In Illinois, reckless driving is a serious criminal offense which carries potentially substantial fines, jail time, insurance increases and driver’s license consequences. Reckless driving is treated differently than minor traffic offenses or moving violations. It may also disqualify you from receiving court supervision in the event that you are charged with a DUI later in life.What is Reckless Driving?
Under Illinois law, 625 ILCS 5/11-503 defines reckless driving as operating a motor vehicle with “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property” or “knowingly driv[ing] a vehicle and us[ing] an incline . . . caus[ing] the vehicle to become airborne.”
Reckless driving is most often found in situations where the driver has committed multiple moving violations such as speeding and improper lane usage.What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving?The offense of reckless driving is usually charged as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.00. Because reckless driving is a criminal offense, you may be placed under arrest rather than given a citation, at the police officer’s discretion.If the offense results in great bodily harm, disfigurement or permanent disability to another, you may be charged with aggravated reckless driving, a Class 4 felony, punishable by 1-3 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.00.If the offense results in great bodily harm, disfigurement or permanent disability to a child or school crossing guard while the school crossing guard is performing his or her official duties, you may be charged with aggravated reckless driving, a Class 3 felony, punishable by 2-5 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.00.The offense of reckless driving also carries potentially serious driver’s license consequences. A person convicted of reckless driving two or more times arising out of arrests that occur within a 12-month person will have their driving privileges revoked by the Secretary of State. Reckless Driving & Impact on Future DUI SentencingA previous court disposition on a reckless driving charge, including a conviction or court supervision will prevent you from receiving court supervision on the offense of DUI later in life, even on a first offense. This is not limited to a prior DUI that is reduced to reckless driving. This disqualification on court supervision could potentially result in a DUI conviction and the revocation of your driver’s license. While no one plans to be charged with DUI, this is an important consequence that should always be considered.There is a great deal of misunderstanding surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of having a DUI amended to the offense of reckless driving. The pros and cons must be evaluated by an experienced attorney on a case-by-case basis. Contact Our Reckless Driving Defense AttorneysIf you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important to have an experienced defense attorney represent you in court. Our firm has handled hundreds of reckless driving cases throughout Illinois including Cook County, Lake County and DuPage County.Every case is unique and requires special attention. Our attorneys provide professional and knowledgeable legal representation. If you have been charged with reckless driving, contact The Davis Law Group, P.C. today to discuss your case.