Sumner Reckless Driving

Do You Need Legal Assistance to Fight a Reckless Driving Charge in Sumner?

It’s a common misconception that charges for traffic violations like reckless driving are no big deal and that they can be easily dismissed. Unfortunately, that mindset couldn’t be further from the truth.

Reckless driving is one of the highest causes of serious traffic accidents in Washington state. Due to the serious danger reckless drivers pose to all other drivers on the road, law enforcement officers very rarely let these dangerous drivers off the hook.

That doesn’t mean that you’re automatically guilty of reckless driving. Reckless Driving is a catch-all type of ticket that officers write for many different types of driving behavior. Sometimes people get charged for driving at a high speed. Other times it’s because you may have tried driving through a yellow light. And sometimes a law enforcement officer will write a reckless driving ticket just because they saw something they thought was unsafe but lacked a specific violation of the law to cite.

Chances are, if you’ve found this website, you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with reckless driving in Pierce County. It’s important that you realize that this charge isn’t like a speeding ticket, it’s not just going to go away by mailing in a fine.

With so much at stake, it is absolutely essential that you hire an experienced Pierce County reckless driving defense attorney to handle your case. Having a skilled defense attorney will greatly increase your chances of a favorable outcome for your case.

Our firm of knowledgeable Sumner legal professionals helps clients facing reckless driving charges in Sumner and throughout Pierce County, and we can help you next. With over 50 combined years of experience practicing criminal law in Washington state, our firm has handled many cases in Pierce County just like yours. There are a number of ways to defend reckless driving charges, and our team is committed to exploring every possible defense available to you by listening to your story and examining the facts of your case.

If you’d like to make sure your reckless driving charge makes as little an impact as possible on your life, we invite you to call for your free case consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions about Reckless Driving Laws in Pierce County What is the Reckless Driving law in Washington State?

All states have enacted motor vehicle laws to regulate reckless driving and negligent or careless driving. The wording of each state’s reckless driving law defines how drivers can lawfully drive upon the highways in that state. Washington state statute RCW 46.61.500 defines Reckless Driving as

(1) Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

What is the Difference Between Reckless Driving and Negligent Driving?

In Washington, there is a somewhat similarly named charge to Reckless Driving called Negligent Driving. While reckless driving covers those who drive with ‘willful or wanton disregard for everyone’s safety,’ purposefully putting others in danger, Negligent or careless driving is for driving in a dangerous manner that may endanger people or property while exhibiting the effects of drugs or alcohol.

Those charged with Negligent driving may be driving dangerously, but it might just be an unintentional slip-up, failure to pay attention, or they may be sleep-deprived and appear intoxicated.

What Are Some Common Examples of Reckless Driving in Sumner?

Some common instances of traffic violations that have resulted in reckless driving charges in Pierce County include

  • Speeding or racing
  • Road rage
  • Weaving through traffic
  • Ignoring road signs and traffic signals
  • Illegal passing by crossing the double yellow line
  • Tailgating
  • Cutting off another driver or pedestrian
  • Fleeing from law enforcement
  • Not stopping for a stopped school bus
What Are the Penalties for a Reckless Driving Conviction in Pierce County?

Penalties for these violations should not be taken lightly. A Reckless Driving charge is classified as a gross misdemeanor, and if convicted, carries penalties of up to 364 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Other consequences can include probation, installation of an interlock ignition device in your vehicle, increased insurance premiums, or a suspended driver’s license. In addition, if your reckless driving leads to personal injury, you may face a civil claim or lawsuit in addition to legal penalties.

What is SR-22 Insurance?

If you’ve been researching penalties for reckless driving convictions in Washington state, you may have come across the term SR-22, or SR-22 insurance. Washington drivers who commit high-risk traffic violations like reckless driving must carry SR-22 insurance for 3 years.

An SR-22 is a state-issued form, also called a Certificate of Responsibility, verifying that you are carrying the minimum amount of car insurance coverage required by the state after you have been convicted of a serious traffic violation. Because an SR-22 designates the policyholder as high-risk, your insurance premium goes up while it’s on file with the state. Drivers in Washington who need to file an SR-22 will also lose any discount related to good driving that they may have previously qualified for. Additionally, if you’re carrying SR-22 insurance and the policy lapses for any reason (for example, if you missed a payment due to lack of funds), the 3-year clock resets.

Will I Need to Appear in Court if I’ve Been Charged With Reckless Driving in Sumner?

An experienced Sumner criminal defense attorney will always try to have charges dismissed, thus avoiding having to appear in court. Unfortunately, that is not the outcome for every case. If your reckless driving charges require you to appear in court, you will have to visit either the Bonney Lake Municipal Court, located in Bonney Lake or the Pierce County District Court, located in Tacoma. Which court you will have to appear in is dependent upon where your traffic violation took place.

How a Sumner Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

If you or a loved one find yourself charged with Reckless Driving in Pierce County, avoiding a conviction is your priority, but how do you accomplish that?

The first step you take should be hiring an experienced Sumner traffic violation attorney. You do not want to handle your defense on your own, especially if you are facing possible jail time and steep fines.

Our experienced Sumner criminal defense attorneys are equipped to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case while strengthening your side of the story. Regardless of the circumstances, an attorney will be invaluable in pursuing a dismissal, minimizing penalties, or working for another positive outcome. We offer a no-cost case evaluation for each new client. Contact us today to discuss your case and potential defense strategies that may benefit you.

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