The short answer is yes, a DUI charge can be reduced to a reckless driving charge in Illinois. Whether or not this will work for you all depends on the specifics of your case.
Factors that affect your ability to plead DUI to reckless driving:
Hypothetically, a 25-year-old male, college graduate, that has no criminal background that gets a first time DUI and doesn’t blow terribly high on a blood alcohol test, could see themselves getting an offer from a state’s attorney to plead guilty in exchange for amending it to a reckless driving charge.
That’s not to say that that amendment only happens for people with no records, but it happens more often for people with no records.
The judge and state’s attorney on your case, and the location of the charge
Your ability to have your DUI charge amended to a reckless driving charge in Illinois also depends on the state’s attorney in the room, the judge in the room, and the district you happen to have been pulled over for driving a DUI in.
Certain districts are harsher on DUIs. Certain districts understand that getting an amended plea is still a win for the state because they get it on your record, they get the fines. You still have to go to all the alcohol education classes and such. Other counties are far more strict on DUIs and will not make that amendment.
In general, this amendment, DUI to Reckless Driving, does happen frequently. It’s something that, for first-time DUI clients that I represent, taht I pitch to the state’s attorneys as an option for resolving the case.
The pros and cons for pleading DUI to reckless driving
As far as pros and cons, the pro is you will not have a driving under the influence charge on your record.
Pleading down to a reckless drive usually results in you still being on supervision. You do not have any sort of conviction on your driving record. Often times it will result in the suspension of your license being lifted because you are no longer being charged with a DUI.
While you still will likely have to complete the DUI-related education courses that are a part of the supervision that you would receive, that’s money out of your pocket paying for those classes, paying for social services to do those things for you, but in a long run, the pro is your record looks substantially better with a reckless driving supervision than it does with a DUI supervision.
The downside, again, is if you do receive a supervision on a reckless driving charge, for the remainder of your time as an Illinois driver, you are no longer supervision eligible on either another reckless driving charge or another DUI. You get the one time to get supervision on either of those charges and you will not get that break again.