Washington has tough laws designed to prevent reckless driving. Reckless driving is a gross misdemeanor and is defined by Washington law at RCW 46.61.400 as the operation of a vehicle with "willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." This definition is quite broad and so a person may be charged with Reckless Driving for causing a dangerous situation with excessive speed, dangerous passing or other dangerous driving. In addition, a person may be guilty of Reckless Driving as defined in RCW 46.61.400, but also for Racing in RCW 46.61.530, Advertising An Unlawful Speed in RCW 46.61.535, or even by Embracing While Driving in RCW 46.61.665.
Reckless Endangerment is also a gross misdemeanor, however there are no mandatory minimum sentences and it will not cause your license to be suspended.
Anyone charged with reckless driving faces strict criminal, as well as civil penalties by the Department of Licensing (DOL). As a gross misdemeanor, the maximum penalty would include 364 days in jail and a $5,000.00 fine.
Although there are no mandatory minimum criminal sentence for a Reckless Driving conviction, DOL will impose a mandatory 30 day suspension of your driving privileges. As with any DOL license suspension, DOL will require the suspended person to carry SR 22 insurance for a period of 3 years following the end of the license suspension. This causes the cost of a conviction to be significantly more. If you are charged and convicted of Reckless Driving, and facing a license suspension, you may request a Department of Licensing (DOL) hearing to challenge your suspension. You have limited time to request a hearing.
In addition, a Reckless Driving charge can prevent you from obtaining or maintaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) if you have another serious driving offense or even a serious traffic infraction. RCW 46.25.090
Diligently Protecting Your Rights
If you have been accused of reckless or negligent driving, it is critical that you retain an experienced traffic defense lawyer who can ensure the protection of your rights. For help in eastern, central or western Washington, we encourage you to contact Heritage Law Office.
Our attorneys defend clients against reckless and negligent driving charges and have a strong knowledge of local court procedures, judges and prosecutors. Using in-depth knowledge of the law and experience in traffic defense, we will provide a vigorous defense on your behalf.
We represent clients in cases involving traffic tickets, criminal traffic violations and administrative driver's license hearings (DOL hearings). We are committed to protecting your driving record, your driving privileges and your rights.
Contact Heritage Law Office Today
We serve clients in Kittitas County and throughout Eastern, Central and Western Washington. For a free consultation, contact our law office in Cle Elum. For assistance, call 509-899-5375 or by email.