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What Are Defenses to Reckless Driving in Illinois?

October 17th, 2019 at 10:12 am

IL defense attorney In Illinois, any extremely dangerous driving behavior that puts the safety of others at risk is considered reckless driving. Excessive speeding, tailgating, and changing lanes often and suddenly are all considered forms of reckless driving. This is a very serious offense for those charged in Illinois, and it could even result in jail time. As such, it is important that those accused speak to an Illinois criminal defense attorney that can help prepare a proper defense. Below are some of the tactics a defense attorney may use.

Lack of Intent

To be successful in a reckless driving case, the prosecution must show that the defendant intended to drive recklessly. Intent is difficult to prove in any criminal case because it is challenging to show what a person was thinking at a specific point in time.

In some cases, the original charges do not specifically state that a driver was driving recklessly. A traffic ticket, for example, may only say that the driver was negligent. This is a lack of specificity, and it opens the door for a defense attorney to ask for a Bill of Particulars.

The Bill of Particulars

When a defense attorney motions for a Bill of Particulars, they are asking the state to specify the actions that caused the defendant to be charged with reckless driving. The state must explain either in writing or orally, depending on the judge, what behavior led to the charges. This can include swerving in and out of lanes, excessive speeds, or other forms of reckless behavior.

This is often difficult for the state to do, particularly if there are not a lot of details on the original ticket. After the state presents the Bill of Particulars, the judge must determine if there is probable cause to charge the defendant with reckless driving.

Reducing the Charge

If the state cannot prove the specific actions that led to the reckless driving charge, the court may dismiss the case, or reduce the charges. When the courts take the latter course of action, typically the accused will face charges of negligent driving or aggravated speeding.

Negligent driving is not considered a criminal offense and the penalty is a $500 fine. While jail time is a possibility with an aggravated speeding charge, it is not likely, particularly when it is a first offense. Aggravated speeding is also looked upon much differently by the courts than reckless driving.

Charged with Reckless Driving? Call Our Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important to know there are defenses available. At the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley, our skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney can provide those defenses and hold the prosecution responsible for proving their claims. We will also ensure your rights are upheld and if they were not during the traffic stop or at any other time, we can also use this in your defense. Call us today at 847-394-3200 for your free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your case.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

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