While in everyday language we may use the word "reckless" to describe any careless and dangerous act, Illinois legislators have outlined a specific legal definition for the word. These sections of Illinois law discuss crimes of reckless conduct. When a person acts in a way that causes bodily harm to or endangers the safety of another person, he or she can be convicted of reckless conduct, a Class A misdemeanor or Class 4 felony.
There are several specific instances of reckless conduct that warrant their own charge. One example is criminal transmission of HIV, which occurs when a person knows that they have HIV but participates in unprotected sex or donates blood nonetheless. Another is criminal housing management, a charge that can be brought when a defendant owns or manages a building and fails to maintain healthy and safe conditions for its inhabitants. The last charge in this section is common carrier recklessness, which can be prosecuted if a person endangers the safety of others while operating a form of common transportation such as a taxi or train.
Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been arrested for reckless conduct in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.
The text below comes from Article 12 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.
Sec. 12-5. Reckless conduct.
(720 ILCS 5/12-5)
(a) A person who causes bodily harm to or endangers the bodily safety of an individual by any means, commits reckless conduct if he or she performs recklessly the acts that cause the harm or endanger safety, whether they otherwise are lawful or unlawful. (a-5) A person who causes great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement by any means, commits reckless conduct if he or she performs recklessly the acts that cause the harm, whether they otherwise are lawful or unlawful.
Reckless conduct under subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor. Reckless conduct under subsection (a-5) is a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 93-710, eff. 1-1-05.)
Sec. 12-5.1. Criminal housing management.
(720 ILCS 5/12-5.1)
(a) A person commits the offense of criminal housing management when, having personal management or control of residential real estate, whether as a legal or equitable owner or as a managing agent or otherwise, he recklessly permits the physical condition or facilities of the residential real estate to become or remain in any condition which endangers the health or safety of any person.
Criminal housing management is a Class A misdemeanor. A subsequent conviction for a violation of subsection (a) is a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 85-341.)
Sec. 12-5.2. Injunction.
(720 ILCS 5/12-5.2)
(a) In addition to any other remedies, the State's Attorney of the county where the residential property which endangers the health or safety of any person exists is authorized to file a complaint and apply to the circuit court for a temporary restraining order, and such circuit court shall upon hearing grant a temporary restraining order or a preliminary or permanent injunction, without bond, restraining any person who owns, manages, or has any equitable interest in the property, from collecting, receiving or benefiting from any rents or other monies available from the property, so long as the property remains in a condition which endangers the health or safety of any person.
(b) The court may order any rents or other monies owed to be paid into an escrow account. The funds are to be paid out of the escrow account only to satisfy the reasonable cost of necessary repairs of the property which had been incurred or will be incurred in ameliorating the condition of the property as described in subsection (a), payment of delinquent real estate taxes on the property or payment of other legal debts relating to the property. The court may order that funds remain in escrow for a reasonable time after the completion of all necessary repairs to assure continued upkeep of the property and satisfaction of other outstanding legal debts of the property.
(c) The owner shall be responsible for contracting to have necessary repairs completed and shall be required to submit all bills, together with certificates of completion, to the manager of the escrow account within 30 days after their receipt by the owner.
(d) In contracting for any repairs required pursuant to this Section the owner of the property shall enter into a contract only after receiving bids from at least 3 independent contractors capable of making the necessary repairs. If the owner does not contract for the repairs with the lowest bidder, he shall file an affidavit with the court explaining why the lowest bid was not acceptable. At no time, under the provisions of this Act, shall the owner contract with anyone who is not a licensed contractor. The court may order release of those funds in the escrow account that are in excess of the monies that the court determines to its satisfaction are needed to correct the condition of the property as described in subsection (a).
(e) The Clerk of the Circuit Court shall maintain a separate trust account entitled "Property Improvement Trust Account", which shall serve as the depository for the escrowed funds prescribed by this Section. The Clerk of the Court shall be responsible for the receipt, disbursement, monitoring and maintenance of all funds entrusted to this account, and shall provide to the court a quarterly accounting of the activities for any property, with funds in such account, unless the court orders accountings on a more frequent basis.
The Clerk of the Circuit Court shall promulgate rules and procedures to administer the provisions of this Act.
(f) Nothing in this Section shall in any way be construed to limit or alter any existing liability incurred, or to be incurred, by the owner or manager except as expressly provided in this Act. Nor shall anything in this Section be construed to create any liability on behalf of the Clerk of the Court, the State's Attorney's office or any other governmental agency involved in this action.
Nor shall anything in this Section be construed to authorize tenants to refrain from paying rent.
