TRAFFIC TICKETS IN WASHINGTON STATE

No one looks forward to receiving a traffic ticket.  If you were unfortunate enough
to have been pulled over by a police officer in this state, you were probably given
a "Notice of Infraction."  The notice provides you with information about the
alleged violation, the fine, and the court at which he or she will file the ticket.

Fortunately, most "traffic tickets" issued to you on the side of the road by a
police officer on a "Notice of Infraction" are civil matters, not criminal
misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felonies offenses.  However, read
through the notice very carefully.  The newly issued computer generated notices
for traffic infractions can sometimes be confused with a more significant notice
of a criminal charge like driving while license suspended, DUI, reckless driving
and more.  These would required a different type of response and most likely
contain a mandatory appearance date in court.
  PAYING THE FINE  

If you choose simply to pay the fine amount issued on the Notice of Infraction, the
violation will likely appear on your driving record.  Once payment is received and
processed by the court, the court clerk will report the violation to the Department
of Licensing.  This will end the matter.  Fines can typically be paid in person at the
court in question, online at the court's website, or by mail addressed to the court.  

Remember to include your case number.  

Click here for a Directory of all courts in the State.  
 
  TYPES OF RESPONSES

If the notice of infraction is actually for a traffic infraction, it will list a fine amount
and information about the court to which you are required to send your response.

The response must be made within FIFTEEN (15) days of the date you received
the ticket.  Your response will be one of three options:

1) Pay the ticket,
2) Request a "Mitigation" hearing, or
3) Request a Contested Hearing.  
  MITIGATION.  

You may also choose to pay the fine, but ask the Judge to reduce the amount.  The
violation will still likely be reported to the Department of Licensing and appear on your
driving record, but the hearing will give you a chance to explain to the Judge whatever
mitigating circumstances you think apply and possibly request alternatives to paying
the fine such as community service.
 
 

YOUR RESPONSE

Your choice when confronted with a traffic ticket will be an individual decision
likely based on your own belief on whether or not you committed the offense,
the type of offense you are charged with, the amount of the fine, and the impact
of having the ticket on your driving record.

While having an attorney assist you with a traffic ticket may appear to be more
expensive then just paying the face amount of the fine on the notice of infraction,
there are obvious benefits to having a professional fight your case instead of
appearing in court and hoping for the best.  

Having a ticket appear on your driving record can cause your insurance rates to
increase.  Appearing in court can take time away from work or other activities.  
We handle all types of traffic violations so that you are not faced with that
increased expense or inconvenience.  Contact us today in Federal Way,
Washington to discuss your speeding or other traffic ticket.
 
CONTESTED HEARING.  

A contested hearing is a court appearance at which there is an opportunity to take
action to keep the traffic violation from being reported to the Department of
Licensing and appearing on your driving record.  The hearing must be requested
within 15 days of receiving the Notice of Infraction.

At the hearing, the evidence provided by the government must prove by a
preponderance of the evidence that you committed the violation.  You can subpoena
or request witnesses be present.  Most courts will allow attorneys to appear at
contested hearings without their client being present.  However, there are a few
exceptions.  Prior to the hearing, the attorney will usually obtain all the paper, audio,
or video evidence available in that matter.  

If located at a court where the prosecutor participates, the attorney may speak with
the prosecutor in advance of the hearing.  

At the hearing itself, the case will either be dismissed before testimony, negotiated
before testimony, or hear testimony after which the Judge will make his or her decision.
 
TRAFFIC TICKET
DEFENSE
EDWARD NELSON
LAW OFFICES, PLLC
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EDWARD NELSON
LAW OFFICES, PLLC
31620 23rd Ave S.
Suite 315
Federal Way, WA 98003
Telephone: (253) 941-6340

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Contact Us Today: (253) 941-6340
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