Most Washington traffic offenses are considered civil infractions. There are also criminal traffic crimes which include misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony traffic offenses.

Felony traffic offenses include:

  • Vehicular homicide
  • Vehicular assault
  • Felony eluding
  • Felony hit and run
  • Felony DUI

Penalties for these offenses include substantial jail or prison sentences, loss of driving privileges, loss of commercial drivers license (CDL), and other severe consequences. The Law Offices of Krupa & Clark has extensive experience representing people accused of felony traffic offenses in Tacoma, Pierce County, Kitsap County, King County, Thurston County, and throughout Western Washington.

If you are suspected, accused, or charged with one of these offenses, it is very important that you retain an experienced Tacoma criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible time. Call (253) 573-1000.


The state will typically charge these offenses when someone is injured or killed in an automobile accident and the State contends that the injury was caused by either the reckless operation of a motor vehicle, or that the injury was caused by a DUI driver.

Vehicular homicide is a class A felony. Vehicular assault is a class B felony. As with all ranked offenses in Washington State, the standard sentencing range for a conviction will depend on the person’s offender score at the time of sentencing.


Under Washington’s implied consent law for breath tests, the police will usually ask for a breath sample during a typical DUI arrest situation. There are exceptions to this general rule that allow the police to request a blood sample if the arrested person is physically unable to provide a breath sample or consent to the breath test, or if the person is being treated for an injury in a facility where no breath test instrument is available. However, in these circumstances, if the person is conscious, he or she still retains the right to refuse the blood test with the same consequences as refusing to submit to a breath test.

In contrast, a person cannot refuse a blood test if he or she is unconscious or is under arrest for the crime of felony DUI, felony physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, or if the person is under arrest for the crime of DUI involving an accident in which another person has been seriously injured. In addition, the police can take blood without consent from a person who is dead, unconscious, or who is otherwise incapable of refusal.


Attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle is defined as driving a motor vehicle and failing to stop while driving recklessly after having been directed to stop by the police. Attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle is a class C felony.


The formal name for the charge of hit and run is failure to remain at the scene of an accident. Under Washington State law, when a person is involved in an automobile accident involving damage over $250.00, the driver is required to remain at the scene of the accident and provide his or her identification and other information. Failure to comply with this duty is a crime. The level of the crime is determined by whether the accident was with an unoccupied car or some other property (misdemeanor), an occupied car but with no injury (gross misdemeanor), or caused an injury to another person (felony). Both felony and gross misdemeanor hit and run carry a mandatory license suspension upon conviction.


If you have been arrested and/or charged with a traffic crime of any type, contact the Tacoma criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Krupa & Clark. Our team is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day, to talk to you and give you advice about your particular circumstances. We appreciate the opportunity to help you understand and protect your rights, and the chance to help you defend your case. You won’t be disappointed with our personal service and attention to detail.

You can call our office at (253) 573-1000 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page.

Tacoma Criminal Defense Attorneys


The team at Krupa & Clark are excited to announce some new changes in our practice.  Steven Krupa will be leaving the firm to explore new opportunities effective June 30, 2020.  As of June 1, 2020, the name of the firm will be changed to the Law Offices of Michael Clark.  The firm will continue to focus on helping people who have been injured through the negligence of others, as well as other matters. The team, and especially Michael Clark, want to thank Steven for his years of dedicated service to his clients and the greater bar association, as well as for his friendship. We are proud of our association with Steve and look forward to seeing what the next chapter has in store for him.

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