We are experienced Traffic Violation Lawyers who represent clients that have received traffic violation charges or related issues in the greater Puget Sound area. We provide aggressive legal representation in court, act as your agent in negotiating alternative outcomes to contested hearings, and provide advice and counsel to our clients in the best methods to minimize the potential impact of a traffic infraction violation given your specific circumstances. For a free consultation call 206-816-9110, or fill out the form below for a callback.
What is Reckless Driving?
The statute for Reckless Driving is RCW 46.61.500, which says: “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”
“willful or wanton disregard” means that the person knew or should have known they might be endangering others, and acted in disregard of the consequences.
At times, a person will be charged with reckless driving for excessive speed. There is no set speed that constitutes reckless driving, so unless an excessively high speed is shown the elements of the reckless driving charge must include other acts as well that taken together show a willful and wanton disregard. As Reckless Driving is a Criminal Charge, it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Penalties for Reckless Driving in Washington:
Reckless driving is a gross misdemeanor, of which RCW 9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both. It will result in a criminal conviction being placed on that persons court record.
Also, any person convicted of reckless driving will have a mandatory license or permit to drive suspension by DOL for a minimum of thirty days.
A person who is convicted of reckless driving as a result of a driving under the influence charge will be required to install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles driven by that person if they have one or more prior similar offenses within the last seven years, or if the reckless driving conviction was the result of a vehicular homicide or assault while under the influence.
How to Defend a Reckless Driving Charge?
One of the best strategies is to challenge the elements of the charge; it must be demonstrated that you drove with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Therefore, you must show that you were not driving in willful disregard for the safety of others, or that you have no way of knowing of a risk or danger. In a reckless driving charge based on simple speed, you might challenge the results of the speed reading. You might be able to challenge other acts that, taken together, the Prosecutor claim rise to showing that you were driving recklessly. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised in finding and assessing the strengths of a defense.
As in any criminal proceeding, if that assessment is not favorable, a person will want an experienced attorney to negotiate on their behalf, as they may be able to significantly reduce the impact of a Reckless Driving charge.
How Can We Help?
If you would like to know more about your Washington Reckless Driving charge and what we might be able to do for you, please call us at 206-916-9110. A Consultation is free.
You may also contact us for a free consultation callback regarding how we may be able to help using the following form:
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