Negligent Driving in the First Degree (Neg. 1) is a misdemeanor traffic crime in the State of Washington. It is the lowest classification of crime and one step above a traffic infraction. It is commonly referred to as Neg 1 or Neg driving. Here is the RCW 46.61.5249 statutory definition of Neg 1:
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.
Jail and Fines
A Washington State Negligent driving conviction has a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. But the actual amount of jail time, fines and other conditions imposed on a negligent driving conviction can vary depending on your criminal history and the facts of your case. Unlike DUI, there is no mandatory jail time requirements, so community service, work crew, and electronic home detention are all alternatives if you are convicted of negligent driving.
There are no mandatory fines either. However, there are mandatory costs and fees that come along with any criminal conviction in Washington State. After a negligent driving conviction, you can expect the fines, costs, and fees to add up to $500-$1000.
Unlike DUI and Reckless driving, a conviction for negligent driving does not carry any license suspension. However, if a negligent driving conviction is a reduction from a DUI, you may face a license suspension as a result of an administrative suspension.
Negligent driving is rarely charged independently. It is most often accompanied by a DUI charge or used used in plea bargaining or case negotiation of a DUI. Negligent Driving in the First Degree is an attractive option for many people because there are no mandatory penalties, unlike a DUI conviction.