While borrowing a fire truck and taking it for a spin may seem harmless to some, Illinois law enforcement officials may file several serious charges. When a 30-year-old Prairie State resident allegedly stole a running fire truck, he faced traffic violations and a felony charge, as reported by The State Journal-Register.
Firefighters kept the engine running outside the station’s bay to work on the truck’s pumper and demonstrate its equipment to some visitors. Nobody noticed the defendant purportedly climbing into the truck before he took off with the vehicle.
Apprehension of driver leads to further offenses
The Morgan County man had the firetruck under his control for about five blocks. Officials cited him for reckless driving and discovered he had his license revoked. Law enforcement also charged him with criminal trespassing to a motor vehicle.
According to the Illinois Compiled Statutes, driving with a suspended or revoked license is a Class A misdemeanor. To reinstate driving privileges, the state requires an individual to clear up outstanding traffic violations and pay all fines and court fees. A fourth offense, however, may result in a lifetime driver’s license suspension.
The defendant’s final outcome may include incarceration
At his arraignment, the court also filed a felony charge of aggravated unlawful possession of a stolen fire engine. Under Illinois law, the offense may result in a 15-year sentence if convicted.
Individuals arrested for a traffic violation and an associated felony charge may require a strong defense to reduce the severity of the outcome. If a prosecutor convinces the court to proceed with an intended conviction, however, a defendant may have an option to expunge his or her record and move forward after sentencing.