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Reckless Endangerment (RCW 9A.36.050)

This is a crime that covers a wide range of behavior. The circumstances may be related to operation of a vehicle, or they may be unrelated to driving. The technical statutory definition is that the crime is committed when you recklessly engage in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting, but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person. Reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor.

Reckless Endangerment and How it Relates to DUI

While there are many ways to commit this crime, this is another type of crime that a DUI may be reduced to and, generally speaking, it is a very favorable reduction. Your license is not suspended, and it is not a crime that goes on your driving record so insurance rates should not be affected. Furthermore, there is no mandatory sentencing that the judge has to impose. You are, however, still subjected to the judge imposing a sentence up to 1 year and/or $5,000.00 fine.

Reckless Endangerment with Prior(s)

Currently, a reduction to this crime from a DUI, and there is a prior DUI conviction within 7 years, does NOT require an IID for 6 months as is the case with Negligent and Reckless Driving reductions with a prior.  This is likely to come into line with those in the near future, but for now remains a viable option to avoid IID consequences when you have a prior DUI.

Like almost any crime that is originally charged as a DUI, this conviction will count as a prior for sentencing purposes should you be arrested and charged for another DUI the mandatory sentence you face is exponentially greater. The only sure way to avoid this to not drink and drive, but if you do, and you find yourself in need of legal representation make sure you take your time and thoroughly interview and evaluate your choices for a DUI lawyer.

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