Many driving behaviors are considered reckless driving. Acts such as illegal passing, tailgating and driving under the influence are a few common examples. Since OVI is regarded as reckless driving behavior, there’s a chance the charge can be reduced to “wet reckless.”
Wet reckless is another name for reckless driving when the act involves alcohol. There are many benefits to having an OVI reduced to wet reckless. Fines are much cheaper, jail time is not mandatory and you may be able to keep your driver’s license.
Columbus, OH Reckless Driving Defense Lawyer
Negotiating with prosecutors to reduce an OVI to reckless driving will not be easy. Fortunately, Joslyn Law Firm is up for the challenge. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call to schedule a confidential consultation.
Joslyn Law Firm represents clients in central Ohio counties including Pickaway County, Fairfield County, Licking County and numerous others.
- What is Considered Reckless Driving?
- What is Wet Reckless?
- Penalties for Reckless Driving in Ohio
- Additional Resources
What is Considered Reckless Driving?
Ohio does not have a crime called reckless driving. Instead, the offense is known as operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property. Willful is any intentional action while wanton disregard means you knew the dangers of your actions, but you went through with it anyway.
Lawmakers drafted the crime to be intentionally vague and encompass just about any driving behavior. Common examples of reckless driving include speeding, running red lights, cutting people off and intoxicated driving.
What is Wet Reckless?
Driving under the influence harms everyone on the road. So it comes as no surprise the act can be considered a form of reckless driving. OVI is a serious crime. You could spend in jail, have to pay expensive fines and endure a license suspension.
With the proper defense attorney, it’s possible to negotiate a plea bargain with prosecutors for a lesser charge of reckless driving. When an OVI is reduced to reckless driving, it becomes known as wet reckless since the driving involved alcohol.
Wet reckless is typically offered if a driver’s BAC was near .08% or if the prosecutors’ case wasn’t strong enough to obtain an OVI conviction. When an OVI is reduced to wet reckless you may be able to avoid jail time. Plus, the fines are cheaper and your license may not be suspended.
A wet reckless plea bargain is not always a guarantee, and it’s usually only offered for a first OVI offense. The chances of prosecutors offering such a plea to a second or subsequent OVI is rare. Just because it’s rare doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Ohio
As mentioned earlier, wet reckless is the same as reckless driving except the offense involved alcohol, so they are charged the same. The crime is charged and penalized based on previous criminal history.
Listed below are the penalties for reckless driving in Ohio:
- First offense: Minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $150
- Second offense within one year: Fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days behind bars and a fine of up to $250
- Third offense within one year: Third-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days behind bars and a fine of up to $500
Though a license suspension is not required, it can still be imposed. You will be required to attend an administrative hearing with the Ohio Department of Public Safety if you are convicted of reckless driving. During this hearing, the ODPS will evaluate the facts of your case. They may choose to suspend your license if your BAC was .08% or higher or if you refused a chemical test.
If your license is suspended, you can petition the court for limited privileges. These privileges are only granted under certain conditions, but the modification may allow you to drive to work, school and attended medical appointments.
Additional Resources for Reckless Driving
Reckless Driving | Ohio Revised Code – Follow the link provided to read the section of the Revised Code over reckless driving. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime and how it’s penalized. You can also gain access to the complete text of the Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.
Ohio’s Point System for Traffic Violations– Four points will be added to your driving record when you are convicted of reckless driving. Visit the Ohio State Bar Association to learn about the state’s traffic violation point system. You can find answers to questions such as how long points stay on your driving record and offenses resulting in points.
Reckless Driving Defense Attorney in Columbus, OH
You will need a defense attorney who knows what it takes to have an OVI reduced to wet reckless. Find that attorney at Joslyn Law Firm. Call to schedule a confidential consultation.
Joslyn Law Firm defends those accused of OVI and related crimes in counties across central Ohio such as Franklin County, Delaware County Union County and Madison County.