Driving Offenses

Vehicular Assault

Vehicular Assault occurs where a person drives a vehicle in a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another.  It can also occur where the person driving the vehicle is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes substantial bodily harm to another person.  Vehicular assault charges may also arise where someone is talking or texting on a cell phone or engaged in other behavior that causes them to not pay attention to driving.  Teenagers may be prone to committing vehicular assaults when they are riding in cars together listening to loud music, texting, talking, or have been using alcohol or drugs.  Vehicular Assault is a very serious crime that caries severe penalties.

Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving is a misdemeanor offense that occurs when someone drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety or persons of property.  This can include speeding, driving erratically, driving while texting or using a cell phone.  Reckless Driving is a criminal offense and does have penalties including probation, license suspension, fines and potentially jail time.

Hit and Run/With or Without Bodily Injury 

Hit and Run is a crime that occurs when an individual hits another car that is either parked or in transit, and leaves the scene without providing appropriate contact information.  A Hit and Run crime can occur whether there is bodily injury to a person.  The Hit and Run Statutes are very strict about what information needs to be provided and when it must be provided.  Failing to provide this information is a criminal offense and can result in a criminal conviction and high restitution payments.  Hit and Run is a crime that may be alleged where the victim exaggerates or falsifies damage to their vehicle in order to obtain financial compensation.  For that reason, an aggressive and quick response to allegations of Hit and Run can change the outcome.  Michele has handled many Hit and Run cases and prevented restitution-seekers from taking advantage of her clients.

Driving Under the Influence (“DUI”)

DUI convictions in Washington State come with serious consequences:

  • You can be fined up to $5,000.00;
  • Your driving can be restricted;
  • Your license can be suspended;
  • You can spend up to a year in jail; and
  • Depending on your driving record, you may find yourself charged with a felony in superior court.

On top of that, shortly after your arrest the Washington State Department of Licensing will hold a hearing where you could have your driver’s license suspended for at least 30 days and then be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car.

If you get arrested for DUI be proactive. Getting the right lawyer is a great place to start but there are other things you can also do to make yourself look better in the eyes of the prosecutor handling your case.

When hiring a DUI attorney find someone with experience, then ask them if they think you should:

  • Get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow through with any treatment recommendations;
  • Attend a DUI Victims’ Panel on your own initiative before a court orders you to do so;
  • Take a defensive driving course and show how committed you are to driving more safely; or
  • Do some kind of community service and show proof of it to the prosecutor before the he or she makes a decision about your case.

In borderline DUI cases taking early action can often be the difference between a DUI conviction and being allowed to plea to a reduced charge of Negligent or Reckless Driving - charges which carry far fewer legal consequences for you. Despite that, most people fail to take these simple, effective steps until they are already convicted and ordered to by a court.

At The Law Office of Michele Shaw we take your DUI case as seriously as you do. We know that for many DUI clients this is your first and only encounter with the criminal justice system – and we know that can be overwhelming. We will work hard to help you get through this stressful process with you dignity intact, and hopefully your right to drive restored.

But remember, the sooner you contact an attorney after your DUI arrest the more that attorney can do to help you. So don’t delay. Call (206) 448-9612 now for a free consultation.

Vehicular Homicide

Vehicular homicide is a very serious crime that can be charged when a person or persons dies as the result of another person operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug; in a reckless manner; or with disregard for the safety of others. Vehicular homicide can be charged even if the victim does not die right away. The statute permits this crime to be charged if the victim dies within three years of the incident. Vehicular homicide is a Class A felony and requires mandatory time in prison. As with any case where a death is caused, these cases require a very careful approach and thorough investigation.