In addition to offenses like DUI, the Illinois Vehicle Code also prohibits reckless driving and street racing. Although these offenses typically lead to misdemeanor charges, there are also felony versions of reckless driving and street racing. In either case, drivers in Illinois should strive to avoid these charges altogether, as the legal consequences can be extremely severe.
Illinois Laws Against Reckless Driving
625 ILCS 5/11-503 establishes the Illinois laws against reckless driving. Under this section, a person commits reckless driving if they:
- Operates a vehicle in a willful or wanton manner that indicates a disregard for the safety of people or property; or
- Causes a vehicle to become airborne, using an incline such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill.
Illinois Punishment for Reckless Driving
Section 11-503 also explains the Illinois punishment for reckless driving. At a minimum, reckless driving is charged as Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. If convicted, the punishment can include a maximum of 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
On the other hand, reckless driving can become a Class 4 felony. The felony version of this offense applies whenever reckless driving involves bodily harm to a child or a school crossing guard.
If convicted for a Class 4 felony in Illinois, the punishment can include one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in criminal fines.
Illinois Laws Against Street Racing
625 ILCS 5/11-506 furnishes the Illinois laws against street racing. Under this section, the term “street racing” refers to the:
- Operation of multiple vehicles in a competitive attempt to gain more distance;
- Operation of at least one vehicle over a common selected course, for the purpose of comparing speed, acceleration, distance, or time;
- Use of at least one vehicle, attempting to gain more distance than another vehicle;
- Use of at least one vehicle to prevent another vehicle from passing;
- Use of at least one vehicle to arrive at a destination before another vehicle; or
- Use of at least one vehicle to test driver stamina or endurance over a long-distance course.
A person commits street racing if they:
- Engage in a street race on any street or highway in Illinois; or
- Allow another person to use their vehicle, knowing that such use is for the purpose of street racing.
Illinois Punishment for Street Racing
Section 11-506 also provides the Illinois punishment for street racing. For any person who engages in a street race, the penalties are as follows:
- First Offense — Class A misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum of $250 in fines and driver’s license revocation; or
- Second or Subsequent Offense — Class 4 felony with a mandatory minimum of $500 in fines and driver’s license revocation.
For any person who knowingly permits their vehicle to be part of a street race, the penalties are as follows:
- First Offense — Class B misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of six months in county jail and $1,500 in criminal fines; or
- Second or Subsequent Offense — Class A misdemeanor with a substantially similar penalty to the one described above for reckless driving.
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 email@example.com or by completing an online form.