(g) Costs. As part of the costs of an action under this Section, the court shall assess a reasonable fee against the defendant to be paid to the Clerk of the Court. This amount is to be used solely for the maintenance of the Property Improvement Trust Account. No money obtained directly or indirectly from the property subject to the case may be used to satisfy this cost.
(h) The municipal building department or other entity responsible for inspection of property and the enforcement of such local requirements shall, within 5 business days of a request by the State's Attorney, provide all documents requested, which shall include, but not be limited to, all records of inspections, permits and other information relating to any property. (Source: P.A. 88-240.)
Sec. 12-5.5. Common carriers; gross neglect.
(720 ILCS 5/12-5.5)
Whoever, having personal management or control of or over a steamboat or other public conveyance used for the common carriage of persons, is guilty of gross carelessness or neglect in, or in relation to, the conduct, management, or control of the steamboat or other public conveyance, while being so used for the common carriage of persons, in which the safety of any person is endangered is guilty of a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 89-234, eff. 1-1-96.)
Sec. 12-16.2. Criminal Transmission of HIV.
(720 ILCS 5/12-16.2)
(a) A person commits criminal transmission of HIV when he or she, knowing that he or she is infected with HIV:
(1) engages in intimate contact with another;
(2) transfers, donates, or provides his or her blood, tissue, semen, organs, or other potentially infectious body fluids for transfusion, transplantation, insemination, or other administration to another; or
(3) dispenses, delivers, exchanges, sells, or in any other way transfers to another any nonsterile intravenous or intramuscular drug paraphernalia.
(b) For purposes of this Section:
"HIV" means the human immunodeficiency virus or any other identified causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
"Intimate contact with another" means the exposure of the body of one person to a bodily fluid of another person in a manner that could result in the transmission of HIV.
"Intravenous or intramuscular drug paraphernalia" means any equipment, product, or material of any kind which is peculiar to and marketed for use in injecting a substance into the human body.
(c) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to require that an infection with HIV has occurred in order for a person to have committed criminal transmission of HIV.
(d) It shall be an affirmative defense that the person exposed knew that the infected person was infected with HIV, knew that the action could result in infection with HIV, and consented to the action with that knowledge.
(e) A person who commits criminal transmission of HIV commits a Class 2 felony. (Source: P.A. 86-897.)
Sec. 12-17. Defenses.
(720 ILCS 5/12-17)
(a) It shall be a defense to any offense under Section 12-13 through 12-16 of this Code where force or threat of force is an element of the offense that the victim consented. "Consent" means a freely given agreement to the act of sexual penetration or sexual conduct in question. Lack of verbal or physical resistance or submission by the victim resulting from the use of force or threat of force by the accused shall not constitute consent. The manner of dress of the victim at the time of the offense shall not constitute consent.
(b) It shall be a defense under subsection (b) and subsection (c) of Section 12-15 and subsection (d) of Section 12-16 of this Code that the accused reasonably believed the person to be 17 years of age or over.
(c) A person who initially consents to sexual penetration or sexual conduct is not deemed to have consented to any sexual penetration or sexual conduct that occurs after he or she withdraws consent during the course of that sexual penetration or sexual conduct. (Source: P.A. 93-389, eff. 7-25-03.)
Sec. 12-18. General Provisions.
(720 ILCS 5/12-18)
(a) No person accused of violating Sections 12-13, 12-14, 12-15 or 12-16 of this Code shall be presumed to be incapable of committing an offense prohibited by Sections 12-13, 12-14, 12-14.1, 12-15 or 12-16 of this Code because of age, physical condition or relationship to the victim, except as otherwise provided in subsection (c) of this Section. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to modify or abrogate the affirmative defense of infancy under Section 6-1 of this Code or the provisions of Section 5-805 of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987.
(b) Any medical examination or procedure which is conducted by a physician, nurse, medical or hospital personnel, parent, or caretaker for purposes and in a manner consistent with reasonable medical standards is not an offense under Sections 12-13, 12-14, 12-14.1, 12-15 and 12-16 of this Code.
