Search Site
Menu
Reckless Homicide: Texting Can Be Fatal

In a landmark case, a teenage driver was sentenced to one year in prison and a given a 15-year suspension of his license after he was convicted of running down a 55-year-old man while he was texting. Although he claimed that he was not texting at the time of the impact, the cell phone records proved otherwise.

Driving while texting in Illinois is illegal

Under Illinois law, only the drivers listed below may use a texting communication device::

  • A police officer or operator of an emergency vehicle in the course of official duties
  • A driver reporting an emergency
  • A driver using a hands-free or voice-activated device
  • A driver of a commercial vehicle reading a specially designed, permanently installed screen
  • A driver stopped because of traffic congestion with the car in park or neutral

Reckless homicide

In Illinois, a defendant who unintentionally causes the death of another person while driving a motor vehicle in a reckless manner is guilty of reckless homicide. A defendant is guilty of reckless conduct when the defendant is aware of the risks posed by the conduct and disregards those risks. A defendant is guilty of reckless driving when the defendant drives with “willful or wanton disregard” for the safety of others.

Although Illinois law does not identify texting while driving as a specific element of reckless homicide, texting while driving is illegal and could form the basis of a prosecution, since there has been sufficient evidence collected to demonstrate that it poses a substantial risk of harm to others.

According to statistics collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on any given day, more than nine people are killed and some 1,060 are injured in motor crashes involving distracted drivers. Drivers are distracted when their attention is drawn elsewhere because they have taken their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their concentration away from their driving. Texting while driving involves all three distractions at one time.

Defenses and consequences

Reckless homicide is a serious felony with criminal and civil consequences, including the potential loss of insurance coverage and the imposition of substantial civil damages. A conviction becomes part of your record and could have a negative effect on your future employment, education, professional licensing, and housing opportunities. It requires the astute guidance of a knowledgeable attorney who can chart the best course in your defense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Paul Chatzky Attorney Photo
Paul Chatzky
Founder

About Born in Havana, Cuba, Paul Chatzky is fluent in Spanish and English, enabling him to effectively represent a wider range of individuals and businesses. He is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®, and is listed among Illinois Super Lawyers, which is a reflection of his high ethical standards and exceptional legal knowledge. As…

Deborah E. Chatzky Attorney Photo
Deborah E. Chatzky
Paralegal

About Prior to joining the firm as a paralegal, Debbie was employed by major banking institutions as a loan processor and as an executive secretary. Debbie was also employed as an administrative assistant for the Board of Jewish Education. Having majored in Sociology, Debbie graduated from the University of Florida in 1980. Debbie completed her…

Client Reviews
  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Paul Chatzky is well educated, knows in and outs in terms of law, keeps everything under control, responds to emails, returns phone calls almost immediately. Very professional and extremely detail-oriented lawyer. Highly recommended.

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Chatzky is very responsive, ethical and effective. I’m extremely happy with the service and I would highly recommend this law office to anyone seeking legal help

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Mr. Chatzky is truly superb at his job. His knowledge base is profound, and he approached my situation with honesty and integrity. I knew immediately that he had every intention to obtain the best outcome for me and that he had thought of every possi...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    I highly recommend Paul Chatzky as a high capable and honest attorney who genuinely cares about his clients and is highly committed to supporting their best interests. He lived up to the high expectations that I had and was willing as hard as me to m...

    Read more

    Client

  • lawyers
    5.0/5.0

    Paul Chatzky is always very responsive, professional, and a pleasure to work with.

    Read more

    Client

See all reviews
AWARDS
Contact us

Quick Contact Form