A Snohomish County woman has found herself facing a domestic violence charge of reckless endangerment after leading police on a car chase with her daughter in her vehicle. On Friday, May 8, 2020, Washington State Patrol officers near Everett responded to a hit-and-run, where a driver of a BMW said that a white Acura had side-swiped him while speeding down Highway U.S. 2. Instead of stopping, the driver of the Acura took off even faster, so the BMW followed her.
Eventually, the 29-year-old Acura driver pulled over and tried to blame the side-swipe on another driver, saying she had been cut off. When the BMW victim told her he had video footage of the accident on his car's camera, the woman took off again but not before the victim noticed a young girl sitting in the passenger seat of the Acura.
Washington State Patrol officers released the footage of the victim's video footage to Washington's Most Wanted in hopes that someone would recognize the suspect and turn her in. But the suspect turned herself in, saying she had fled the scene because she does not have car insurance and she got scared. Officers went to talk to her about the incident, and that's when they charged her with hit-and-run attendant and reckless endangerment charges. She was booked into the Snohomish County jail.
Washington's Reckless Endangerment Statute
In Washington, reckless endangerment falls under domestic violence crimes. Even though this woman did not physically hurt her daughter by hitting her, she's accused of putting her daughter in danger of being harmed. At the speeds she was traveling, if she had gotten into a wreck there is a significant chance she and her daughter both could have been hurt or even killed.
Washington's statute RCW 9A.36.050 addresses reckless endangerment:
A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.
The law was purposely left vague so it could be applied to situations like in this story. We normally think of reckless endangerment when it comes to domestic partners who get into an argument and one person threatens to physically harm the other. There does not have to be an actual physical injury to result in a reckless endangerment charge.
The mother in this situation probably indeed did panic after side-swiping the BMW driver. Instead of panicking, however, it would have been best to have contacted a criminal defense attorney immediately. A smart criminal defense/domestic violence attorney would have reviewed the details of her case and approach the police with his client's interests and rights in mind.
Seattle Reckless Endangerment Attorney
Steve Karimi has years of experience in defending reckless endangerment charges. Mr. Karimi is a former King County prosecutor who uses his prosecutorial skills to defend his clients, and he knows the tricks and methods prosecutors use to enhance charges, and he can often get charges lessened or even dropped. If you are facing any sort of domestic violence charges, you should schedule a confidential and free consultation with Karimi Law Office. Call 206-621-8777 or fill out an online contact form today.