Lynnwood Criminal Defense Lawyer
A traffic infraction, or ticket, is a non-criminal offense that does not involve any jail time. If you have been cited with a traffic infraction, you only have a short period of time to respond by either paying the ticket or requesting a hearing to either mitigate the fine or contest the infraction itself. Your response is required within 15 days of the date you were personally served (if an officer gave you the ticket directly) or within 18 days of the date of mailing if you received the ticket in the mail. If you fail to respond within the specified time period, or if you request a hearing and then fail to appear, the court will enter an order finding that you committed the infraction and you will have to pay the fine plus a monetary penalty. Notice of your failure to respond will be sent to the Department of Licensing who may suspend your license. Additionally, if you fail to pay the fine and penalty, it will be sent to collections. Having an experienced Lynnwood traffic infraction attorney on your side can greatly improve your chances of contesting your traffic ticket and avoiding or reducing the financial costs.
Requesting a Mitigation or Contested Hearing
If you want to request a mitigation or contested hearing you must check the appropriate box on the back of your ticket and return the request to the court using the address provided on the back of the ticket. Make sure to include your name and current mailing address because the court will provide notice of your hearing date and time by mail.
If you agree that you committed the infraction but want to explain what happened and ask the court to reduce the fine then you should request a mitigation hearing.
If, however, you do not agree that you committed the infraction, you should request a contested hearing. At a contested hearing you will have the opportunity to contest the officer's version of events and argue your own. The standard of proof at these hearings is "preponderance of the evidence" which means that the City or State must prove that, more likely than not, the violation occurred. It is extremely important to have an experienced attorney by your side who is familiar with the court rules and procedures and will be able to focus on aggressively questioning the evidence against you.
What is a Deferred Finding?
In Washington, the court can defer finding a violation for a period up to one year. You are only eligible for a deferral once in a seven-year period. If you have a commercial driver's license, or you were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation, you are not eligible for a deferred finding. With a deferral, the court continues the case for a specified period of time and imposes conditions and administrative costs. If you pay the costs and follow the conditions throughout the set period of time, the court will dismiss the infraction.
Traffic tickets can cost hundreds of dollars in fines and, if left unpaid, you can lose your driving privileges. What's more, certain moving violations can have a significant impact on your auto insurance, sometimes costing you thousands of dollars over time. There are many effective ways to challenge a traffic infraction that may work in your situation. Whether your goal is to obtain a payment plan, reduce the cost of your ticket, or keep your ticket off your driving record, a Lynnwood traffic ticket attorney from the Law Office of Lance R. Fryrear. Looking for an attorney for your criminal case in Lynnwood, WA? I have the knowledge and experience necessary to defend you during your traffic infraction hearing.
To fight your traffic ticket, contact the Law Office of Lance R. Fryrear to schedule your free consultation.