If you are involved in a car accident in Illinois, you probably understand that things get very serious if someone dies as a result of the accident. According to the Illinois General Assembly, when someone is killed as a result of a traffic accident, it is called reckless homicide. This charge may be leveled even if the act was unintentional. In general, it is a Class 3 felony charge, but there are spcial cases where it becomes a Class 2 felony. The possible consequences may also differ based upon the circumstances of the accident.
If your accident occurs in a school zone with a crossing guard present, in a construction zone or because you failed to follow the direction of a law enforcement officer or traffic control device, then it is a Class 2 felony. You are facing a minimum of three years in prison and could get a maximum of 14 years. If your accident involves the death of someone in your family or household, you are also subject to these sentencing guidelines, but the minimum is not mandatory.
If you get into a fatal accident in a school or construction zone and cause the death of two or more people, then you face a minimum of six years in prison with a possibility of a maximum of 28 years. This is also true if you fail to obey a traffic device or law enforcement officer who is directing traffic and two or more people are killed.
Another charge that may be elevated from a Class 3 to a Class 2 felony charge include any accident that results in a law enforcement officer’s death. This is also the case if the accident is a result of ramping your vehicle by making it go airborne, over an incline, such as a hill or railroad tracks, and you cause the deaths of two or more people. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.