Negligent Driving

The lawyers at Ashbach Law Offices, LLC provide aggressive, strong defense for those charged with Negligent Driving allegations throughout Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Our goal is to aggressively protect you, your family and your interests from the prosecution, saving jail time, licenses, occupations and reputations. With offices in Marysville and Mill Creek, Washington, we are available to meet you discuss your case. We help good people in bad situations. Let us help you.
In General
“Negligent” as far as these two law violation allegations are concerned is defined as “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.”

Many cases originally charged as DUI end up being resolved a Negligent Driving in the First Degree, and as such are often informally referred to as a “Wet Neg.”

Sample Result – Negligent Driving 1st Degree – Reduced to Infraction

We provide aggressive, thorough defense on all our cases. Call us at 360-659-4950 or 888-WA-LAW-NW for a free, individualized case assessment. It is never too early to start preparing a strong defense.

Negligent Driving in the First Degree – Simple Misdemeanor
Negligent Driving in the First Degree, often called “Neg 1” is as follows: “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.”

“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
a) is in possession of or in close proximity to a container that has or recently had liquor in it, or
b) is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed liquor

“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
a) is in possession of an illegal drug, or
b) is shown by other evidence to have recently consumed an illegal drug

An illegal drug is “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.”

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. – RCW 46.61.5249.

Typically, a conviction for Negligent Driving in the First Degree does not carry licensing ramifications.

A conviction does not usually require installation of an ignition interlock device. However, if the driver has had a “prior offense” within seven years, a person convicted of Negligent Driving in the First Degree will be required to install an ignition interlock for at least six months. Removal of the interlock device is only permissible when the Department of Licensing received proof that the driver has gone four consecutive months of being compliant with the interlock restrictions.

The lawyers at Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, have established a strong track record in aggressively representing clients charged with Negligent Driving offenses. We help good people in bad situations. Let us use our knowledge, skills and experience to best protect you, your license and your reputation. Call our office at 360-659-4950 or 888-WA-LAW-NW immediately for a free, no-pressure case evaluation and personalized attention.

Sample Result – Negligent Driving First Degree – Dismissed.

Negligent Driving in the Second Degree – Traffic Infraction
RCW 46.61.525 (Negligent Driving in the Second Degree, or “Neg 2”) states: “A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if, under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, 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.”

If the person ticketed with Neg 2 shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the driving was on private property and the owner of the property consented to the driving, the person does not commit this infraction.

Negligent Driving in the Second Degree does not have an “exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or an illegal drug” requirement.

“Neg 2” normally does not result in license suspension, but if the driver’s actions proximately cause the death, great bodily harm or substantial bodily harm of a “vulnerable user of a public way,” the driver’s license is to be suspended 90 days and the driver is to be assessed a $5000 fine. Mitigation of those penalties may be possible, depending on circumstances.

Sample Result: Negligent Driving Second Degree – infraction reduced, kept off client’s DOL record

Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients charged with Negligent Driving offenses 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, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.

Call us today at 360-659-4950 or 888-WA-LAW-NW to learn how we can help protect you and your license.