What if I Get a Ticket?
We are Traffic Ticket Lawyers with nearly 16 years experience representing clients for Traffic Infractions and Criminal Traffic Law Violations.
From that experience we know that the real cost is not the fine for an infraction ticket but rather the increase in insurance costs, and that even with our low fixed fee and the fine together if we can keep the violation from your record you will likely come out money ahead on your insurance. If a driver gets to many tickets, they can be suspended for a time, then be required to have SR22 insurance. A driver under 18 only needs two committed tickets to lose their license. For professional drivers it might mean the loss of a job. If charged with Reckless Driving or Driving on a Suspended License, there are added fines and penalties, and a criminal record to consider. For more on how we might be able to help you, please call us a 206-816-9110 or fill out the form at the bottom of the page for a callback to receive your free consultation.
What Are Your Options
If you have gotten a traffic ticket you can do one of three things: Pay for it, and accept the consequences on your driving record and insurance; ask to mitigate, which might reduce the fine but it still goes to your record and insurance, or to contest it. If you find that you do not like the consequences after the fact, it is then to late to then contest it. We regularly get calls from people who have lost their job or had their insurance rates do a massive jump that they did not expect. You should know what the possible consequences are under your circumstances; a consultation is free.
If you want to keep the ticket from your driver’s and insurance record, you can do this in one of three ways. The first and best is if the court finds that the charge was not committed at a contested hearing. That is done by finding an error or omission in the state or city’s case against you. The first problem is the simple question of what is an error or omission that is important enough to throw the charge out. Making it more complicated is that not all judges give every error or omission the same weight. Having a traffic lawyer representing you means they know what will work with the judge that draws your case.
Of course, not every ticket will have an error or omission with enough weight that your judge will dismiss it. A second option then is that in many courts a reduction can be negotiated with the prosecuting attorney. The idea is to secure a reduction in the charge so that it does not have the same effect on your driving record or insurance. Not all prosecutors negotiate, or offer the same terms if they do. A traffic lawyer with experience in your court will know what sort of standard offers might exist in your court, and what they can use to maximize the reduction in charge and fine.
Another option is to enter a deferral. A deferral is basically your “get out of jail” card for an infraction. There is a “moving” deferral and a “non-moving” deferral (rarely used, because non-moving violations seldom effect a drivers record or insurance.). Each type of deferral is only available once statewide every seven years. (more on this later) Deferrals have terms, variable from court to court. First is there is a fine or fee. Second, there is a “pending period” when the deferral can be violated, lasting no more than a year from the court date (not the ticket date). Violations of a deferral are caused by getting another ticket, sometimes if found committed during the pending period, sometimes simply because one is issued. Some deferrals are only violated by other moving violation tickets, sometimes by any ticket. Failing to pay the fee or fine for the deferral is a violation, and in some courts, the deferral fee is separate and if violated, the driver also has to pay the original ticket fine as well.
As stated above, some courts are very good for an attorney to keep a ticket from your record, some are terrible. We regularly receive calls from drivers who entered a deferral in what is a very good court for getting a dismissal, and they now want us to save their deferral because they got another ticket in what is a very difficult court. Our advice to drivers who ask us about deferrals is this: if it is a good court were we have a strong chance of a dismissal or negotiated result, then save your deferral for a court where is is unlikely that we could help.
What To Do After You Get A Ticket
If you have received a traffic ticket, your best chance of getting a ticket dismissed is to take timely action. Calling an experienced Traffic Lawyer within a few days of receiving the ticket is your best first step. Most offer a free, no-commitment case evaluation. There are deadlines set by court procedure which must be followed to maximize our effectiveness. In addition, it can be very difficult for most attorneys to take on a case at the last minute. We are scheduled to appear weeks and months in advance, so even if we otherwise have what we need to challenge your ticket, we may not be able to physically be in court for your hearing time and date.
You typically have two weeks to return your traffic ticket to the presiding court, longer if the ticket was mailed to you. It will say on the ticket how long that you have, and the date it was issued is the start date. On the ticket you can chose an option to pay for it, or mitigate (give reasons to reduce the fine). In both instances the violation will go on your driving record. If you select “Contest” you will be sent a court date and offered an opportunity to challenge the ticket. You can change your mind later and just pay for the ticket at any time up to the hearing date without additional cost. If short of time you can always select the last option without losing the first two. If possible, though, you should try and contact your friendly neighborhood traffic lawyer before the deadline, or shortly afterward in you must. If we are to have a chance of successfully challenging your charge, we have other court deadlines that we must also meet, such as those regarding obtaining discovery, or negotiating prior to a hearing
If you would like to know more about your Washington Traffic Ticket and what we might be able to do for you, please call us at 206-916-9110 us. A Consultation is free.
You may also contact us for a free consultation callback regarding how we may be able to help using the following form:
You should receive a call within a few hours, as we may be in court.
After business hours submissions will be returned the following day.
Consultation Callback Form
Use of this Submission Form or the Consultation are confidential, but does not create an attorney-client relationship.