The “negligent driving” laws in Washington can be complex and difficult to fully get a grasp on. However, it is important to understand exactly what they imply– negligent driving is a misdemeanor, not just a simple traffic infraction.

“Negligent driving” is defined as the failure to exercise ordinary caution and driving in a way a reasonably cautious person would not. Criminal defense lawyers often see negligent driving tickets given for excessive speed, falling asleep, or inattentive driving in general. It is subjective and is mostly decided on what the judge or jury considers “negligent.”

In Washington, these tickets can sometimes be coupled with DUI allegations. This means you would have one charge of negligent driving and another charge of DUI. Under Washington laws, this double charge does not violate double jeopardy law (where you can’t be tried twice for the same crime). This has to do with plea deals where DUI charges are bargained down to negligent driving.

Unlike DUI, Washington does not have a mandatory minimum for negligent driving in the first degree. However, unlike many other driving infractions, negligent driving could stay on one’s driving record for 7-10 years. This is especially true if the negligent driving is directly connected to drugs or alcohol. Not only will the driving record be affected, but the amount one will pay for insurance will increase drastically as they will now be classified as a “high risk” driver.

At Eric Johnson Insurance, we specialize in high-risk drivers and are committed to getting you on the road with an insurance policy that meets every criterion you need! Whether you are looking for an affordable policy or need to file an SR22, you won’t find anyone better than us. Contact us to find out how we can help you!  (253) 273-7064 / (916) 918-5045