Traffic Offenses in Illinois
Illinois traffic laws go beyond driving while under the influence and speeding, but there are other traffic offenses you can be charged with in the state, and the penalties include fines, license suspension and even jail time.
Driving Without Insurance
State law requires drivers to have liability coverage with a minimum of $20,000 per person for injuries related to an accident. If you’re caught driving for the first time without valid insurance that meets the state standards, you’re facing a petty offense that carries a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000. People who are convicted of this are reported to the Secretary of State, and their license is suspended until they file a proof of insurance form.
Reckless and Aggravated Reckless Driving
In Illinois, reckless driving occurs when a person drives a vehicle willingly with no real regard for the safety of other people. This is a Class A misdemeanor, and you face a fine of $2,500 and/or a maximum of a year in prison. There is also aggravated reckless driving, which occurs when a person is part of an accident that causes disfigurement, permanent disability or great bodily harm to someone else. This is a felony that carries a potential penalty of one to three years in jail and fines of up to $25,000.
In addition to fines and potential jail time, being convicted of either charge can result in a revoked license and higher rates for auto insurance.
Leaving the Accident Scene
Leaving the scene of an accident, which is also known as a “hit and run,” is a criminal charge in Illinois and more serious than a typical traffic charge. This is a case where you may need the services of a traffic attorney in Springfield IL, as you can serve jail time, lose your license and end up with a criminal record that impacts your future life.
Any time you are in an accident that involves personal injury or damage to property, Illinois law requires that you stop and try to assist. You can even face criminal charges for leaving the scene of a parking lot scrape in which you didn’t realize you hit another car.
There are three leaving the scene of the accident charge classifications:
- You didn’t stop and render aid after an accident that only involved property damage. This is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of not more than $2,500.
- You didn’t stop and render aid after an accident that involved a personal injury, which is a Class 4 felony that can net a maximum of three years in jail and a fine of $25,000.
- You didn’t stop and render aid after an accident that involved someone’s death, which is a Class 3 felony that can result in five years in jail and a $25,000 fine.