Reckless driving is one of the most frequently charged traffic violations. This is due, however, to the fact that the offense is defined broadly in the law and encompasses a multitude of behaviors. From speeding to failing to slow through a curve or rapid lane changes, reckless driving remains a “go-to” charge for many law enforcement officials. If you are facing reckless driving charges, it is important to know what that entails and the possible consequences of a conviction.
What Is Reckless Driving, Anyway?
According to Illinois law, the definition of reckless driving is operating a vehicle with, “with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” A conviction, therefore, requires proof of the mindset of intentionally endangering others or a complete lack of consideration. If the prosecution successfully proves purposeful disregard for safe driving, the allegations are more severe than careless or improper driving.
A few behaviors that may qualify as reckless driving include:
- Dangerously driving above the posted speed limit;
- Failing to yield the right-of-way;
- Driving without proper lights;
- Not signaling or otherwise not looking before lane changes; and
- Running stop signs or red lights, placing others in danger.
Worst Case Scenario
Many clients ask specifically about the worst-case scenario in the event of a conviction. While we build strong cases to reduce the charges or have them dropped entirely, it is understandable to want to know what potential punishments are, especially if the prosecution has an airtight case. If convicted, reckless driving is generally a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in county jail and fines of up to $2,500.
The good news is you are not likely to lose your driver’s license solely as the result of a reckless driving charge. Keep in mind, however, that if you have two other violations within the last 12 months, a third conviction can cost you your driving privileges.
We Can Help
If you are facing allegations of reckless driving, it is important to remember that it is a criminal offense and you should consider retaining an attorney to aid in your defense. To learn more, contact an experienced reckless driving defense lawyer in Will County. At the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba, we understand how a single reckless driving charge can affect your life and we are prepared to help you protect your rights every step of the way. Call 815-740-4025 for a free consultation today.