Criminal Defense

Negligent Driving 1st or 2nd Degree

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Negligent Driving 1st Degree

Negligent Driving 1st Degree is a criminal misdemeanor charge.

According to the RCW 46.61.5249: A person is guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or marijuana or any drug or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.

If convicted, a negligent driving in the 1st degree has a maximum penalty of:

  • 90 days in jail

  • $1000 penalty

A conviction of Negligent Driving 1st degree does not have a negative impact on the driver’s license and does not require a SR-22 filing.

There may be additional requirements, if there are prior convictions, including a conviction of DUI.

Ignition interlock license may be required by the Washington State Department of Licensing which include a requirement for an SR-22 filing.

Ignition interlock device may be required to be installed in your vehicle

Negligent Driving 2nd Degree

Negligent Driving 2nd degree is a traffic infraction

It is considered a moving violation that may have negative insurance consequences. This infraction is subject to a penalty of $550.00.00.

According to RCW 46.61.525: A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if, under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight help you with a criminal charge or fight your ticket for you.

Call us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

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Negligent Driving Differences

 

Today I want to talk to you about the difference between Negligent Driving in the first degree and the Negligent Driving in the second degree.  In slang, we call it Neg 1 and Neg 2.

Negligent Driving 1st Degree…

Neg 1 is an alcohol related criminal traffic offense, it is a lesser offense than a DUI, a DUI is a gross misdemeanor.  Neg 1 is a simple misdemeanor, but it is an alcohol related traffic offense.

It is a criminal offense.  So you are subject to go to jail and fines and all
of those things.

Negligent Driving 2nd Degree…

is a civil traffic infraction, so it is like a speeding ticket.  It is a big speeding ticket. But it is in the same category as a speeding ticket.

Both Would Effect...

Your insurance and obviously Neg 1 is a crime and you would have a criminal record.

We can definitely help you…

We can help you to get the best possible outcome regarding either of these charges. Contact the office to discuss these in more detail.

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Video Credit: Holly Ramsey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Driving on a Suspended License

Driving on a Suspended License

Facing a driving while suspended charge can be intimidating.  Most people are unaware of the fact that if you received a Driving While Suspended charge, that it is a criminal charge, and is not treated as a normal traffic infraction.  A licensed driver can receive a Driving While Suspended violation for multiple reasons, and understanding the different levels of Driving While Suspended is useful when facing a criminal charge.

Driving While Suspended First Degree

If you are convicted of Driving While Suspended First Degree, it is considered a gross misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.  According to the Washington State Department of Licensing you are unable to receive a restricted license when you have a pending Driving While Suspended First Degree charge.  Driving While Suspended First Degree is a habitual traffic offender (HTO) who is a licensed driver who:
 

  • has within a 5 year period has been convicted of 3 or more offenses such as DUI, reckless driving, physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug, driving a motor vehicle while a license, permit or privilege to drive has been suspended or revoked, leaving the scene of an accident where the accident has resulted in injury or death of any person or damage to any vehicle, or any felony involving an automobile

  • has been found committed or convicted of 20 or more of moving violations according the WAC 308-104-160

Driving While Suspended Second Degree

If you are convicted of Driving While Suspended Second Degree, it is considered a gross misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.  To be charged with Driving While Suspended Second Degree your license must  be suspended for hit and run attended, reckless driving, racing, eluding a pursuing police officer, DUI, vehicular assault, vehicular homicide or driving while suspended second degree.  According to the Washington State Department of Licensing you may be eligible for a restricted license during the suspension.

Driving While Suspended Third Degree

Driving while suspended third degree is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of $1000.  Unlike the other two driving while suspended which involves previous criminal convictions, driving while suspended third degree is related to the Washington Department of Licensing and them taking administrative actions towards your license.  The Department of Licensing can suspend your license for various reasons which could include, unpaid court fines, failure to appear for a court hearing for a traffic infraction, or even if a driver is in an accident and that driver does not have insurance to cover damages that occurred to the other driver's car, the driver who is at fault for the accident is responsible for repayment of damages.

