You are prepared to try your client's DUI case. You are looking forward to the trial because you've got a good case and you are confident of a not guilty verdict. Suddenly, the State offers a plea to dismiss the DUI if your client pleads guilty to Reckless Driving. What are the consequences of the plea? Here is most everything you need to know to advise your client.
Reckless Driving is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 365 days in jail and fine of $2,500 plus court costs.
If the Client pleads guilty to Reckless Driving on a plea where a DUI is dismissed, he/she will keep his/her license unless (1) Client has 2 or more other moving violation convictions within the last 12 months (supervision for speeding ticket does not count against the Client); or (2) Client is pleading guilty to, or is convicted of, aggravated Reckless Driving; or (3) if Client has 2 prior reckless driving convictions in the last 12 months.
I. Class A Misdemeanor
First, watch out for jail time. Reckless Driving is a Class A Misdemeanor. An open plea to reckless driving could result in your client spending 364 days in the county jail. Make sure the jail term is eliminated or mitigated in your plea negotiation.
II. Reckless Driving Statute
625 ILCS 5/11-503.
(a) A person commits reckless driving if he or she:
(1) drives any vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property; or
(2) 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.
(b) Every person convicted of reckless driving shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, except as provided under subsections (b-1), (c), and (d) of this Section.
(b-1) Except as provided in subsection (d), any person convicted of violating subsection (a), if the violation causes bodily harm to a child or a school crossing guard while the school crossing guard is performing his or her official duties, is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
(c) Every person convicted of committing a violation of subsection (a) shall be guilty of aggravated reckless driving if the violation results in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another. Except as provided in subsection (d) of this Section, aggravated reckless driving is a Class 4 felony.
(d) Any person convicted of violating subsection (a), if the violation causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to a child or a school crossing guard while the school crossing guard is performing his or her official duties, is guilty of aggravated reckless driving. Aggravated reckless driving under this subsection (d) is a Class 3 felony.