Archive for the ‘reckless driving’ tag
April 7th, 2017 at 9:29 am
Countless people in Illinois get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, despite knowing that driving under the influence is illegal. A driver may think that he or she is sober enough to drive or will not get caught. However, if you are caught, you will quickly find out that Illinois law enforcement does not take DUI very lightly.
Police are often harsh on drivers who are intoxicated behind the wheel and they will often look for ways to stack up as many criminal charges against an intoxicated driver as possible. But in some situations the driver actually gives the police good reason to add on additional criminal charges.
Extra Charges When the DUI Results in An Accident
If you are driving under the influence and you cause an accident, either a single vehicle accident or an accident involving another vehicle, when police arrive at the scene, they will look for every way that they can to charge you with criminal charges in addition to your DUI. For instance, if an accident was the result of your speeding or reckless driving, police will charge you with DUI, in addition to a reckless driving or speeding charge.
Tacking on Charges When Leaving the Scene of An Accident
Sometimes a driver involved in a DUI accident might decide that he or she should leave the scene of the accident in order to protect himself or herself from being arrested. For instance, this is common when a drunk driver hits a parked car. The intoxicated driver might leave the scene of the accident, thinking that because no one saw the accident there will be no liability. This is very far from the truth.
Hitting a parked car and then leaving the scene of the accident is a hit and run. Once the owner of the parked car discovers that his or her vehicle was involved in a hit and run accident, he or she will report the accident to police and the police will investigate. You could very well be identified as the culprit if the police are able to successfully conduct their investigation. You could be charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, and hit and run.
If the accident involved another vehicle and you try to flee the accident scene before the police arrive, you will face additional charges as well. On top of your DUI charge, you will be charged with leaving the scene of the accident, and could be charged with other offenses based on the circumstances of the accident. For instance, if you left someone injured at the accident scene and you did not try to help that person, you could be further charged with failure to render aid.
Contact Us Today for Help
Driving under the influence charges are serious, and your situation can get far worse if you leave the scene of an accident. Even if you know that you are likely to be charged with a DUI if you stay, it is important that you stay until police arrive if you have been involved in an accident. Dealing with the DUI is one thing, but the additional charges that can be tacked on against you if you leave the scene of an accident can make things much worse for you. Furthermore, it is in your best interests to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney for help with your case.
September 7th, 2015 at 8:43 pm
One of the most common traffic violations is reckless driving since so many of a driver’s actions while behind the wheel could be construed as reckless driving. Illinois law enforcement and the courts are strict when it comes to reckless driving charges because the driver’s actions may have:
- Put others on the roadway at risk;
- Resulted in property damage to another; or
- Caused an accident where another person was injured or killed.
What is Reckless Driving?
According to Section 625 ILCS 5/11-503, reckless driving occurs when a person drives a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others, or it a person knowingly drives a vehicle so quickly up an inclined roadway, such as a hill or railroad crossing, as to cause the vehicle to become airborne.
The language of Illinois’ reckless driving statute is often broadly construed by law enforcement, and many drivers are ticketed, or even arrested on the spot, after driving at a high rate of speed, swerving between lanes or around other vehicles, tailgating, not using turn signals properly, or aggressively weaving in and out of traffic – all under the pretenses that the driver was operating the vehicle in a way that willfully or wantonly disregards the safety of others on the roadway.
Reckless Driving Charges Are Serious
Reckless driving charges should never be taken lightly. A reckless driving charge is at the very minimum a Class A misdemeanor. However, there are situations where the charges can be upgraded or enhanced. For instance:
- When reckless driving causes bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the reckless driving charges are upgraded to a Class 4 felony;
- When reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of another, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, which is a Class 4 felony; and
- When the reckless driving causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement of a child or school crossing guard performing his or her crossing guard duties, the charge is upgraded to aggravated reckless driving, and is a Class 3 felony.
A Reckless Driving Conviction on a Criminal Record
It is important to fight the reckless driving charges that are pending against you because a conviction results in no less than a misdemeanor, which means that you will have a criminal record if convicted. In addition to resulting in a criminal record, a reckless driving conviction can:
- Result in a year’s worth of jail time;
- Cost $2,500 in the payment of a fine;
- Make it so that you are ineligible to have other arrests or charges against you expunged or sealed; and
- Land you a significant amount of community service.
Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
If you have received a citation for reckless driving, you need to fight the charges that are pending against you. Feel free to contact an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley at (847) 394-3200 for a consultation.
October 5th, 2012 at 6:30 pm
According to the Chicago Tribune, Lukasz Marszalek, 22, was involved in a fatal crash last year that ended the life of Julie Gorczynski, 17. Marszalek was driving his car almost 80 mph in a 40-mph zone when Julie made a left turn in front of him with her Jeep. She was killed in the ensuing crash.
Marszalek was charged with aggravated speeding, which has a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail. On Tuesday, September 25, Marszalek received the maximum punishment and was sentenced to six months in jail. His original charge was aggravated reckless driving, which is a felony, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor because there was not enough evidence. Marszalek also had previous speeding violations and seven court supervisions, and soon after the crash he got a speeding ticket in Indiana.
A new legislation, called Julie’s Law, that imposes more serious penalties on excessive speeders, was signed in July. Julie Gorczynski’s parents helped in getting the legislation through the Illinois General Assembly. The law prohibits judges from giving court supervision to drivers that are caught driving over 25 mph over the limit on a non-rural road or 30 mph on a highway. Formerly supervision could be granted for drivers traveling up to 40 mph over the limit.
If Marszalek’s supervisions for traffic violations would have been convictions, he might not have had his driving privileges and, in turn, he might not have been driving when the crash took place. In the future, the penalties for traffic violations are going to be tougher. Therefore, it is important to get help from skilled lawyers who can help in these situations and know best how to protect your rights. If you have been charged with a traffic offense, you should contact a dedicated traffic violations defense lawyer in Cook County.