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Disclaimer: The criminal driving defense information presented at this site should not be considered formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact a Washington State drunk driving lawyer or attorney for a free initial consultation. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Washington.

My defense law firm serves the following Western Washington communities, among others: Snohomish County, King County, Skagit County, Alderwood, Arlington, Bellingham, Bothell, Brier, Camino Island, Darrington, Edgewood, Edmonds, Everett, Gold Bar, Granite Falls, Index, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Tulalip, Mukilteo, Silvana, Smokey Point, Snohomish, Stanwood, Sultan, Woodway, Anacortes, Bow, Burlington, Clearlake, Concrete, Hamilton, La Conner, Lyman, Marbelmount, Mount Vernon, Sedro Wooley, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park, Mercer Island, Redmond, Seattle, Shoreline, Woodinville.

I also serve the following Zip Codes: 98011, 98012, 98020, 98021, 98026, 98033, 98034, 98036, 98037, 98043, 98046, 98052, 98072, 98082, 98087, 98201, 98203, 98204, 98205, 98206, 98207, 98208, 98213, 98223, 98241, 98251, 98252, 98256, 98258, 98259, 98270, 98271, 98272, 98273, 98274, 98275, 98287, 98290, 98291, 98292, 98293, 98294, 98296





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Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Defense
RCW 46.61.500 lays out the elements of Reckless Driving, "Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving."

If you get convicted for Reckless Driving, you can face up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.  The Department of Licensing will also take your license for 30 days.

The reality is that a first time offender is unlikely to ever do a year in jail because of a reckless driving charge.  That being said, it is generally a bad idea to plead guilty up front.  The reason, of course, is that by pleading guilty you give up the ability to try and get the charge reduced or be sentenced in such a way that the conviction comes off your record after a set period of time.  You also give up the ability to try and come to an agreement with the Prosecutors for a favorable sentencing recommendation.

What if you aren t guilty?
How do you decide if someone s driving was willfully or wantonly disregarding the safety of persons or property?  That's where trials come in.  No one wants to go to trial but sometimes that is the only way to keep your record clean.  If a Judge or Jury is not convinced Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that the driving was "willfully" or "wantonly" disregarding the safety or persons or property then they are required to come back with a Not Guilty verdict.  Sitting down with an attorney and going through the facts of what happened can prove immensely valuable.

According to RCW 46.61.530, "No person or persons may race any motor vehicle or motor vehicles upon any public highway of this state.  Any person or persons who wilfully compare or contest relative speeds by operation of one or more motor vehicles shall be guilty of racing, which shall constitute reckless driving under RCW 46.61.500, whether or not such speed is in excess of the maximum speed prescribed by law: PROVIDED HOWEVER, That any comparison or contest of the accuracy with which motor vehicles may be operated in terms of relative speeds not in excess of the posted maximum speed does not constitute racing."

Immigration Consequences
If you are not a citizen of the United States, you will want to talk with an immigration lawyer about the consequences of being found guilty of a Gross Misdemeanor.  Even though Reckless Driving is not a felony, it can cause problems because the maximum sentence is 365 days in jail - even if ALL of the days are suspended (meaning you do not have to serve them in jail). 

You will want to advise the attorney handling your criminal case that you are not a citizen.  Often, we can get the Prosecutor and Judge to agree to reduce the number of potential jail days down to 364 because of the immigration consequences - but your lawyer has to know about your status in order to ask for the reduction.

Licensing Consequences
Conviction for Reckless Driving will carry with it a loss of driver s license for 30 days.  The suspension will start sometime (probably within 45 days) after conviction.  The Department of Licensing will notify you by mail.

You may get an Occupational Restricted License (ORL), as long as you have no other suspensions on your driving record that would prevent DOL from issuing you the ORL.

Can I contest or appeal the revocation?
Yes, you may request an administrative review within 15 days from the date on your suspension letter. The suspension letter DOL sends to you includes a form to request a review of the suspension.

How can I get my license back?
When you are eligible to reinstate your driver license, you must:

file future proof of financial responsibility, also known as an SR-22, for 3 years from the date you are eligible to reinstate your driver license for that incident.
pay a $75 reissue fee, in addition to any other licensing fees, the next time you apply for a Washington driver license.



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