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Driving Criminal Charges

In Washington State, there are several crimes related to driving that will be recorded in both your driving and criminal record. It is important to note that these charges may stay on your criminal record which can impact your ability to get a job in the future. Many people do not think that an employer will see a reckless driving or a driving with a suspended license charge. However, that is incorrect. These law violations are not just traffic offense, they are also criminal.

Criminal Traffic Offenses:

Hit and Run (attended or unattended) is explained by RCW 46.52.010 as the failing to, when operating a vehicle that collided with another vehicle to, immediately stop and there either locate and notify the owner of such vehicle of the name and address of the operator of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle or shall leave in a conspicuous place in the vehicle struck a written notice, giving the name and address of the operator and of the owner of the vehicle striking such other vehicle. The violation of this results in a misdemeanor and is subject to 90 days in jail, fines and increased insurance costs.

Reckless Driving as defined under RCW 46.61.500 is any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, committing a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 364 days in prison. Not only can your license be suspended, you may be facing further criminal charges including fines, the ordering of an ignition interlock device and jail time.

Negligent Driving first degree is illustrated under RCW 46.61.5249 as a person who 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 marijuana or any drug or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects. This is a misdemeanor and you may be subject to jail time, fines and the ordering of an ignition interlock device.

Driving While License Suspended under RCW 46.20.342 explains that it is unlawful for any person to drive a motor vehicle in this state while that person is in a suspended or revoked status or when his or her privilege to drive is suspended or revoked in this or any other state. There are 3 degrees of this crime, each with varying penalties. When found guilty in the first degree, you are committing a misdemeanor and are subject to license revocation, jail and fines.


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