Charged with Reckless Driving? Philbrook Law Office Can Help

Reckless Driving in WAWere you late to work and pulled over for speeding? Or maybe your child in the backseat caused you to take your eyes off the road, and your swerving caught the attention of an officer. Either way, you find yourself saddled with a reckless driving charge, and the possibility of paying a hefty fine or even going to jail. The good news is that, with the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to avoid jail and paying so much. In fact, you may be able to get those charges dropped altogether.

What is reckless driving?

Washington State defines reckless driving as “any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”

Some examples of reckless driving include:

  • Excessive speeding
  • Excessive lane changing
  • Improper passing, such as driving on the shoulder or in the bike lane
  • Failure to yield

As reckless driving is considered a gross misdemeanor, the penalty for it is up to 364 days in jail, a fine of up to $5000, or a combination of jail time and a fine.

What are some defenses for reckless driving?

It is important to know that if you are charged with reckless driving, it doesn’t mean that you have been convicted of reckless driving, and there are ways to have your charges reduced or dropped.

Common defenses against receiving a reckless driving conviction include:

  • You were not the driver. In order to charge you with reckless driving, the officer needs to prove that you were in fact the person who was driving the vehicle. If you were given a reckless driving ticket when you were the passenger of the vehicle, then you can have the charge dismissed.
  • You were not driving recklessly, but negligently. Driving recklessly involves intent behind the dangerous driving. If you were simply careless in your driving, without intent, then you could reduce your charge to negligent driving in the second degree. Negligent driving in the second degree is a non-criminal traffic infraction that carries a fine.
  • Your speedometer is not accurate. You can prove that your car’s speedometer is inaccurate by using a separate GPS device, then you could have your charges reduced or dismissed.
  • The police officer’s speed measuring device (SMD) has not been calibrated correctly. In Washington State, speed measuring devices must undergo testing and certification to ensure their accuracy, allowing evidence from these devices to be admissible in court. The Washington State Patrol (WSP) administers a testing and certification program, mandating that each speed measuring device utilized by the WSP undergo accurate testing and certification at least once every two years. If it is discovered that the SMD has not been tested or certified in two years, that fact can be used in your defense.

Our record with clients charged with reckless driving

Philbrook Law recently has successfully represented clients who were charged with reckless driving. Our attorney who represented both of these clients was Adin Johnson, who was the recipient of the “Rising Star Award” bestowed by the Clark County Bar Association this year.

In one case, Adin represented a client facing allegations of driving at speeds exceeding 70 MPH in a bustling commercial district, as claimed by a city officer. Adin delved into research on the area, dissecting the officer’s capability to accurately measure the client’s speed. While acknowledging the potential hazards of excessive speeding, the jury remained unconvinced that the prosecution had successfully met its burden of proof, leading to a swift not guilty verdict.

In another case, Adin’s client faced allegations of driving at 90 MPH in a 50 MPH zone, resulting in a reckless driving citation. Adin identified concerns with the officer’s speed measurement methodology and effectively constrained his testimony during the trial. Mirroring the previous case, the jury remained unswayed by the admissible evidence presented by the State, delivering a not guilty verdict within an hour.

If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to take action by getting in touch with a knowledgeable, dedicated, and experienced legal team. At Philbrook Law, we have the verdicts and testimonials to back up our successes. We know Washington State and Oregon law inside out, and we know how to best represent you. We will examine your case, and search for the best options so that you do not end up paying thousands of dollars or spending months in jail. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options, call us at our offices in Battle Ground and Vancouver WA, or use our contact form. We also serve clients throughout Oregon.