May 4

Reckless driving is a traffic offense that is similar to driving under the influence. Illinois law prohibits both offenses in the interest of public safety. In order understand the boundaries of reckless driving in Illinois, the following sections will outline key definitions and penalties under the law.

What is the Definition of Reckless Driving in Illinois?

The Illinois definition of reckless driving appears in 625 ILCS 5/11-503. There are two variations of this offense under Illinois law. A person commits reckless driving in Illinois if they:

  • Operate a vehicle and carelessly endangers other people or property; or
  • Use an incline, railroad crossing, bridge or hill to intentionally send a vehicle airborne.

What are the Penalties for Reckless Driving in Illinois?

In most cases, reckless driving is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. The potential penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include a sentence range of 364 days, fines up to $2,500 and 24 months of probation.

However, reckless driving can become a Class 4 felony under certain circumstances. If the driver injures a child or school crossing guard, then felony charges may be appropriate. The potential penalties for a Class 4 felony include a sentence range of 12 to 36 months, fines up to $25,000 and 30 months of probation.

What is the Definition of Aggravated Reckless Driving in Illinois?

The Illinois definition of aggravated reckless driving appears in 625 ILCS 5/11-503. There are two variations of this offense under Illinois law. The aggravated offense applies when a person commits reckless driving and:

  • Causes a severe injury or permanent disability to another person; or
  • Inflicts a severe injury or permanent disability to a child or a school crossing guard.

What are the Penalties for Aggravated Reckless Driving in Illinois?

In most cases, aggravated reckless driving is a Class 4 felony in Illinois. The potential penalties for a Class 4 felony include a sentence range of 12 to 36 months, fines up to $25,000 and 30 months of probation.

However, aggravated reckless driving can become a Class 3 felony under certain circumstances. If the driver causes severe injury or permanent disability to a child or a school crossing guard, then felony charges may be appropriate. The potential penalties for a Class 3 felony include a sentence range of 24 to 60 months, fines up to $25,000 and 30 months of probation.

Do You Need Legal Help?

No matter what the criminal offense, all criminal 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 johnprior@thepriorlawfirm.com or by completing an online form.

(image courtesy of jakub-gorajek)