Negligent Driving 1st or 2nd Degree

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

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 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.

(425) 259 4972

Want To Hear More From Rick…

You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below.

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.

Your Driving Record

Your Driving Record

 According to the Washington State Department of Licensing  an abstract or copy of driving record, is “a history of violations, convictions, collisions, and departmental actions incurred by a driver over a period of time”.  

Types of Records

There are several different types of driving records that are available through the Washington State Department of Licensing.  Driving records are considered confidential and are only available to those parties who are authorized by law and they are not allowed to reveal the information contained on the record to a third party.

  • Complete record- contains convictions, violations, collisions, suspensions, revocations, and disqualifications, deferred prosecutions, and failures to appear.  Those who are allowed to get a complete record copy are those individuals named on the record, attorneys, law and justice agencies and governmental agencies.
  • Insurance Abstract- contains the past 3 years of commercial and non commercial driving including convictions, violations, collisions, and failures to appear.  Those who are allowed to obtain an insurance abstract are those individuals named on the record and insurance companies and their agents. This type of record is used to create and renew motor vehicle insurance policies.
  • Employment Record- contains convictions, violations, collisions, suspensions, revocations, disqualifications, deferred prosecutions, and failures to appear.  Those who are allowed to obtain an Employment Record are those individuals named on the driving record, employers and their agents and prospective employers and their agents.  This type of record is used to determine if a driver should be employed.
  • Alcohol/Drug assessment (up to 10 years)–Used by chemical dependency agencies

To get a copy of your driving record you can:

  • Visit any local Washington State Department of Licensing.  You will need to provide photo identification along with the $13.00 fee.  
  • Purchase online.  You will be required to provide the Washington State Driver’s license number, along with your social security number, and a credit/debit card to pay the $13.00 fee. 
  • Request by regular mail.  You would send the driving records request form along with a check or money order for the $13.00 fee.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can 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.

(425) 259 4972

Want To Hear More From Rick…  You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below.

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.

What you need to know about Bail

What you need to know about Bail

When you are charged with a Crime, the Judge will set conditions for your release.

These may include that you appear at future court hearings, do not get charged with another crime, as well as an assortment of other limitations.

To help ensure that you are inclined to follow the directions, they will often set an amount of money that you need to pay the court for your release. This is called Bail.

There are two ways that you can make your bail payment.

  • You can pay the entire amount to the Court. You will get all of the money returned to you if you complete all the conditions and attend all of the hearings as required.
  • You can pay a fee of 10 percent of the total bail amount to a Bail Bonds company. At the completion of your case, your collateral will be returned. The bail bonds company will keep the fee.

Be aware that if you do not appear at your court hearings, or meet all of your conditions, you will forfeit your Bail money.

Would You Like To Hear More From Merrill Law?

You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below.

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.

Probation

What is Probation?

Probation is a specified period of time where jail and fines are usually suspended, on the condition that you do certain things and not do other things. 

When you are convicted of a crime, the court will sentence you. That may include payments and jail time.

The judge may grant you probation with conditions or rules that you are required to follow during the probation period.

Possible Probation Conditions may include:

  • Alcohol evaluation.
  • Drug or alcohol treatment. 
  • SCRAM bracelet.
  • Regular urinalysis drug tests. 
  • Community service hours. 
  • Meetings with your assigned probation officer.
  • No new infractions or criminal charges.  

At the Sentencing hearing you will: 

  • Be provided a written copy of the probation conditions.  
  • Be required to sign the statement that you acknowledge and understand the required terms of release. 

Understanding the terms of your probation.

The judge has granted you this probation and violating any of the conditions can result in jail time or additional fines being imposed.

What is a Probation Violation?

Violating the conditions of your probation is a serious offense.  Your probation officer or court representative will be notified immediately.

A court hearing will be scheduled regarding the violation.

The purpose of this hearing is for you to state to the court the reasons why you violated your probation.

  • Your appearance in court is required. 
  • If you fail to appear for the probation violation, a warrant may be issued.  
  • The judge has the ability to revoke your probation and impose jail time.

