Negligent Driving in the First Degree (Neg 1)
Negligent Driving in the First Degree is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and $1000 fine. A person is guilty of this offense if they (1) operate a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, AND (2) exhibits the effects of alcohol or drugs ingested for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects. It’s not uncommon for a DUI to be reduced to this charge during the negotiation process.
This charge is also commonly filed when a person causes a crash or hits property. When the police investigate, the person’s actions, statements, and performance on field sobriety tests could lead the officer to conclude that, while that person wasn’t affected enough to be charged with DUI, they should still be criminally charged. Negligent Driving in the First Degree is often one of the charges they use in such a situation.
Negligent Driving in the Second Degree (Neg 2)
Negligent Driving in the Second Degree is often charged “under circumstances not constituting Negligent Driving in the First Degree.” It is a traffic infraction with a maximum penalty of $250 and serious implications for your car insurance.
If you look carefully at the statutes, the main difference with Neg 2 is that it does not include the requirement that the impairing substance have been taken for its “intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.” Like Negligent Driving in the First Degree, whether or not a person is charged with Neg 2 will depend on their actions and statements to police officers, as well as performance on field sobriety tests if the officer suspects an impairing substance.
Like other infractions, do not just pay the ticket if you’re charged with Neg 2. Your insurance company will consider it as a major moving violation, and you will likely get sticker shock when they jack up your rates. At Ember Law, we have experience handling these charges an resolving them for our clients in a satisfactory manner. If you’ve been charged with Negligent Driving in the First or Second Degree, call Ember Law today.