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What is a dry reckless charge in Chicago?

In Chicago, the phrase “dry reckless” is another name for a charge of reckless driving. A dry reckless charge is a criminal misdemeanor in Chicago and in the entire State of Illinois. It’s a criminal offense that can bring jail time, license points and other significant penalties.

Why is it called “dry” reckless?

Illinois law used to distinguish between a dry reckless and a wet reckless criminal charge. A dry reckless charge referred to a reckless driving charge that did not involve alcohol. A wet reckless charge was a criminal charge of reckless driving where the driver drank alcohol before the offense. Illinois law had different categories for alcohol-related reckless driving and offenses that didn’t involve alcohol.

Today, all reckless driving offenses are considered the same. The law no longer distinguishes among types of reckless driving convictions. Instead, dry reckless and wet reckless both refer to the general category of reckless driving offenses in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

What are the penalties for reckless driving?

Without any extenuating circumstances, the judge may sentence a person to up to 364 days in jail for a reckless driving conviction. They may also order the offender to pay a fine of up to $2,500. If the driver causes damages because of their offense, they might also have to pay restitution to the victim.

A reckless driving conviction comes with one penalty point on the driver’s operating license. By itself, a conviction for reckless driving doesn’t automatically suspend the driver’s right to drive. Instead, it puts a penalty point on your license. If you get three points within 12 months, the Secretary of State suspends your driver’s license.

How much time will you serve?

Even though the maximum penalty is 364 days in jail, most people who receive a conviction for reckless driving don’t serve the entire year in jail. The judge chooses how much jail time is appropriate. When you’re sentenced for reckless driving, you should take care to prepare for your hearing. You should be prepared to show the judge what you’ve learned and why you don’t need to serve time in jail in order to comply with the law in the future. Your reckless driving attorney in Chicago can help you prepare for your sentencing hearing.

Aggravating circumstances

There are some cases where the penalties for a reckless driving conviction may be more severe. If you cause death or serious injury to a person, your penalties are more serious. In addition to facing a felony, you’re also far more likely to receive significant jail time from the judge.

What’s the difference between pleading guilty to DUI and pleading guilty to reckless driving?

Many people who face a conviction for their first DUI offense worry about the mandatory license suspension that accompanies a DUI conviction. For a first DUI offense, you face a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license of six months. However, if you’re able to plead guilty to reckless driving, you can avoid the mandatory license suspension. In both cases, you may still have to serve time in jail. However, the difference in license penalties is a significant relief for most offenders who are able to secure a plea to a reduced charge.

What is court supervision and how does that apply to my reckless driving conviction?

Another way to reduce the consequences of a DUI or a dry reckless charge is to pursue court supervision for a first offense. Court supervision is a type of probation that’s available to first offenders for a reckless driving conviction. If the offender pleads guilty to the offense, they may be placed on probation by the court. If they complete their term of probation, the court may dismiss their charges without a conviction.

Whether you plead guilty to reckless driving or DUI, you may only have court supervision once in your life. There are still significant benefits to a reduced charge of reckless driving. However, you may have the benefit of supervision of the court only once in your life. When you get a DUI offense after having a court supervision for reckless driving, you aren’t able to get court supervision a second time.

Is a plea to reckless driving worth pursuing?

In many cases, a plea to reckless driving is a good thing if the state is willing to offer it to you. When you’re offered court supervision, you must initially enter a plea of guilty to the offense. For court-supervised cases, you only receive a dismissal of the case if you complete the terms of your supervision. If you’re not able to complete the terms, your conviction enters without a trial. For that reason, it’s still helpful to pursue a plea agreement when you’re facing a DUI charge even if you plan to ask for court supervision of your case.