In addition to Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol (625 ILCS 5/11-501) or Aggravated Fleeing and Eluding (625 ILCS 5/11-204.1), there are other traffic offenses in Illinois that are serious, such as Reckless Driving and Aggravated Reckless Driving (625 ILCS 5/11-503).
What is Reckless Driving?
If a vehicle operator is driving with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property,” they may be charged with driving recklessly. Additionally, a driver can be charged with this when they knowingly use “an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or ill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne.”
Swerving, cutting other drivers off, or traveling at speeds that greatly exceed the speed limit are all actions that could be considered reckless under Illinois law.
What is Aggravated Reckless Driving?
When a driver causes harm to others, the charge escalates to Aggravated Reckless Driving. A number of factors come into play here, including:
- If the individuals harmed were children or crossing guards in a school zone; or
- The degree to which an individual or individuals were harmed
Potential Penalties and Fines
In most instances of reckless driving, defendants will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If the defendant caused harm to a child or crossing guard in a school zone, they may face a Class 4 felony. If there was great bodily harm to a child or crossing guard, the defendant may be charged with a Class 3 felony.
Defendants will have their vehicles towed, face a fine of up to $2,500, and jail time up to one year. As we have covered previously, the cost of having a vehicle towed and impounded in Chicago can be steep.
An experienced defense lawyer will examine the details of your case and craft strategies to defend you in court. It may be possible that an officer unlawfully stopped you, which may result in the case being thrown out by a judge.
If you or a loved one is charged with Reckless Driving in Illinois, contact Richard at Fenbert & Associates, LLC for a free consultation.