In the State of Washington, traffic laws categorize offenses by level of severity, including infractions, misdemeanor offenses, gross misdemeanor charges, and the most serious felony offenses. Typically, a ticket for speeding or another minor moving violations is charged as a civil infraction.

Non-felony criminal traffic offenses in Washington include:

  • DUI
  • Physically controlling a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Negligent driving in the first degree
  • Reckless driving
  • Driving while license suspended (DWLS) 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree
  • Failure to remain at scene of accident with property damage (hit & run)
  • Failure to remain at scene of accident involving occupied vehicle (hit & run attended)

If you’ve been pulled over or arrested for any of the above offenses, do not hesitate to call our Tacoma criminal defense lawyers at (253) 573-1000.


Non-felony criminal traffic offenses are divided into misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors. In Washington, misdemeanor crimes come with a maximum jail sentence of 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.00. Gross misdemeanor crimes carry a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail and a $5,000.00 maximum fine.

A conviction for some of these traffic crimes carries a mandatory jail sentence. When a crime carries a mandatory jail sentence, it means that the court is required to sentence the person to the mandatory minimum sentence. For many of the above crimes, the mandatory sentence for a particular person will depend on that person’s prior convictions for certain traffic crimes.

In addition, the crimes of DUI, physical control, reckless driving, hit & run attended, and DWLS 1st and 2nd all carry mandatory license suspensions. The length of the suspension depends on the defendant’s criminal record and other factors.

In addition, whenever a Washington driver has his or her driver’s license suspended for one of the above offenses, he or she will be required to obtain an SR-22 insurance certificate to reinstate his or her driving privileges. SR-22 insurance will be required to be maintained for three years after reinstatement.


At The Law Offices of Krupa & Clark, we have over 40 years of combined experience defending every conceivable type of traffic offense in Washington State. Our Tacoma criminal defense attorneys aggressively defend traffic offenses like other criminal charges. Each defense typically begins with a thorough factual investigation and legal analysis of the charges. Oftentimes defending traffic offenses involves challenging the legality of the traffic stop that led to the charge in the first place. When an officer requires a motorist to stop his vehicle by using his lights and/or sirens, this constitutes a seizure under both the 4th amendment to the United States Constitution and article 1, section 7 of the Washington State Constitution. Such a seizure must be based on facts which justify the seizure. Our traffic offense lawyers in Tacoma have successfully suppressed evidence in many cases which resulted in the charges against our clients being dismissed.

If you have been arrested and/or charged with a traffic crime of any type, contact The Law Offices of Krupa & Clark. An experienced Tacoma criminal defense attorney is available 24/7 to talk to you about your particular circumstances.

You can call our firm at (253) 573-1000 or by contacting us online.

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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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.