1700 7th Avenue, Suite 2100, Seattle, Washington 98101
The Best in Traffic, DUI and Criminal Defense
Available 24/7 For a FREE Consultation (206) 729-3477

Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree-What it is and what it’s not?

Posted Monday, January 16, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

I have represented hundreds of people for various traffic infractions over the years and no violation creates more questions than “negligent driving,” in this case Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree.

Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree is a traffic infraction and not a criminal offense. This means there is no jail time, it will not appear on your criminal record and the maximum fine allowed for this infraction is $550.

There are essentially two parts to RCW 46.61.525, the “Negligent Driving in the 2nd Degree” statute. It means driving “in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.” Being “negligent” means 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.” Additionally, these actions must “endangers/likely to endanger persons or property.” Both elements of the infraction must be proven or the court cannot find the infraction committed.

In my experience, actions alleged to be negligent include excessive speeding in heavy traffic or weaving in and out of traffic or driving extremely fast in the pouring down rain. An officer must articulate what the person did that was outside of reasonable behavior.

Latest From the Blog…

5/4/2022 – For Motorcyclists, Be Safe and Be Legal read more…