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RECKLESS DRIVING IN WASHINGTON STATE

Posted by Michelle Dellino | Sep 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Reckless driving in va1

In Washington State, reckless driving is a gross misdemeanor criminal traffic offense. Reckless driving charges can pose substantial consequences, and it is important to understand the law.

Under Washington State law (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.

Street racing, erratic driving, or other behavior that may result in losing full control of the vehicle may result in an arrest with reckless driving charges filed.  Reckless driving is often confused with “negligent driving”, which is a lesser charge with lower penalty limits. The primary distinction of reckless driving is that it involves willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. Please see our prior blogs posting about negligent driving in the first and second degree in order to full understand the differences.

Violation of Washington State's reckless driving statute is a gross misdemeanor and carries significant penalties:

  • Jail time of up to 364 days
  • Up to a $5000 fine
  • Mandatory license suspension of no less than 30 days

Depending on the circumstances, additional consequences of a reckless driving conviction may include:

  • Ignition Interlock requirement
  • Increased auto insurance premiums, including SR-22 high risk auto insurance
  • Loss of employment
  • Impact on immigration status

While the penalties for reckless driving are quite significant, this is often a lesser charge negotiated for when the original charge is DUI/DWI. Penalties are not mandatory with reckless driving and are left to the judge's discretion, and it is generally preferable to a DUI conviction on one's record.

Legal Representation:

We are dedicated to fighting your unique case. We will perform a comprehensive investigation to fully understand the details of your situation and obtain a favorable outcome. We are widely successful in achieving case dismissals when possible and settlement negotiations or reduced charges when appropriate. The Dellino Law Group traffic attorneys are very experienced and extremely skilled.  Please contact us today for a Free Consultation.

About the Author

Michelle Dellino

Michelle Dellino is the Managing Attorney of Dellino Law Group. The firm was founded on her belief that there is, very simply, a solution to every problem. Her personal practice focuses on complex family law matters including high conflict cases; high asset and long term marriage dissolution; cases involving business owners, IT, and medical professionals; domestic violence family law; and preparing cohabitation, prenuptial, and postnuptial agreements. Both a trained mediator and former criminal trial attorney, she has the skills and experience to take a case anywhere it needs to go, whether that is a creative settlement or intensive courtroom litigation. In her free time she chases her four dogs and two cats, loves the New York Yankees because mediocrity is not tolerated in pinstripes, and travels as often as she can.

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