Reckless driving is considered a serious criminal traffic offense in the State of Washington. As a gross misdemeanor, it carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. If convicted of Reckless Driving in Washington the Department of Licensing will suspend the driver’s license for 30 days. As a condition of reinstatement, proof of SR-22 insurance must be provided and carried for three (3) years.
The crime of Reckless Driving is defined as driving a motor vehicle with willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. It can mark the sole basis of a stop, arrest and criminal charge. It also can be bundled as an accompanying charge to a DUI. Along with the potential statutory penalties there are other collateral concerns.
First, a conviction for Reckless Driving in Washington is a major moving violation. If a person acquires three major moving violations in a five (5) year span, the DOL will consider that person as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). The result would be an extremely lengthy license suspension. Follow this link for a complete discussion of the HTO laws and consequences.
Second, a DUI charge that has been reduced to a Reckless Driving may be counted as a “prior” DUI for purposes of sentencing enhancements on subsequent DUIs. There is even legitimate concern that such a reduction would be seen as an inadmissible offense, barring entry into Canada.
A Reckless Driving in Washington is a serious charge and not a simple traffic infraction. If charged with Reckless Driving, either on it’s own or in conjunction with a Washington DUI charge, contact a reckless driving attorney for more information.