(e) After a finding at a preliminary hearing that there is probable cause to believe that an accused has committed a violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, or 12-14.1 of this Code, or after an indictment is returned charging an accused with a violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, or 12-14.1 of this Code, or after a finding that a defendant charged with a violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, or 12-14.1 of this Code is unfit to stand trial pursuant to Section 104-16 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 where the finding is made prior to preliminary hearing, at the request of the person who was the victim of the violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, or 12-14.1, the prosecuting State's attorney shall seek an order from the court to compel the accused to be tested within 48 hours for any sexually transmissible disease, including a test for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The medical tests shall be performed only by appropriately licensed medical practitioners. The test for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) shall consist of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test, or such other test as may be approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health; in the event of a positive result, the Western Blot Assay or a more reliable confirmatory test shall be administered. The results of the tests and any follow-up tests shall be kept strictly confidential by all medical personnel involved in the testing and must be personally delivered in a sealed envelope to the victim, to the defendant, to the State's Attorney, and to the judge who entered the order, for the judge's inspection in camera. The judge shall provide to the victim a referral to the Illinois Department of Public Health HIV/AIDS toll-free hotline for counseling and information in connection with the test result. Acting in accordance with the best interests of the victim and the public, the judge shall have the discretion to determine to whom, if anyone, the result of the testing may be revealed; however, in no case shall the identity of the victim be disclosed. The court shall order that the cost of the tests shall be paid by the county, and shall be taxed as costs against the accused if convicted.
(f) Whenever any law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe that a person has been delivered a controlled substance without his or her consent, the law enforcement officer shall advise the victim about seeking medical treatment and preserving evidence.
(g) Every hospital providing emergency hospital services to an alleged sexual assault survivor, when there is reasonable cause to believe that a person has been delivered a controlled substance without his or her consent, shall designate personnel to provide:
(1) An explanation to the victim about the nature and effects of commonly used controlled substances and how such controlled substances are administered.
(2) An offer to the victim of testing for the presence of such controlled substances.
(3) A disclosure to the victim that all controlled substances or alcohol ingested by the victim will be disclosed by the test.
(4) A statement that the test is completely voluntary.
(5) A form for written authorization for sample analysis of all controlled substances and alcohol ingested by the victim.
A physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches may agree to be a designated person under this subsection.
No sample analysis may be performed unless the victim returns a signed written authorization within 30 days after the sample was collected.
Any medical treatment or care under this subsection shall be only in accordance with the order of a physician licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches. Any testing under this subsection shall be only in accordance with the order of a licensed individual authorized to order the testing. (Source: P.A. 94-397, eff. 1-1-06; 95-926, eff. 8-26-08.)
Sec. 12-18.1. Civil Liability.
(720 ILCS 5/12-18.1)
(a) If any person has been convicted of any offense defined in Section 12-13, 12-14, 12-15, or 12-16 of this Act, a victim of such offense has a cause of action for damages against any person or entity who, by the manufacture, production, or wholesale distribution of any obscene material which was possessed or viewed by the person convicted of the offense, proximately caused such person, through his or her reading or viewing of the obscene material, to commit the violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, 12-15, or 12-16. No victim may recover in any such action unless he or she proves by a preponderance of the evidence that: (1) the reading or viewing of the specific obscene material manufactured, produced, or distributed wholesale by the defendant proximately caused the person convicted of the violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, 12-15, or 12-16 to commit such violation and (2) the defendant knew or had reason to know that the manufacture, production, or wholesale distribution of such material was likely to cause a violation of an offense substantially of the type enumerated.
(b) The manufacturer, producer or wholesale distributor shall be liable to the victim for:
(1) actual damages incurred by the victim, including medical costs;
(2) court costs and reasonable attorneys fees;
(3) infliction of emotional distress;
(4) pain and suffering; and
(5) loss of consortium.
(c) Every action under this Section shall be commenced within 3 years after the conviction of the defendant for a violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, 12-15 or 12-16 of this Code. However, if the victim was under the age of 18 years at the time of the conviction of the defendant for a violation of Section 12-13, 12-14, 12-15 or 12-16 of this Code, an action under this Section shall be commenced within 3 years after the victim attains the age of 18 years.
(d) For the purposes of this Section:
(1) "obscene" has the meaning ascribed to it in subsection (b) of Section 11-20 of this Code;
(2) "wholesale distributor" means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity which stands between the manufacturer and the retail seller in purchases, consignments, contracts for sale or rental of the obscene material;
(3) "producer" means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity which finances or supervises, to any extent, the production or making of obscene material;
(4) "manufacturer" means any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity which manufacturers, assembles or produces obscene material. (Source: P.A. 86-857.)
(Text of Section before amendment by P.A. 96-339)
(720 ILCS 5/12-19)
Sec. 12-5.15. Aggravated criminal housing management.
(720 ILCS 5/12-5.15)
(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated criminal housing management when he or she commits the offense of criminal housing management; and:
(1) the condition endangering the health or safety of a person is determined to be a contributing factor in the death of that person; and
(2) the person also conceals or attempts to conceal the condition that endangered the health or safety of the person that is found to be a contributing factor in that death.
(b) Sentence. Aggravated criminal housing management is a Class 4 felony. (Source: P.A. 93-852, eff. 8-2-04.)