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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default When Can The Police Issue Tickets After an Accident

    My question involves a traffic accident in the State of: Washington.

    Can a police officer hand out a ticket indicating fault of an accident if they did not take a statement from anyone involved indicating any fault?

    I was written a ticket for a small fender bender where no one admitted fault, but was not given the ticket at the time of the accident, it came three weeks later in the mail. How can the police officer ticket me without having any official statement and also without notifying me at the time that I was getting a ticket? How can I fight this?

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28,312

    Default Re: Police Ability to Hand Out Tickets for Accident

    you do not have to be notified you are being issued a ticket. The arrival of the ticket is considered to be all the notice you need.

    If they can determine presumed fault by the evidence, they can issue a ticket.

    If you do not believe the ticket is justified, you contest it with evidence proving the contrary.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Police Ability to Hand Out Tickets for Accident

    JK is right, as far as he went. I'll expand a little. In WA a police officer may issue a ticket:

    Quote Quoting RCW 46.63.030
    (c) If an officer investigating at the scene of a motor vehicle accident has reasonable cause to believe that the driver of a motor vehicle involved in the accident has committed a traffic infraction;
    Note that NOTHING in that law requires that the officer take any "statements". Nor does it say it must be issued on the spot, nor does it say it can't come three weeks later. Standard procedure is for a supervisor to review the information from the officer and determine what, if any, citations should be issued. IRLJ 2.2 (c)(3) allows the citation to be "served" by mail.

    My advice would be to get a copy of the accident report. For general questions about fighting tickets in WA, take a look through this thread. Yes, it's lengthy....

    Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,837

    Default Re: Police Ability to Hand Out Tickets for Accident

    bsd, you will note from the law, I will bold it:

    RCW 46.63.030
    (c) If an officer investigating at the scene of a motor vehicle accident has reasonable cause to believe that the driver of a motor vehicle involved in the accident has committed a traffic infraction;
    Reasonable Cause, per the US SC, is interchangeable with "Probable Cause", it is not to be confused with "Reasonable suspicion". PC or RC is the proper determination to charge and offense or effect an arrest.

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