A conviction for reckless driving brings possible jail time, and a mandatory license suspension. Steve Graham has over 15 years experience handling such court cases. Serving Spokane County, Okanogan County, Ferry County, Lincoln County, Whitman County, Grant County, Adams County and Stevens County, Mr. Graham will fight to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome in your court case. Steve Graham was rated one of Spokane's top five criminal lawyers by the magazine Spokane - Couer d'Alene Living. Don't leave your future to chance.
Under Washington law, reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. Courts have interpreted this statute to include circumstances when a person puts themselves at risk. It is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of $5,000. Reckless driving is an arrestable offense, and many people stopped by the police for this crime are handcuffed and taken to jail. When the police allege that racing or "road rage" occurred, they will issue a ticket for reckless driving. A person convicted of reckless driving will need to obtain SR-22 or "high risk" insurance.
Reckless Driving Charges Based on Excessive Speed
A lot of Washington reckless driving charges are based on an allegation of excessive speed. It is not uncommon for the Washington State Patrol to arrest drivers for reckless driving for going over 90 miles per hour on interstate 90 in Spokane County, Grant County, Adams County or Lincoln County. In the past, prosecuting attorneys were able to have juries instructed that they can infer recklessness based on excessive speed alone. However, such instructions have been ruled unconstitutional. When determining if traveling at high speed amounts to reckless driving, jurors often look at the weather conditions, lighting conditions, the type of car, and how many other vehicles were on the road. What might be reckless on state route 2 might not amount to recklessness on I-90. Speaking on a cell phone can be a contributing factor.
How Reckless Driving Relates to Other Charges
Sometimes a charge of reckless driving is the result of a plea bargain in a DUI case. Under new state statute, if a person is convicted of reckless driving (that is plead down from DUI), he or she must install an ignition interlock device on his or her car. When a defendant is charged with a more serious crime such as vehicular assault or felony eluding, the defense attorney might request that the jury be able to consider the lesser charge of reckless driving. However, under new court precedents, this is harder and harder to do. When a person is charged with reckless driving, the defense lawyer will often attempt to get the charge reduced down to
negligent driving 2nd degree.
If you would like to discuss your case or circumstance with me, please call. I do free consultations on criminal cases in Washington. Talk to an attorney who understands how these charges work in our court system. You will receive my honest opinion and I will listen to you and answer your questions. Call (509) 252-9167.
Areas where Mr. Graham practices: The Superior and District Courts of Spokane County, WA; Okanogan County; Ferry County; Republic WA; Colville WA; Stevens County; Lincoln County; Davenport WA; Cheney WA; Grant County; Moses Lake; Ephrata WA; Adams County; Ritzville WA; Pullman WA, Colfax WA, Whitman County, Newport, WA, and Pend Oreille County.