Negligent Driving in the First Degree is a misdemeanor criminal traffic offense in Washington. This crime is also widely known as: Neg 1, Neg Driving 1°, Neg Driving, and Neg Driving First. The statutory definition for this crime is:
“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.” RCW 46.61.5249.
Negligent Driving in the First Degree typically is the end goal for a defendant when plea bargaining. Neg Driving has no mandatory penalties unlike DUI. A Neg Driving 1 conviction does not trigger a driver’s license suspension, so the convict can avoid SR-22 high risk insurance. The maximum penalties are much lower than the maximum penalties of a DUI. A judge can only impose a maximum 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine where the maximum penalties for a DUI conviction are 365 days in jail and a $5,000.00 fine. It is very clear that a conviction for Negligent Driving in the First Degree is heaven compared to the nightmare penalties of a DUI conviction.
The other perks of a Neg Drive 1 conviction includes a 2 year probation requirement and no Ignition Interlock Device. Accepting a guilty plea to the lesser charge of Negligent Driving in the First Degree avoids significant pain and monetary damage.
It is not clear, but a non-Canadian citizen could potentially continue to have difficulty entering Canada. It is best you consult with an immigration attorney to determine with certainty whether or not this reduced criminal charge will impact travel to Canada.
If you have been arrested for Negligent Driving 1 in Washington State, or have been arrested for DUI and would like to discuss a plea bargain then contact us today. We provide a free initial consultation to discuss your cases and legal options.