There are three types of negligent driving charges in the state of Washington.
- Negligent Driving in the First Degree
- Negligent Driving in the Second Degree and
- Negligent Driving in the Second Degree Vulnerable User Victim.
Negligent Driving in the First Degree
Negligent Driving in the First Degree involves several elements:
- Negligent driving, meaning failing to exercise ordinary care that a reasonably careful person wouldn't do;
- This driving endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property; and
- The driver is showing the effects of consuming drugs, including marijuana or prescription drugs, or the effects of consuming alcohol.
This is basically a charge for people who do not meet the elements of DUI but are impaired to a lesser degree. This is a misdemeanor, which means you could face jail time as well as a fine.
Negligent Driving in the Second Degree
Negligent Driving in the Second Degree also involves operating a car in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property. However, with this offense, no consumption of intoxicating substances is involved. This may include things such as texting while driving or other conduct which could distract you. This is punishable by a $250 fine.
Negligent Driving in the Second Degree Vulnerable User Victim
This offense involves committing Negligent Driving in the Second Degree as discussed above, with the added element that the negligent driving conduct causes death, great bodily harm, or substantial bodily harm to a pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcycle rider. In addition to serious criminal penalties, this offense results in lost driving privileges.
Need a Lawyer?
Pleading guilty or paying the fine in these types of cases can have lasting consequences. Contact attorney Vinny Randhawa to learn about your rights. Vinny practices in King County, Pierce County, and Snohomish County, Seattle, Washington. Call him at (425) 228-2202 any time day or night.