Serious Consequences for Reckless Driving
Reckless driving in Illinois can have serious consequences. Since reckless driving can endanger other drivers and pedestrians in the area, Illinois law cracks down on drivers charged for reckless driving. Illinois law severely punishes any offense that threatens the safety of Illinois citizens. Police officers may choose to arrest individuals charged with reckless driving rather than simply giving a typical traffic ticket.
What is Reckless Driving?
The Illinois statute defines reckless driving as “willful or wanton disregard for the safety or persons or property.” Driving behaviors that could be considered reckless driving include:
- failure to use turn signals
- running stop signs and/or red lights
- failure to yield right of way
- drunk driving
- distracted driving
What are the Consequences of Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving is not a petty offense like other traffic violations; rather, it is a Class A misdemeanor. As a result, the police officer may choose to arrest an individual for reckless driving instead of giving a written ticket. An arrest adds to the cost of the charge. When arrested for reckless driving:
- Your vehicle will be towed and impounded. You will have to pay to get the car out of the impound.
- You will have to post bond or go to jail.
- You will have to go to court and face a judge.
Additionally, a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor has the possibility of:
- up to one year in jail
- up to a $2500 fine
A conviction for reckless driving will become a permanent part of your criminal record. This may make it impossible to get other arrests or charges expunged from your record.
Probation for Reckless Driving
Not every conviction for reckless driving will result in serving time in jail. It is possible to get probation for this offense. As part of probation, you may be required to attend traffic school and/or complete community service. Though community service is not required with probation for every offense, it is allowed for reckless driving since this offense impacts public safety. Community service is seen as a way to make amends for putting others at risk.
Reckless Driving and DUI
Another way a reckless driving conviction can have detrimental impact is that any person with a previous reckless driving conviction, resulting from a plea bargain from a DUI charge, will not be allowed to get supervision for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. In the past, many prosecutors were willing to reduce DUI charges to reckless driving so that defendants would not have their licenses revoked. Lawmakers reacted by changing the law so that any person convicted of reckless driving through a plea bargain resulting from a DUI charge could not get supervision for a subsequent DUI charge. Convictions resulting from a guilty verdict for a reckless driving charge that did not involve DUI can still be eligible for supervision if charged with a first time DUI in the future. This statute makes it so that one reckless driving charge can have a great impact on your future.
What can I do if I am Charged With Reckless Driving in Illinois?
If you are charged with reckless driving in Illinois, it is essential to contact an attorney with experience handling reckless driving tickets in Illinois. Dennis F. Dwyer has experience handling all types of cases, including reckless driving tickets. He can provide guidance about how best to handle the case and ensure that you get the best possible outcome. Contact criminal defense attorney Dennis F. Dwyer today!