A dog is still missing after a six-car crash in Lacey, Washington. The crash was caused by a 24-year old Lacey woman who witnesses say was weaving in and out traffic and sometimes into oncoming traffic around 9:30 a.m. on November 7th. Witnesses remember that the Lacey woman sideswiped one car and hit another car before she hopped a median and hit more vehicles. A woman whose car was hit during the multi-vehicle accident got her dog out of her crashed vehicle and the dog, presumably very scared, took off and has not been seen since. The Lacey woman, who attempted to leave the scene of the accident, was ultimately arrested for suspicion of vehicular assault. At the time of the arrest, officers do not believe that the Lacey woman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Vehicular Assault in Washington State
In Washington, you do not have to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol to be charged with vehicular assault. A person may be charged with “Reckless Driving” as a lesser offense to vehicular assault. In Washington,
- “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Violation of the provisions of this section is a gross misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to three hundred sixty-four days and by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.”
- In a reckless manner and causes substantial bodily harm to another.
- While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug and causes substantial bodily harm to another.
- With disregard for the safety of others and causes substantial bodily harm to another.”
A reckless driving conviction can also cause you to lose your license for not less than 30-days.
Vehicular assault is an elevated charge and a vehicular assault conviction is a class B felony. In Washington, “a person is guilty of vehicular assault if he or she operates or drives any vehicle.
The missing dog is certainly an emotional tragedy and unfortunately, the law does not currently support injuries to dogs during the commission of a felony car accident. If it is found that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, then vehicular assault is defined slightly differently as it incorporates a portion of the Washington State's statute for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.
Contact an Experienced Seattle Vehicular Assault Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with vehicular assault, you need strong legal representation. Defense lawyer Steve Karimi is a former prosecutor who now uses his knowledge and insight into prosecutorial legal strategies to fight for the rights of the accused. Mr. Karimi is a skilled and dedicated defense attorney who knows what it takes to fight your charges. He has been named a top-rated criminal defense attorney in the Seattle area. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi today for a free case consultation.