Want To Hear More From Rick…

You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below.

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.

Criminal Cases in Court

Court Process for Criminal Cases

The court legal system can be very intimidating and even scary if you are not familiar with how the court system conducts business.  

The criminal court process may begin within a few days or many months after the date of arrest.  

The criminal court for your case begins when:

  • The arresting officer provides you with a court date and time 
  • A notice of hearing mailed to you from the court.

Arraignment

 An arraignment is the first hearing.  It is held for you to understand what you are being charged with. The arraignment is where you would enter your plea of “not guilty”.    

A Private Attorney can enter your plea and waive your appearance for the arraignment if you are charged with a misdemeanor. :

However a waiver of arraignment is not allowed and you are required to attend the hearing if you are charged with:

  • DUI 
  • Physical Control
  • Domestic Violence.

When the plea is entered the judge will determine if you can be released .

The judge will consider:

  • Your criminal history.
  • Your flight risk.
  • Your alleged breath alcohol level at the time of arrest if charged with DUI.
  • If you have made an effort to show the court that you are not a danger to the community. 
  • If you have failed to appear for other cases.

The judge may impose conditions of release or have bail set for your release.  

If you are being charged with a DUI the judge might release you with conditions that may include:  

  • Electronic home monitoring (EHM), 
  • Restrictions on consumption of alcohol, 
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IIL) 
  • Alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet also known as a SCRAM bracelet. 

If you are being charged with a Domestic Violence crime the judge may impose:

  • A no contact order  
  • No possession of firearms.  

PreTrial Hearing or Readiness Hearing

The  PreTrial or readiness hearing is where the prosecution and the defense inform the court of their progress, negotiations, or if the case is ready for trial.  

Your case may be continued for additional readiness hearings based on courtroom availability, additional evidence discovery, continued negotiation, or witness availability issues.  

Resolutions are possible at readiness hearings, depending on the negotiation with the prosecutor.

Motion Hearings   

A motion hearing is where legal motions might be made to avoid your case going to trial or in relation to other needs.

Trial

If a resolution is not reached between the prosecutor and your attorney, then your case will be set for trial.  

You may choose between a bench trial or a jury trial.  

A bench trial allows the judge to be the sole person deciding if you are guilty or not guilty of the charges.  

A jury trial will consist of 6 people (if charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor) or 12 people (if charged with a felony).  

These people are randomly selected from the community, and will make the decision if you are guilty or not guilty of the charges.  

Sentencing

Sentencing is addressed after a finding of guilt has been decided for your case.  

Your attorney negotiates with the prosecutor regarding a sentence recommendation 

Often times both parties will have reached an agreed sentence recommendation that the prosecutor will present to the judge.

The judge has the authority to impose the sentence that he or she believes is appropriate for the crime.

This sentence may include fines, jail, restitution, evaluation, treatment, probation or other steps.

When faced with a criminal charge it is important to hire an experienced attorney to defend you who has deep connections with the local legal system. Call now to ask additional questions.

Want To Hear More From Rick…

You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below.

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.

It was Fun While it Lasted

Fireworks

Firework offenses are considered criminal charges and come with the possibility of monetary penalties and time spent in jail.

The most common fireworks offenses are unlawful possession of fireworks and the unlawful discharge or use of fireworks.  

Possession Fireworks

The local fireworks retailers usually carry fireworks that are classified as “Consumer Fireworks”.  This list is published yearly by the State Fire Marshall and is posted at the sales stands. 

The quantity of fireworks in your possession will be the measurement used to evaluate if you have violated the law. 

You may be charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor. 

Illegal Fireworks

Include Firecrackers, rockets, M-80’s, dynamite, and all homemade fireworks and others that do not follow the definition of “Consumer Fireworks”

Unlawful Discharge or Use of Fireworks

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.  This violation is a gross misdemeanor.

Discharge of fireworks have approved dates, times and locations. Maps and instructions are available on the County Websites.

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.

Want to hear more from us… 

You can connect with us on social media at any of the networks below. 

Sign up for the Monthly Newsletter.