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How to respond to a traffic ticket in Washington

On Behalf of | May 19, 2021 | Traffic Tickets |

Most traffic violations in Washington are misdemeanors, but you may still face expensive consequences. With repeated offenses, you could temporarily lose your license.

You have multiple options to respond to a traffic ticket. The right response will depend on the violation, your driving record, and whether you believe you are guilty.

Pay the fine

The simplest means of dealing with a ticket is to pay the fine. By doing so, you are admitting guilt and waiving any right to contest the citation in court. Your driving record will reflect the violation.

If you have six moving violations within a year, Washington’s Department of Licensing may suspend your license for 60 days. You can also expect to see an increase in your car insurance premiums.

Pursue mitigation

A mitigation hearing is an opportunity for you to admit guilt and request a reduction in your fine. You may also receive community service instead of a financial penalty.

With this option, the infraction will still appear on your driving record.

Seek a deferral

A deferral will allow you to keep a moving violation off your record in exchange for meeting certain requirements, including paying a fee and completing a driver safety course.

Request a contested hearing

If you believe you are not guilty, you can fight the ticket by requesting a contested hearing. You will need to appear in court to challenge the citation.

If you choose to contest the ticket, you will need a robust legal approach to ensure that you receive the ideal outcome.