It gives examples of prohibited behavior.

1547.07 Reckless or unsafe operation of vessel, water skis, aquaplane.

(A) Any person who operates any vessel or manipulates any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device on the waters in this state carelessly or heedlessly, or in disregard of the rights or safety of any person, vessel, or property, or without due caution, at a rate of speed or in a manner so as to endanger any person, vessel, or property is guilty of reckless operation of the vessel or other device.

(B) No person shall operate or permit the operation of a vessel in an unsafe manner. A vessel shall be operated in a reasonable and prudent manner at all times.

Unsafe vessel operation includes, without limitation, any of the following:

(1) A vessel becoming airborne or completely leaving the water while crossing the wake of another vessel at a distance of less than one hundred feet, or at an unsafe distance, from the vessel creating the wake;

(2) Operating at such a speed and proximity to another vessel or to a person attempting to ride on one or more water skis, surfboard, inflatable device, or similar device being towed by a vessel so as to require the operator of either vessel to swerve or turn abruptly to avoid collision;

(3) Operating less than two hundred feet directly behind a person water skiing or attempting to water ski;

(4) Weaving through congested traffic.

Reckless operation of a vehicle clearly falls under the definition of  a “traffic case.”  A defendant found guilty of a fourth degree misdemeanor cannot be sentenced to more than 30 days in jail. R.C. 2929.21(B)(4). Thus, the advisement that is required in this case is misdemeanor traffic cases involving petty offenses. Such advisement is spelled out in Traf.R. 10(D), which is entitled “Misdemeanor cases involving petty offenses.” Traffic Rule 2 defines which cases fall under the Traffic Rules. It states:

(A) Traffic case’ means any proceeding, other than a proceeding resulting from a felony indictment, that involves one or more violations of a law, ordinance, or regulation governing the operation and use of vehicles, conduct of pedestrians in relation to vehicles, or weight, dimension, loads or equipment, or vehicles drawn or moved on highways and bridges. `Traffic case’ does not include any proceeding that results in a felony indictment.

(D) Petty offense’ means an offense for which the penalty prescribed by law includes confinement for six months or less.

(E) Serious offense’ means an offense for which the penalty prescribed by law includes confinement for more than six months.” Traf.R. 2.

Traffic Rule 10(D) reads:
“In misdemeanor cases involving petty offenses, except those processed in a traffic violations bureau, the court may refuse to accept a plea of guilty or no contest and shall not accept such pleas without first informing the defendant of the effect of the plea of guilty, no contest, and not guilty.”

Reckless operation carries four “points” on your Ohio driver’s license.  “Points” under Ohio law are set forth at O.R.C. 4510.036(C).

6 Point Violations

  • -Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
  • -Vehicular Homicide
  • -Vehicular Manslaughter
  • -Aggravated Vehicular Assault
  • -Willful Fleeing and Eluding,
  • -Failure to Stop and Disclose Identity at Accident
  • -Street Racing
  • -Driving Under Suspension
  • -OVI (drunk driving)
  • -Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
  • -Any felony motor vehicle violation or any felony committed with motor vehicle

Four Point Violations

  • -Operation of a Vehicle After Underage Consumption
  • -Operation in Willful or Wanton Disregard of Safety (a reckless operation offense)
  • -Exceeding the Speed Limit by greater than 30 mph.

Two Point Violations

  • -Exceeding the Speed Limit of 55 by at least 10 but less than 30 mph
  • -Exceeding the Speed Limit less than 55 by at least 5 but less than 30 mph.
  • -Operating a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction imposed by the BMV
  • -Most other moving violations including operating a vehicle w/o a license.

Dayton DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@CharlesRowland.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Reckless Operation

September 28th, 2009

The statutory definition of reckless operation can be found at Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.20 which states:

4511.20 Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(A) No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.
(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

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