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Reckless Driving and DUIs in Illinois

Posted on in DUI Defense

DuPage County DUI defense lawyerIf you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Illinois, you may think that your life is over, given the myriad consequences that can come with a DUI conviction. However, all is not immediately lost, especially if you are a first offender. It is possible to plead a DUI charge down, and the most common offense charged under a plea bargain is reckless driving. That said, that course of action is not without its potential hazards, and having an experienced DUI attorney on your side is crucial. 

Why Bother To Plead? 

A DUI is treated as a very serious charge, even for a first offender, because of the potential dangers it poses to so many different people. The court may be reluctant to accept a plea agreement for this exact reason, as it is seen as critical that those who drive under the influence are held accountable for their actions. However, if a plea bargain might be possible, reckless driving is a charge that many prosecutors will accept. 

It may seem counterintuitive or even pointless to try and plead a DUI down to a reckless driving charge, because both offenses are Class A misdemeanors, punishable by fines up to $2,500 and up to 364 days in jail. However, if you are in a position where a plea bargain is possible, pleading to a charge of reckless driving has decided advantages to being convicted for DUI. 

Supervision Is A One-Time Chance

Reckless driving is defined as “willfully or wantonly” disregarding the safety of other people or property while operating a motor vehicle. Some examples of this may include swerving into and out of lanes, speeding, and distracted driving, which are similar to symptoms of someone driving under the influence. This is one of the reasons why reckless driving is such a common plea. 

If you plead to reckless driving, the most likely sentence is court supervision, which does not count as a conviction unless you breach the terms of your supervision agreement, after which you may be tried and convicted depending on the situation. Keep in mind, however, that if you receive supervision for this offense, you are never again permitted to receive supervision for either a first-time DUI charge, or for a reckless driving charge. Therefore, the choice to plead to reckless driving must be done at the right time.

Contact A DuPage County DUI Attorney Today

Being charged with driving under the influence can feel extremely overwhelming. With an experienced DuPage County DUI attorney on your side, however, you can get the help you need to make it through the legal process with the best chance at a fair outcome. The McMahon Law Offices are ready and willing to assist you with your case. Call our offices today at 630-953-4400 for a free initial consultation.

 

Sources: 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/062500050K11-501.htm

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=062500050K11-503

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