Tacoma Traffic Attorney

(253) 518-3643

Tacoma, Washington and its surrounding areas are full of good people and their families, simply trying to get to work, school, and appointments. Everybody needs to get where they’re going, and sometimes time is tight.

Even the most careful driver can find themselves cited for a traffic offense. While they may not seem like a big deal at the time, tickets can add up fast, and criminal traffic charges can lead to substantial costs and make an impact on your life. The largest impact is often the ongoing insurance expense that results from a committed traffic infraction on your record. If you or someone you know is in a difficult position because of a Washington traffic offense, call The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC at (253) 518-3643 and schedule a free consultation with a skilled traffic attorney.

Traffic Resources

Criminal Traffic Offenses

Under Washington Law (RCW 69.50), drug crimes are Violations of the Uniform Controlled Substance Act (VUCSA). It is important to remember that a controlled substance includes drugs like cocaine and heroin as well as illicit prescription drugs. If you have been charged with a VUCSA offense, the consequences you’ll face will rely upon:

  • The type of drug in question
  • The quantity of the drug
  • Whether your intent was to use or sell the drug
  • Your prior criminal history
  • Was a weapon used or in your possession

VUCSA drug charges are divided into two categories — misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanor offenses are filed in District and Municipal Court while felonies are filed in Superior court. The consequences for misdemeanors will also vary from a simple misdemeanor with up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine to a gross misdemeanor with up to 364 days in jail and as high as a $5,000 fine.

Felonies are classified by their severity (Class A, B, or C). With each category carrying the following penalties:

  • Felony Class C: Up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
  • Felony Class B: Up to 10 years in prison and up to a $20,000 fine.
  • Felony Class A: Up to life in prison and up to a $50,000 fine

Criminal Traffic Offenses

Apart from things like speeding and rolling through a stop sign, there are also various criminal traffic offenses with heightened penalties like substantial fines, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, and even jail time.

Some of the most common criminal traffic offenses include:

Hit and Run

This is a criminal traffic offense where a driver strikes another vehicle or person and subsequently leaves the scene. Depending on the circumstances and any resulting injuries, this will be treated as either a simple or gross misdemeanor and can lead to jail, fines, and loss of license.

Reckless Driving

If a driver operates a motor vehicle negligently and poses a danger to others or property, a reckless driving charge may result. This is considered a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail, as much as a $5,000 fine, and a mandatory 30-day license suspension.

Driving with a Suspended License

If a driver is found to be operating a vehicle even though their driving privileges have already been suspended due to their driving history or a prior DUI they may face penalties like mandatory jail time, thousands of dollars in fines, and extended suspension periods. Additionally, you can run the risk of being labeled a Habitual Traffic Offender and even harsher consequences.


Besides the obvious monetary fines and time lost behind bars, a drug conviction will have life-long implications to your professional and personal life. Employers will often shy away from hiring someone with a criminal past and obtaining financial aid or affordable housing will be all but impossible. That’s why early intervention from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is always advisable.

At The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC, we understand your charges are serious. We also realize that many of the people caught up in the criminal justice system for drug offenses often benefit from alternative programs rather than prison. By partnering with a skilled Washington drug attorney, you can often secure a more appropriate option like drug treatment, drug court, and diversion programs for nonviolent offenders.

In every drug case, our goal will always be to aggressively confront the evidence against you and build a strong drug defense. Drug charges usually stem from traffic stops and searches conducted after other minor offenses. We will scrutinize all the evidence collected, including lab reports, witness statements, and police reports to find any mistakes or oversights. If your rights were violated or evidence was improperly collected, we can use that to possibly have the evidence excluded, the charges dismissed, reduced, or to ensure you receive a favorable outcome at sentencing.


The truth is that the drug laws in Washington are complex and the penalties can be exceptionally harsh.

If you’re facing drug charges, time will be of the essence, and finding a skilled criminal defense attorney to fight for you should be your top priority.

When you call The Law Offices of Morgan Fletcher Benfield, PLLC for a free consultation, not only will we go over your situation and provide a better idea of what you are dealing with, we will offer practical solutions, so you obtain the best possible result.

Call (253) 518-3643 today to schedule a free consultation and learn all your options.