A reckless driving ticket is no small traffic charge. Reckless driving is one of the most serious charges you can be faced with when it comes to traffic tickets. This charge can come with the possibility of jail time and a license suspension or even revocation. Furthermore, a conviction for this offense will have a serious impact on your insurance premiums.
There are many ways that you can be issued a reckless driving ticket and there are many defenses to help you avoid a conviction for this offense. If you are facing a criminal traffic citation you should consider hiring a qualified attorney. So let’s dive into the specifics.
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What is Reckless Driving?
Under Illinois traffic laws, a person commits reckless driving if he or she:
- Drives any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or
- Knowingly drives a vehicle and uses an incline in a roadway, such as a railroad crossing, bridge approach, or hill, to cause the vehicle to become airborne.
As you can see, the law is very vague on the specific of how to commit this offense. So, what is a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property? To put it simply, if you are committing multiple traffic violations at the same time, you can and will get a reckless driving charge. Some examples of common traffic offenses where you can be charged with reckless driving are listed below:
- Swerving between lanes (improper lane change) while speeding
- Talking on the cell phone while speeding
- Lane changing while on your cell phone
- Driving through red lights or stop signs while on your cell phone
- Speeding through construction zones and swerving through lanes
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and excessive speeding
- Racing other vehicles while swerving through lanes or disregarding traffic control devices
- Not yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks or school buses picking up children and you are on your cell phone.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
Reckless driving is a class A misdemeanor. Legal consequences for this include up to twelve months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. Oftentimes a conviction for this offense can lead to a license suspension period and an increased price from your insurance provider. Having a conviction for this offense on your record can also impact your ability to get a job that requires you to drive for a living. For example, working as a commercial driver, postal carrier, UPS driver, Cab driver, Uber driver, etc…
Remember with this charge, the prosecutor needs to prove that you have driven with willful or wanton disregard for others and it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Under Illinois law, the prosecutor also needs to specify on the traffic ticket exactly how you have committed the offense. Check out the list below for common defense.
- You were not committing traffic offenses
- You only committed one traffic offense (speeding is just speeding)
- The police officer did not specify how you drove recklessly on the ticket
- You had to drive that way to avoid some other harm.
- The police officer does not show up to trial (happens more than you would think!)
If you or a loved one has been charged with the offense of Reckless Driving you are going to want a traffic defense lawyer that has experience with these types of charges. Our experienced attorneys have handled these types of cases as both prosecutors and defense lawyers as well. We use our years of experience in the courtroom to help you fight against your charges! Call the Chicago traffic lawyers at Ktenas Law today!