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It was Fun While it Lasted

Last weekend we all celebrated our Nation’s Declaration of independence on July 4th.  Some of us had barbecue’s to attend, some of us attended a local parade or two, and of course most of us celebrate the 4th of July with the incorporation of fireworks.  We have received a few phone calls in the office regarding clients receiving a citation for fireworks. The most common fireworks offenses are unlawful possession of fireworks and the unlawful discharge or use of fireworks.  Both of these charges are considered criminal charges and come with the possibility of monetary penalties and time spent in jail.

Possession of Illegal Fireworks

The general everyday fireworks that most of us buy at the local firework stand are classified as “Consumer Fireworks”.  Illegal fireworks are any fireworks that do not follow the definition of “Consumer Fireworks” under the WAC 212-17-035.  The Washington State Patrol has a list of illegal fireworks found on their website. According to RCW 70.77.485 which addresses the unlawful possession of fireworks, depending on the amount of illegal fireworks in your possession you could be found guilty of a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor.   

Unlawful Discharge or Use of Fireworks

RCW 70.77.488 addresses the unlawful discharge or use of fireworks.  This RCW is a law that explains that it is illegal for anyone to discharge or use fireworks that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to someone or damage to someone else’s property.  Violation of unlawful discharge or use of fireworks is considered a gross misdemeanor.

Misdemeanor vs Gross Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor conviction comes with a 90 days maximum penalty in jail and a $1000.00 fine. A gross misdemeanor conviction comes with a 364 days maximum penalty in jail and a $500.00 fine.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of receiving a criminal citation, please don’t hesitate to give Rick a call.  He is an experienced criminal defense attorney and has been handling criminal cases since 1992.

If you’ve just been pulled over and would like Rick to represent you - give us a call  or send us an email, we’ll get right back to you.

If you have any questions at any time throughout the process you can always call and ask the office - we are more than happy to help.

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Reckless Driving-Understanding the Basics

Reckless Driving- Understanding the Basics

A few times a month we receive phone calls in the office from clients stating that they have received a speeding ticket.  After further questioning, we discover that it is not in fact a speeding ticket, it is actually a criminal charge of reckless driving.  So what is reckless driving, and how does it differ from a regular speeding infraction?

Speeding Ticket vs. Reckless Driving

A speeding ticket is a infraction given by an officer to an individual who was exceeding the posted speed limit.  Once Rick is hired for the speeding ticket, he will go to court for you, you will not need to attend the hearing, and then you will be notified by mail of the outcome.  

A reckless driving offense is a charge per the RCW 46.61.500 “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”  A reckless driving charge is considered a criminal offense.  It is a gross misdemeanor and if found guilty of a reckless driving charge, can be punishable for up to 364 days in jail and by a fine not more than $5000.00.  Also if found guilty and convicted of a reckless driving charge, your driver’s license will be suspended 30 days.  If found guilty of a reckless driving charge, it is important to also understand that it is considered by the Washington State Department of Licensing as a major traffic offense.  You are only allowed to have 3 major traffic offenses in your lifetime.  

Who Decides?

If you have been pulled over by Washington State Patrol or sheriff, it is up to the local prosecutor to determine if you will be officially charged with a reckless driving charge.  The patrol officer will be required to submit a full and complete report to the prosecutor, and the prosecutor based on that report will decide if charges will be pressed. Once the prosecutor has determined that there is enough evidence to charge you with a reckless driving charge, you will be notified by mail of the arraignment location, date, and time.  

If you are pulled over by a local city police officer, the officer will issue a criminal citation directly to you.  Charges will be filed and printed on the criminal citation, there will be arraignment location, date and time information for your case.  You will be required to attend the arraignment.  

Making a Decision

At this point in the process, this would be where you would determine if you should hire a lawyer to help you with your criminal case.  Rick is a criminal defense attorney, and handles reckless driving cases, and once hired can help you navigate the legal process.  Rick will attend hearings with you and help you with negotiations with the prosecutors.  

Give us a Call

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of receiving a reckless driving charge, please don’t hesitate to give Rick a call.  He is an experienced criminal defense attorney and has been handling reckless driving cases since 1992.

If you’ve just been pulled over and would like Rick to represent you - give us a call  or send us an email, we’ll get right back to you.

If you have any questions at any time throughout the process you can always call and ask the office - we are more than happy to help.

Connect with us

Come and connect with us on social media.  If you use any of the networks below, we’d love to hear from you - come say hi.  We are active participants in the local community and share more than just legal information

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