What Qualifies as Reckless Driving in Illinois?
Under Illinois law, traffic violations range widely from minor offenses resulting only in fines and driver’s license points, to serious crimes that can result in prison sentences and additional consequences. Reckless driving is an example of the latter. However, it can be difficult to know whether you will face this serious charge after an arrest because of the somewhat vague definition of reckless driving. This makes it all the more important to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
Reckless Driving Defined
According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, there is one specific offense that constitutes reckless driving: knowingly using an incline on the road to make your vehicle airborne. However, this is far from the only situation in which a person can face reckless driving charges. The definition of the offense also includes any situation in which a driver shows “willful or wanton disregard” for people or property, which may encompass many behaviors related to speeding, ignoring traffic signals, erratically changing lanes, driving in the wrong direction, and more.
A regular reckless driving charge is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning that a sentence could include less than one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. Reckless driving is also one of the most serious offenses in the Illinois driver’s license point system, with a value of 55 points. If you have other traffic convictions on your record within a short time, reckless driving could contribute to the suspension or revocation of your license.
If reckless driving causes injury or great bodily harm to another person, the offender can be charged with aggravated reckless driving, which is a Class 3 or 4 felony depending on the circumstances. This can come with a much steeper sentence, including up to five years in prison. Reckless driving charges are also often accompanied by charges for other serious offenses, including aggravated speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Defenses for Illinois Reckless Driving Charges
Because of the somewhat subjective nature of the definition of reckless driving in Illinois, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to have your charge dismissed or reduced. One of the most successful defense strategies for reckless driving is demonstrating to the court that you did not willfully or knowingly intend to put others at risk with your behavior. Even if your reckless driving charge stands, it may be possible to negotiate for a sentence of court supervision, which prevents a conviction from being entered on your criminal record.
Contact a DuPage County Traffic Violation Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested on charges of reckless driving or any other traffic violation, the attorneys at Davi Law Group can help you present a viable defense. We strive to achieve an outcome that allows you to avoid unnecessary hardship and lasting consequences on your life. For a free consultation with a Wheaton, IL criminal defense lawyer, contact us today at 630-580-6373.