Driving and vehicle offenses

Racing and Reckless Driving

The lawyers at Ashbach Law Offices, LLC provide aggressive, strong defense for those charged with Racing and Reckless Driving allegations throughout Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Our goal is to aggressively protect you, your family and your interests from the prosecution, saving jail time, licenses, occupations and reputations. With offices in Marysville and Mill Creek, Washington, we are available to meet you discuss your case. We help good people in bad situations. Let us help you.

In General

Racing and Reckless Driving are similar in nature, but are not the same. However, in some instances, the same alleged conduct can be charged as both Reckless Driving and Racing. An example would be driving at an extremely high speed. If a person charged with either of these allegations were convicted, each carries with it a license suspension of at least 30 days and requirement of SR-22 insurance in addition to court-imposed penalties.

Racing and Reckless Driving are both gross misdemeanors, punishable by up to 364 days in jail and/or a $5000 fine. Although Reckless Driving is a gross misdemeanor and thus on the same general “seriousness level” as a DUI, it is considered a “lesser offense” in part because of a shorter probationary period and lack of mandatory jail (or house arrest) upon conviction.

Reckless Driving

Under RCW 46.61.500, "[a]ny person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.” This statute has no reference to location, and thus applies on public roadways and private property.

“Reckless” generally means acting intentionally and purposely, and not accidentally or inadvertently, with heedless disregard of the consequences and under such surrounding circumstances and conditions that a reasonable person would know or have reason to know that such conduct would, in a high degree of probability, harm a person or property. It is not necessary that any person or property is actually put at risk, however. “Safety of persons” includes the driver’s own safety.

Sample Result - Reckless Driving - Dismissed

Serious allegations require serious defense. Call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, at 360-659-4950 or 888-WA-LAW-NW today for a free, personalized case evaluation. We give each case the individual attention and concern it deserves.


In contrast to Reckless Driving, Racing must occur on a “public highway,” so Racing done on private property is not punishable under this statute. However, it may be punishable under Reckless Driving in certain scenarios.

As far as Racing is concerned, the speed is irrelevant. Technically, Racing can occur at speeds under the posted speed limits.

There is an exception to the Racing statutes, which states, "That any comparison or contest of the accuracy with which motor vehicles may be operated in terms of relative speeds not in excess of the posted maximum speed does not constitute racing." This exception allows for one driver to check speedometer accuracy by pacing another vehicle.

Sample Result - Racing - Reduced to infraction

Ashbach Law Offices, LLC, aggressively represents clients charged with Reckless Driving and Racing offenses throughout the Washington I-5 corridor, covering Skagit, Snohomish, King and Whatcom Counties. Regular courts of practice include, but are not limited to, Anacortes, Arlington, Bellevue, Bellingham, Blaine, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Mount Vernon, Mountlake Terrance, Redmond, Seattle, Sedro Woolley and Shoreline.

We provide aggressive, thorough defense on all our cases. Call us at 360-659-4950 or 888-WA-LAW-NW for a free, individualized case assessment. It is never too early to start preparing a strong defense.