Legal Question in Traffic Law in Washington

Just got a citation for reckless driving three+ months after an accident I had with a friend camping up in the mountains. long story short I was driving her vehicle, she wasn't wearing a seat belt, we were getting pretty low on fuel and so started discussing if we'd make it back to the camp and then home with no issues. I quickly noticed we were far too close to the edge of the road - with a lengthy drop to for sure death - so I overcorrected to the left and we slid into a ditch. As she wasn't wearing a seat belt she was pinned. I thankfully was able to lift her free and walk a ways until I had service enough to call in for help. No major injuries to her, no tickets on the spot, nothing. They just said accidents happen and that we should always wear a seat belt. Will I actually be charged for this??

Asked on 7/18/16, 12:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys


It depends. What does this document you refer to as a "citation" say for you to do? If it is a citation for reckless driving, then you will have to appear in court for an arraignment on this charge which is a criminal traffic violation that carries a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. If you were to be convicted of or plead guilty to this reckless driving charge, the additional adverse consequences to you are a mandatory driver's license suspension of no less than 30 days and a requirement to have SR-22 auto insurance in effect for three years. As an attorney with over 30 years of traffic law experience, I can certainly inform you that you need to find an experienced attorney in criminal traffic law defense to help you with your case. More importantly, you need to stop discussing the specific facts of your case on a public forum like LawGuru because you could be jeopardizing the defense of your case as prosecutors could access and read your post to LawGuru and use the information obtained against you. Read the citation carefully as it will have a mandatory court appearance date, time and place (a courthouse address) where you must personally appear and answer to the charge. Based upon the information you have provided, it seems reasonable to assume you have been charged with Reckless Driving and you now must go through the usual court process to defend yourself against this charge. Good Luck!

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Answered on 7/18/16, 12:46 pm

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