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IL defense lawyerIn the state of Illinois, there are dozens upon dozens of things you could receive a traffic ticket for. Maybe you thought you could beat the yellow light and you ended up running a red light instead. Maybe you were not watching your speed and you were caught going 10 miles per hour over the limit. Whatever the offense, most of the time when a police officer pulls you over, you will probably only receive a ticket for a moving violation. In certain circumstances, you may be pulled over because you committed a more serious offense. One of the more serious traffic offenses you can be charged with is reckless driving. Reckless driving is more than just a traffic ticket -- you can be charged with a misdemeanor or even a felony crime, depending on the circumstances.

What Constitutes Reckless Driving?

According to the Illinois Vehicle Code, a person can commit reckless driving in one of two ways:

  • By driving a vehicle with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people or their property; or
  • By knowingly driving a vehicle and using an incline in a roadway to cause the vehicle to become airborne.

As you can see, there are not really any specific actions that constitute reckless driving. It is up to the discretion of the arresting police officer and the judge to determine whether or not reckless driving has taken place. Examples of reckless driving may be:

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IL defense lawyerIn 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all fatal traffic accidents. This is why many states, including Illinois, have made speeding a serious traffic offense when you go more than a certain speed over the speed limit. Any driver who speeds is breaking the law, but when a person who holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) speeds, the consequences can be more severe and can affect their lives in different ways. Many people who hold a commercial driver’s license rely on the validity of that license for their main source of income. Speeding while you are driving a commercial vehicle is a big no-no and can result in strict penalties.

Illinois Speeding Laws

For all drivers, Illinois speeding laws are applicable. If you are caught driving more than 26 mph over the posted speed limit, but less than 35 mph over, you are breaking the law and can be hit with criminal charges. This is a Class B misdemeanor, so you will face up to six months in prison and up to $1,500 in fines. If you are caught driving more than 35 mph over the posted speed limit, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This means you can face up to a year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines.

Special Considerations for CDL Drivers

According to Illinois law, you also face greater consequences if you hold a CDL -- whether or not you were actually driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the incident. If you hold a CDL and you were caught driving more than 15 mph over the posted speed limit, you have committed a serious traffic violation, regardless of the vehicle you were driving at the time. A serious traffic violation is an offense that CDL drivers must take seriously. After two convictions for serious traffic violations within three years of each other, the driver’s CDL must be disqualified for at least two months.

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IL traffic attorneyGetting pulled over by the police for the first time as a teen driver can be a rattling experience. That is why it is important to consider ahead of time what you would do in the instance that you were pulled over for failure to follow traffic laws.

Experts recommend teens follow these tips:

  • Put on hazard lights. As soon as you see that an officer is trying to get you to pull over, you should put on your hazard lights. This serves two purposes. First, it lets the officers know that you see them. Second, it warns drivers around you that you will be slowing down and pulling over soon.
  • Find a place to pull over. Above all, this place should be safe. Empty parking lots and wide road shoulders are often the best places for a traffic stop.
  • Open your window and turn off your car. Once you are in a safe place, you should roll down your window and shut off your car. If it is nighttime, you should turn on your car’s dome overhead dome light. After this, you should put your hands on the steering wheel. You want to avoid making the officer think that you are hiding something or otherwise making furtive movements.
  • Remind yourself to be calm. Being pulled over is scary, but staying calm will ensure that you handle this tense situation as best as you can.
  • Respect the police officers. Even if you feel that you are being pulled over for no reason, you must remain polite to all cops. You can speak up for yourself or defend your actions, but you must do so with respect.
  • Announce your movements. When asked for license, registration, and proof of insurance, tell the officer where it is before reaching for it.

Contact an I-88 Teen Speeding Ticket Accident Attorney

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