Definition of reckless driving
The law defines reckless driving as driving with "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." Reckless driving tickets can be written for excessive speeding, or any time a person is driving in a way that disregards the safety of others. It also includes a specific example that is considered reckless driving: when a person drives over an incline in the road, such as a railroad crossing, with the intent of making the vehicle airborne.
Class A misdemeanor
A reckless driving conviction is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties include up to a year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
Class 4 felony
Reckless driving that results in serious injury to another person is called aggravated reckless driving, and it is a Class 4 felony. The penalties are imprisonment for up to three years and fines up to $25,000.
Class 3 felony
If reckless driving causes serious harm to a child or school crossing guard who is on duty, the penalties are even more severe. This is a Class 3 felony, which carries penalties of up to five years in a state penitentiary and fines up to $25,000.
Hiring a traffic lawyer
Anytime you are charged with a violation that has the possibility of jail time, you should hire an attorney to represent you. An experienced criminal defense attorney will help you get your side of the story heard, can help minimize your penalties, and make sure your rights were not violated.