Search
Facebook Twitter Our Blog
The Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley
24 HOUR ANSWERING | 847-394-3200
SERVICE

1855 Rohlwing Road, Suite D, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

24 HOUR ANSWERING SERVICE

What Is Reckless Driving in Illinois?

August 28th, 2019 at 9:50 am

IL traffic violation attorney, IL defense lawyerIn early July, a Joliet man was charged with reckless driving, among other charges, and was placed in jail. Many people think reckless driving is a simple traffic violation, similar to being pulled over for speeding. However, in Illinois, reckless driving is a very serious charge. It could even lead to jail time. So, what is reckless driving in Illinois, and what are the possible penalties?

Reckless Driving in Illinois Defined

Illinois statute 625 ILCS 5/11-503 provides a few definitions for reckless driving. The first is operating a vehicle in such a way that shows a complete disregard for the safety of other people. Under this statute, reckless driving is also defined as using an incline, such as a hill, railroad crossing, or bridge approach, to cause a vehicle to become airborne.

While these are very dramatic and somewhat obvious definitions of reckless driving, there is another that many Illinois drivers are unaware of. This is when a motorist drives a vehicle 35 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.

Penalties for Reckless Driving

Most reckless driving charges are considered a Class A misdemeanor, including driving 35 mph over the speed limit. The penalty for this crime is up to one year in county jail.

Charges of reckless driving are upgraded to aggravated reckless driving under certain circumstances. If the reckless driving occurred in a school zone and a crossing guard or minor child became hurt, a person will likely face upgraded charges. This is a Class 4 felony that carries a possible sentence of up to three years in state prison.

When reckless driving causes any person great bodily harm or permanent disfigurement, the accused will also face charges of aggravated reckless driving. This is considered a Class 3 felony with a possible penalty of up to five years in state prison.

Defenses to Reckless Driving

After being charged with reckless driving, many people are surprised to learn of the severe consequences they face. However, it is not the hopeless situation it seems and there are defenses available.

In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must prove a person willfully, or intended to, drive recklessly. Intent is very difficult to prove, including in reckless driving cases. This is a very common defense used in reckless driving cases.

In reckless driving cases specifically, the prosecution must also present a Bill of Particulars. This document specifically outlines the actions of the driver that resulted in a reckless driving charge. These actions include swerving in between lanes, excessively speeding, or otherwise acting recklessly. If, after reviewing the Bill of Particulars, a judge determines there is no case, they will dismiss it and the prosecution must drop the charges. This is another very common defense used when facing reckless driving charges.

Charged with Reckless Driving? Contact an Illinois Criminal Defense Lawyer

Many people do not think reckless driving is a serious offense. Unfortunately, to law enforcement and the courts it is, and can have real consequences for those convicted. If you have been charged with reckless driving, do not treat it like a minor traffic violation. There is too much at stake. Contact our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley. We will create a solid defense for you and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today at 847-394-3200 to schedule your free consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/073500050K2-607.htm

https://www.theherald-news.com/2019/07/09/joliet-man-charged-with-dui-reckless-driving-charges/a9ky8l3/

Share this Post : Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someone
Back to Top Back to Top Back to Top