Negligent Driving

Overview of Negligent Driving Charges and Allegations in Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville and the Rest of Snohomish County, Washington, as well as Skagit County and King County

Have you been charged with a Negligent Driving charge? Contact Ashbach Law Offices today for a free consultation

Defense attorneys experienced in successfully representing clients who are charged with Negligent Driving crimes and infractions in Everett, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe and the rest of Snohomish County, Washington, as well as Skagit and North King Counties.

Negligent Driving (First and Second Degrees)

Ashbach Law Offices, LLC has a great track record in defending those charge with Negligent Driving, whether it be the criminal version or simple traffic infraction. If not able to beat such a charge outright, we are often able to achieve a reduction that provides for much less in fines, avoidance of convictions, lessened risk of license suspension, as well as insurance premium protection. If you have been, or someone you care about has, been charged with a Negligent Driving offense, call our knowledgeable attorneys at (360) 659-4950 today for a free, no-pressure consultation.

Negligent Driving in the First and Second Degree each require a person to operate a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent (meaning not exercising the ordinary care that a reasonably careful person would) and endangers (or is likely to) any person or property.

However, Negligent Driving in the First Degree requires the operator to “exhibit the effects of having consumed liquor or an illegal drug,” while Negligent Driving in the Second Degree is does not. This distinction is crucial, as First Degree is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000, while Second Degree is merely a traffic infraction subject to a $250 fine (although it will likely significantly affect your insurance rates).

Note that First Degree says “illegal drug.” It is a defense to the charge that the drug was validly prescribed, but that generally must be proved at trial, with the burden on the defendant to prove it.

Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents those charged with Negligent Driving in the First Degree (also called a "Neg 1" or "Wet Neg") and Negligent Driving in the Second Degree charges arising out of Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, and the rest of Snohomish County, Washington.

These charges are typically filed in Cascade District Court, Edmonds Municipal Court, Everett District Court, Everett Municipal Court, Evergreen District Court, Lynnwood Municipal Court, Marysville Municipal Court, and South District Court, all located in Snohomish County, Washington.

If you, or someone you care about, has been charged with Negligent Driving in the First Degree or Negligent Driving in the Second Degree, call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC at (360) 659-4950 for a FREE CONSULTATION today.

RCW 46.61.5249 Negligent driving — First degree.
  • (1)(a) A person is guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or an illegal drug.
  • (b) It is an affirmative defense to negligent driving in the first degree by means of exhibiting the effects of having consumed an illegal drug that must be proved by the defendant by a preponderance of the evidence, that the driver has a valid prescription for the drug consumed, and has been consuming it according to the prescription directions and warnings.
  • (c) Negligent driving in the first degree is a misdemeanor.
  • (2) For the purposes of this section:
  • (a) "Negligent" means the failure to exercise ordinary care, and is the doing of some act that a reasonably careful person would not do under the same or similar circumstances or the failure to do something that a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.
  • (b) "Exhibiting the effects of having consumed liquor" means that a person has the odor of liquor on his or her breath, or that by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise exhibits that he or she has consumed liquor, and either:
  • (i) Is in possession of or in close proximity to a container that has or recently had liquor in it; or
  • (ii) Is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed liquor.
  • (c) "Exhibiting the effects of having consumed an illegal drug" means that a person by speech, manner, appearance, behavior, lack of coordination, or otherwise exhibits that he or she has consumed an illegal drug and either:
  • (i) Is in possession of an illegal drug; or
  • (ii) Is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed an illegal drug.
  • (d) "Illegal drug" means a controlled substance under chapter 69.50 RCW for which the driver does not have a valid prescription or that is not being consumed in accordance with the prescription directions and warnings, or a legend drug under chapter 69.41 RCW for which the driver does not have a valid prescription or that is not being consumed in accordance with the prescription directions and warnings.
  • (3) Any act prohibited by this section that also constitutes a crime under any other law of this state may be the basis of prosecution under such other law notwithstanding that it may also be the basis for prosecution under this section.

Negligent Driving in the Second Degree (Neg 2) is governed by RCW 46.61.525. It is basically the same as first degree, without the exhibition of effects from alcohol or illegal drugs.

STRONG, EFFECTIVE & PROVEN

Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients throughout the Washington I-5 corridor, covering Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Regular courts of practice include, but are not limited to, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Lake Stevens Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.

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