Littering is prohibited in Washington State by RCW 70.93.060. The unusual thing about littering is that the violation can either be written as an infraction or it can be charged as a crime. With an infraction an individual pays a fine, with a crime there is potential jail time.
It is a violation of this section to abandon a junk vehicle upon any property. In addition, no person shall throw, drop, deposit, discard, or otherwise dispose of litter upon any public property in the state or upon private property in this state not owned by him or her or in the waters of this state whether from a vehicle or otherwise including but not limited to any public highway, public park, beach, campground, forestland, recreational area, trailer park, highway, road, street, or alley.
The severity of how the littering case is prosecuted is based on volume. The three different levels of severity are listed below.
It is a civil infraction if the litter is in an amount less than or equal to one cubic foot.
It is a misdemeanor if the litter in an amount greater than one cubic foot but less than one cubic yard. If the person is convicted, a condition of the sentence is typically payment of twice the cost of the cleanup.
It is a gross misdemeanor if the litter is in an amount of one cubic yard or more. Again, if there is a sentence, a condition is payment of twice the cost of cleanup.
If you have been accused of littering, there is typically a defense that can be presented. The stakes are large since these matters can be charges as crimes and not just civil infractions. Often times the police reports are entirely hearsay and the investigating officers will have no first hand knowledge, which is required by the rules of evidence. Our lawyers handle all infractions, including littering.
We have offices in Bremerton, Poulsbo and Gig Harbor Washington for your convenience.