If you are being accused of negligent driving, it is important to know what specific type you are actually facing. There are three different types of negligent driving. While all are serious, obviously some are more serious than other. Some are criminal while others are infractions. Some come with a maximum penalty of a $1,000 and others come with a maximum penalty of $5,000. Some come with the possibility of a 90 day license suspension while others don’t have a license suspension. If you are unsure about what you are currently facing, do not hesitate to give our office a call to discuss your pending charges.
The only type of negligent driving that is a criminal charge is negligent driving 1° (also called a Neg 1.) Negligent driving 1° is a misdemeanor, which means the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A conviction does not come with a license suspension though. The elements of this crime is driving in a negligent manner and endangers or is likely to endanger persons or property after consuming alcohol or an illegal drug or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.
The least serious type of negligent driving is Negligent driving 2°, which is an infraction. It is a very serious infraction (much worse than a speeding ticket). Because this is an infraction, jail is not a possible punishment. The only penalty you will face is a $550 fine. The elements of this infraction are similar to that of a Neg 1 except alcohol or drugs were not involved.
The last type of negligent driving is Negligent Driving 2° with a vulnerable victim, which is also an infraction. In some respects, this type of negligent driving is actually more serious than the criminal Neg 1. Negligent Driving 2° with a vulnerable victim comes with a potential $5,000 fine and a 90 day license suspension. The difference between the two types of Negligent Driving 2°s is that the negligence resulted in serious injury or death to a vulnerable user. “Vulnerable” users include pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. If you are or could be facing this type of negligent driving, it is especially important you contact an attorney as soon as possible. Certain types of outcomes which may be more beneficial are time sensitive, so it is important you have an attorney making sure you do not miss those opportunities.