Negligent Driving in Washington State
Negligent Driving in the First Degree is a misdemeanor traffic crime in the state of Washington. It is commonly referred to as Neg 1 or Neg driving. Here is the RCW 46.61.5249 statutory definition of Neg 1: "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."
The government must prove you consumed alcohol or a drug and were driving poorly by endangering people or property. Since it is a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty for Neg 1 is 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Unlike DUI, Negligent Driving in the First Degree does not have mandatory penalties. The sentencing judge is not required to give you jail or assess a fine or impose any probationary conditions. A Neg 1 conviction does not trigger a drivers license suspension.
Our experienced Washington DUI attorneys fight for the best result for our clients accused of driving under the influence. Negligent Driving in the First Degree is an attractive option for many people because there are no mandatory penalties. Neg 1 is often used in plea bargaining or case negotiation.
If you have been charged with DUI or Negligent Driving, get a free consultation.
Contact SGB defense attorneys Brit Mercer or Joe Campagna to discuss your options. Call us at 206-622-8000 between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm or (425) 531-1612 afterhours , e-mail us or use our online form.