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Do Not Get Caught Driving With a Suspended or Revoked LicenseIllinois law provides for a variety of ways that you could lose your driving privileges, some of which may not even be related to driving at all. Fleeing from a police officer, incurring too many traffic violations, not paying traffic tickets or even not paying child support can result in a driver’s license suspension or revocation. Perhaps one of the most common reasons why a person loses their license is because they were arrested or convicted of driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In Illinois, DUI convictions are serious and the penalties are too. Not only do you face jail time and expensive fines, but you also face losing your driving privileges. What can be just as serious, however, is driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

Criminal Charges for Driving With a Suspension or Revocation

Many people believe that driving while your license has been suspended or revoked is punished simply as a traffic ticket. In reality, if you are caught driving with a suspended or revoked license, you will be charged with a criminal offense, which is much more serious than just getting a ticket. If your license is suspended or revoked because of a DUI charge, the following penalties apply:

  1. First Offense: This is classified as a Class A misdemeanor and requires offenders to serve a minimum of 10 days in jail or 30 days of community service. Offenders can face up to $2,500 in fines and mandatory court costs, and their driver’s license will be subject to a suspension that is double the original suspension period or an additional year of revocation if their license was originally revoked.
  2. Second Offense: A second conviction is charged as a Class 4 felony unless the original suspension or revocation was due to DUI, reckless homicide, refusing a chemical test or leaving the scene of a crash involving personal injury or death, in which case a second offense is charged as a Class 2 felony. Fines can be up to $25,000 and the offender must serve a minimum of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service.
  3. Third Offense: A third offense is charged similarly to a second offense; it is a Class 4 felony carrying a minimum sentence of 30 days in jail or 300 hours of community service. If the original suspension or revocation was due to DUI, reckless homicide, refusing a chemical test or leaving the scene of a crash involving personal injury or death, it will be charged as a Class 1 felony.

Avoid a Criminal Charge by Contacting an Orland Park, IL, Driver’s License Reinstatement Attorney

Having your driver’s license suspended or revoked because of a DUI charge can be frustrating, but the worst thing you could do is to keep driving without getting a driving permit. At the Law Office of John S. Fotopoulos, P.C., we can help you apply for a monitoring device driving permit or a restricted driving permit. When you are eligible, we can also work to have your driver’s license reinstated. Contact our Cook County driver’s license reinstatement attorney today by calling the office at 708-942-8400 to schedule a free consultation.

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What Is Reckless Driving and What Are the Penalties for It in Illinois?If you are a driver in the United States, it is very likely that you will be pulled over by the police at some point during your driving years. Police cannot pull you over just for fun – they have to have a reason to do so. Most of the time, the reason they pull you over is because of a minor traffic infraction that results in a fine. Depending on why they pulled you over, the ticket can result in more severe consequences, such as criminal charges. Illinois has various traffic violations that can result in criminal charges, and one of those charges is reckless driving.

Reckless Driving in Illinois 

Reckless driving is a charge that encompasses many behaviors. According to Illinois’ criminal statutes, reckless driving can be charged when a person:

  • Drives or operates a vehicle with “willful or wanton” disregard for the safety of other drivers or the property of others; or
  • Knowingly and intentionally uses an incline in the road to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

The tricky thing about reckless driving charges is that there are no specific behaviors spelled out in the laws that are automatically charged as reckless driving other than causing a vehicle to become airborne. Because of this, it is up to the arresting officer and the judge to determine what types of behaviors constitute reckless driving. Common examples of reckless driving include:

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Understanding Illinois Reckless Driving ChargesMost American drivers will be pulled over by police at least once in their lifetime. Most of the time, the reason you are pulled over is because of a small moving violation, like speeding or not fully stopping at a stop sign. These stops usually end with the officer issuing you a ticket that carries a fine that you must pay within a specific time period. In other situations, the officer may arrest you because they feel that you have done something too serious to warrant just a fine. Offenses of this nature can be driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, street racing or what is called reckless driving.

What is Reckless Driving?

The Illinois Vehicle Code states that reckless driving occurs when a person drives his or her vehicle with “willful and wanton disregard” for the safety of other drivers or other people’s property. It also states that reckless driving can occur if a person drives a vehicle and uses an incline such as a railroad crossing, hill or bridge approach to cause the vehicle to become airborne. 

There is no comprehensive list of the type of behaviors that are automatically assumed to be reckless driving. This is left up to the discretion of the arresting police officer, the judge assigned to your case and the jury. Examples of reckless driving can include:

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Speeding in Illinois Can Become More Than Just a TicketThough speeding may seem like a victimless crime, nothing could be further from the truth. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 10,000 people who were killed because of speed-related traffic accidents in 2017. Millions of people each year receive citations for speeding, but there are certain instances in which speeding can become more than just a ticket and a fine that you must pay. In the state of Illinois, aggravated speeding is a crime that can result in misdemeanor charges against you.

What is Aggravated Speeding?

According to Illinois law, aggravated speeding is considered to be any speeding that is 26 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit. If you are speeding 25 mph or less over the speed limit, you will only receive a ticket and you will not face criminal charges, such as these.

  • Class B misdemeanor aggravated speeding: You will be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if you are caught going 26 mph or more over the speed limit, but less than 35 mph over the limit. You could face up to six months in prison, up to two years of probation and/or between $75 and $1,500 in fines.
  • Class A misdemeanor aggravated speeding: If you are caught speeding 35 mph or more over the speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. You could face up to one year in prison, up to two years of probation and/or between $75 and $2,500 in fines.

Jail Time for a Speeding Conviction?

It is within the applicable sentencing guidelines for a judge to sentence you to prison for an aggravated speeding conviction. However, this is rather uncommon. Illinois judges tend to sentence those convicted of aggravated speeding to a period of court supervision, especially if this is the first time a person has ever faced aggravated speeding charges. Court supervision is a rather lenient sentence that allows the charges to be dropped if you do not commit any other traffic violations during the supervisory period. This allows the person to avoid a conviction from appearing on their criminal and driving records.

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