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DuPage County reckless driving charges attorneyThere are scores of traffic violations you can commit from behind the wheel -- speeding, running a stop sign, not using your blinkers -- the list goes on. One of the more serious traffic offenses you can commit is reckless driving. In Illinois, reckless driving can result in significant consequences, because reckless driving is not just a traffic ticket -- it can result in a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on your circumstances. If you have been charged with reckless driving, it is important that you understand the charges and related penalties.

What is Reckless Driving?

According to Illinois traffic laws, reckless driving occurs when a person either:

  • Drives any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people or property; or
  • Knowingly drives a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway -- such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach or hill -- to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

There is no one particular action that can get you charged with reckless driving in Illinois. Rather, it is up to the discretion of the arresting law enforcement officer and judge (and possibly a jury) to determine whether your actions on the road constitute reckless driving. 

Consequences for Reckless Driving

In its most basic form, reckless driving is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious class of misdemeanor. This means a reckless driving charge can result in up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.

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DuPage County aggravated speeding lawyerIn recent years, the state of Illinois has cracked down on speeding. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were over 24,000 speeding citations recorded in 2015. Though speeding is often only a traffic ticket that comes with a fine, there are situations in which a speeding infraction can result in jail time and extensive fines. Though some people may think speeding is a victimless crime, it is not. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 10,000 people were killed due to speeding-related traffic accidents in 2017.

Illinois Aggravated Speeding Laws

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, speeding 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit is considered to be aggravated speeding. This is technically a criminal charge, rather than a traffic violation, which is why the potential consequences for aggravated speeding are more serious than just a fine.

26 mph to 34 mph over the speed limit: If you are caught driving 26 mph over the posted speed limit, but not more than 35 mph over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. This means you could face up to six months in jail, up to two years of probation and up to $1,500 in fines.

35 mph or more over the speed limit: If you are caught driving more than 35 mph over the posted speed limit, you are committing a Class A misdemeanor. This charge carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail, up to two years of probation and up to $2,500 in fines. If you are facing a speeding charge, a judge can also order that you complete community service or that you attend traffic school.

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Wheaton aggravated speeding lawyersSpeeding, in general, can result in serious criminal consequences upon conviction. Aggravated speeding – a heightened charge – can result in even greater penalties, especially if one has had any previous convictions. If you or someone you love is facing aggravated speeding charges in Illinois, the following information can help you better understand the potential consequences. You shall also learn what an experienced attorney may be able to do for you.

Speeding versus Aggravated Speeding

While minor speeding violations are not typically considered a criminal offense, aggravated speeding offenses are. It is this basic truth that creates most of the differences between speeding and aggravated speeding exist. For example, speeding does not typically result in jail time for the defendant but being convicted of aggravated speeding could. Some other possible differences to be aware of include possible jail time and elevated fees and fines. Individuals who plead guilty to or are convicted of aggravated speeding will also receive a misdemeanor conviction on their permanent criminal record. Sadly, this can affect everything from your ability to find a job to the amount you pay each month for automobile insurance.

Consulting an Experienced Attorney Can Help

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DuPage County traffic defense attorney, Traffic tickets are often viewed as a minor annoyance. A fine is paid and the driver moves on. Still, there are times when a traffic ticket can have several long-lasting consequences.

Financial Consequences

You may be required to pay more money than what a fine requires when you are issued a ticket. Depending on your record, your insurance rates may also increase. Some unfortunate drivers have found that their insurance rates become so high that they are no longer able to afford to drive. 

If you are issued too many tickets in a certain period of time, usually one to two years depending on your age, your driver's license may be suspended. In addition, you will have to pay fees to have your license reinstated. If you have to drive for work, then you could face losing your job as well.

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Wheaton traffic violation lawyer, construction zone speedingSome of the harshest penalties for traffic violations are reserved for construction zones. People may be tempted to just pay the expensive fine and move on. However, that may not be your best option.

Consequences for Speeding in a Constriction Zone

The fine for a first offense when speeding in a construction zone is a minimum of $375. The fine may be even more, depending on how fast you were driving in the construction zone.

If you are cited for speeding in a construction zone for a second time, then the minimum fine is $1,000. Just as with a first offense, the fine can be even more, depending on your speed. If you are cited a second time for speeding in a construction zone within two-years of your first citation, you will also have your driver’s license suspended for 90 days.

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