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Penalties for Reckless Driving in Illinois

Traffic violations are a common thing in the country. A large number of people every year are issued tickets and citations as a result of breaking traffic rules. As a result of getting the tickets most of the time, the driver will be required to pay a specific fine depending on the traffic violation committed. In certain situations, the driver may be required to appear in traffic court so the issue can be settled.

Also, a police officer can arrest the driver and they will have to appear in court if, at a traffic stop, they believe the driver committed a serious offense that warranted this action. One of the major causes of an arrest is reckless driving. Reckless driving is considered a misdemeanor charge in Illinois but depending on the circumstances revolving around the dangerous behavior it can be considered a felony.

There are ways in which you can fight back against reckless driving charges so you can avoid serving harsh consequences such as jail time and maintain a clean driving record. Get in touch with a skilled and qualified traffic lawyer from DUI Lawyers 24/7 who can review your case, and give you advice on the options you have for your case. And represent you in court.

What is Reckless Driving?

Reckless driving as a charge encircles a variety of behaviors. Under the 625 ILCS 5/11-503 criminal statutes in Illinois is a definition of what reckless driving is.  In this section, you will find two types of dangerous driving behavior which are described as reckless driving. A person can get a reckless driving charge when they;

  • Operate a motor vehicle in a willful and wanton manner. When the driver shows disregard for the safety of property and individuals under Illinois law this qualifies as reckless driving. This is the most common traffic violation among the two charges and it is open to more than one interpretation which makes it easy for an officer to charge a driver with the offense.
  • When a driver intentionally sets in motion their motor vehicle into the air it is considered as reckless driving. Circumstances such as whether the driver was using a railroad crossing, hill, bridge, or road incline will not matter in this case. Under Illinois law, the driver intentionally sending their vehicle airborne qualifies as reckless driving.
person driving at a reckless speed, Penalties for Reckless Driving in Illinois

A reckless driving charge can be a bit tricky since there aren’t any specific behavior other than causing a vehicle to become airborne that are detailed in the law that automatically warrant a reckless driving charge. For this reason, the law enforcement officer making the arrest and the judge is to decide the type of behavior that make up reckless driving. Below are some reckless driving that may result in a reckless driving ticket;

  • Distracted driving such as texting while driving.
  • Disobeying traffic laws such as stop signs or running red lights.
  • Excessive speeding.
  • Engaging in erratic driving such as swerving lanes.

An experienced traffic defense lawyer can review your minor traffic offense as a commercial driver and tell you the options you have in regard to your case

Penalties for Reckless Driving

You can find the criminal penalty for reckless driving in Illinois under section 5/11-503. In this section, you will find reckless driving traditionally categorized as a Class A misdemeanor.  When an individual is convicted of a Class A misdemeanor they can get punishments such as criminal fines amounting to thousands of dollars and 364 days in jail.

Under certain circumstances, the alleged driving behavior can be considered a felony offense. If, for instance, a reckless driver commits a reckless driving act or gets into a motor vehicle accident and as a result ends up causing bodily injury to a child or school crossing guard or duty crossing guard it can qualify as a class 4 felony punishable by a  1-3 years prison sentence in county jail and the individual may have to pay fines amounting to $25,000.

Unlike a drunk driving offense, a reckless driving offense may not always have to result in an individual’s loss of driving privileges. For this reason, a criminal defense attorney can attempt to modify the DUI charges you are facing to reckless driving charges so they can avoid a potential driving license revocation. However, in the case where a reckless driving offender has received two prior convictions as a result of a traffic violation within a 12 months period they may end up losing their license for a certain period of time.

FAQ: How can a traffic lawyer help me in Illinois?

As an offender, it is important to note that just like a DUI criminal offense a reckless driving charge is not expungable or sealable if an individual is convicted. However, there is an exception. If the reckless driving offender commits the negligent driving offense before they are 25 years of age the offense can be expunged.

Can You Beat a Reckless Driving Charge or Get it Dismissed?

Anyone that is facing reckless driving charges should fight back since consequences and penalties will completely impact an individual’s life. As a defendant, it is important to discover the facts of the reckless driving violation charge, to say as little as possible during the time of arrest but still ask questions related to the incidence (such as the speed limit of the area), and remain polite to the law enforcement officer or arresting officer.

Our experienced attorney knows the effects of traffic violations or a criminal conviction and the collateral consequences that follow and we want to fight for you and help you avoid the severe consequences by either reducing your felony charges to a lesser charge, getting your case dismissed or any other positive outcome depending on your case. 

Your reckless driving lawyer can help you find evidence against the criminal charges that you are facing and represent you in court so you can avoid a reckless driving conviction. You can self-represent yourself in court but if you want the best outcome for your traffic offense case you need to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced reckless driving defense lawyer. Get in touch with a DUI Lawyers 24/7 law firm. Speak to a reckless driving attorney, and book your initial consultation, let us provide legal representation,  review your traffic charge, and help you out.

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