Negligent Driving Attorney in Washington
A Negligent Driving in the 1st Degree in Washington is a serious charge. Driver’s accused of this offense are facing a simple misdemeanor criminal charge if convicted. If you have been charged with negligent driving 1st degree, you should speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable Washington traffic attorneys as soon as possible.
What is a Negligent Driving in the First Degree?
A person commits the offense of Negligent Driving in the First Degree when they:
- Operate a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property
- Exhibit the effects of having consumed liquor, marijuana or any drug
- Exhibit the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects
Negligent driving in the first degree is a simple misdemeanor. It is an affirmative defense to negligent driving in the first degree for a driver to show they have a valid prescription for the drug at issue and that it was being consumed according to the directions and warnings.
Penalties if Convicted
There is a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. There is no license suspension and no ignition interlock requirement for persons convicted of negligent driving in the first degree.
Reduction of DUI to Negligent Driving First Degree
We work hard to convince prosecutors to reduce our clients’ DUIs to negligent driving instead, because the consequences are far less severe than a DUI conviction. However, even if a DUI charge is reduced to negligent driving first degree, it will count as a prior DUI offense if the person receives another DUI charge. This means that the person will be subject to drastically tougher mandatory minimum sentences for the subsequent DUI, particularly if the offenses are within seven years of each other.
To speak to a team member from our firm and tell your story in confidence, call us at (206) 472-1138 or fill out the form below.