Available in both misdemeanor and felony versions, reckless driving is a moving violation that involves dangerous behavior on the roads. More specifically, reckless driving involves a clear and present danger to innocent bystanders and property owners alike. In the worst cases, reckless driving can even result in serious physical injury, disability, or disfigurement.
Illinois Laws Against Reckless Driving
The Illinois laws against reckless driving appear in 625 ILCS 5/11-503. Under this section, it is unlawful for any person to:
- Willfully operate motor vehicle with a clear disregard for the safety of other people or property; or
- Intentionally send a motor vehicle airborne using an incline, such as bridge approach, hill, or railroad crossing.
Illinois Penalties for Reckless Driving
The Illinois penalties for reckless driving also appear in Section 11-503. At a minimum, reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted for this type of misdemeanor in Illinois, an offender can face up to $2,500 in criminal fines and a maximum of 364 days in jail.
That being said, reckless driving can become a Class 4 felony. The felony version applies if a person commits reckless driving and inflicts bodily harm to a child or school crossing guard. If convicted for this felony, an offender can face up to $25,000 in criminal fines and a maximum of 36 months in prison.
Unlike more serious moving violations — such as DUI or involuntary manslaughter — reckless driving offenses do not always result in mandatory driver’s license suspension. Though if the offender has had multiple strikes on their record in the previous 12 months, reckless driving can trigger a period of license suspension.
Illinois Laws Against Aggravated Reckless Driving
The Illinois laws against aggravated reckless driving appear in Section 11-503. The aggravated version of this offense applies when a person commits reckless driving and:
- Inflicts great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person; or
- Causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to a child or a school crossing guard.
Illinois Penalties for Aggravated Reckless Driving
The Illinois penalties for aggravated reckless driving also appear in Section 11-503. At a minimum, aggravated reckless driving is a Class 4 felony, punishable as described above.
If a person causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to a child or a school crossing guard, aggravated driving is a Class 3 felony. If convicted for this type of felony in Illinois, an offender can face up to $25,000 in criminal fines and a maximum of 60 months in prison.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.