In Washington State, reckless driving is a criminal traffic offense. The charge is a gross misdemeanor that can result in the following penalties:
- Jail time of up to 364 days
- $5000 fine
- Mandatory 30 day license suspension
- SR-22 high risk auto insurance
- Ignition Interlock requirement
- Increased auto insurance premiums
- Loss of employment
According to WA State law, a person is guilty of reckless driving if they “drive any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Accusations of street racing, driving erratically, excessive speed, or being engaged in behavior that results in loss of full control of the vehicle can also result in a reckless driving arrest. The arresting police officer has a lot of discretion in determining if you should be arrested for reckless driving or a less serious offense such as Negligent Driving.Defending Reckless Driving
A key part of your defense will revolve around your lawyer presenting arguments that your driving was not a safety threat to any person or property. For example, the speed that your vehicle was traveling is often times estimated by law enforcement and this can be challenged in court. Reckless driving should not be charged based upon speeding alone, which is supported by Washington State case law.
If we represent you, we will do a full investigation to uncover evidence that is favorable to your defense. Over 95% of reckless driving cases that we defend result in reduced charges or complete case dismissals. We can normally negotiate settlements that result in a better outcome than what would be possible at trial. The facts of your case, your criminal history, your driving record, and the court where your charges are filed will also have an impact on your result.
Cristine Beckwith is a highly skilled reckless driving attorney who has offices in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington. Her local experience extends to the courtrooms of Pierce County, King County, and Thurston County, including the cities of Tacoma, Seattle, Puyallup, Federal Way, Olympia, and Lakewood, WA. During the free consultation, Cristine will answer your questions and discuss your options.