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Archive for the ‘Bill of Particulars’ tag

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

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/

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