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  1. #1

    Default Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Washington

    I received a citation for allegedly exceeding the speed limit by a Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Deputy on 12/07/2015 on SR409 at about MP2.5 in Wahkiakum county at about 2:45pm
    .

    The citation states 69 mph in a 55 mph zone. The weather was very windy, but as I recall, not raining.

    I do not recall the traffic conditions in the area, nor at the time, of the alleged violation. As I was pulling into a gravel driveway I saw the deputy with his lights on coming down the road towards me. I stopped the vehicle and got out and was going to cross the street when he passed by. Instead of passing by he pulled over and instructed me to get back in the vehicle.

    I had no idea that he was there for me and do not recall seeing him behind me at any point prior to the "stop". I was confused, but complied. He seemed tense. He then asked where I was going. I said "right here, sir". I tried to explain that I was going to have a conversation with my ex-wife about our son getting grounded, but he interrupted me to yell "AT 69 MILES AN HOUR!?!". I wasn't quite sure what to say at that point and was a little dumbfounded.

    I can't remember the rest of the conversation word for word, but it ended with me receiving a citation for allegedly exceeding the speed limit a few miles earlier.

    Citation: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3v1ov3of1z...acted.jpg?dl=1

    So, I have some questions about the obvious errors on the citation and if any of them would qualify as causing prejudice.

    First, The zone which I was cited for exceeding the speed limit on SR409 is not a 55 zone, it is a 50 zone. A 25 zone leads into it and it ends at the ferry ramp, there is no 55 zone on SR409.

    I was cited for RCW 46.61.400 "speeding 34mph over limit(over 40". Regardless of the the posted speed limit 69mph is not 34mph over ANY number over 40. (I know that it seems silly to mention, but it seems even sillier to get it wrong.)

    The road that I was stopped on has a speed limit of 35mph, perhaps that was his confusion? Either way, the violation listed on the citation is far and away more egregious that the actual alleged violation. (This is the one that I thought might qualify as prejudicial.)

    A friend of mine who is a local lawyer (that doesn't deal with traffic) recommended that I file an affidavit of prejudice with the court for the standard traffic judge. I have done so and the second link is to that document.

    Affidavit of Prejudice: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q7dxn2f90e...acted.jpg?dl=1

    I have read Barry's thread and have a court date to contest on January 6th, 2016. I plan to File for Discovery on December 23rd and they would be required to provide it by the 30th. I did confirm with the court administrator that they will be open those days.

    If I need to adjust my days of filing for discovery and when their requirement is to deliver it, please let me know.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    California
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    I don't think any of the errors are material. The infraction quoted is RCW 46.61.400, which is correct. The officer's "description"of the violation won't matter or hurt you because the citation itself states your speed as measured (69mph) and the speed limit (55mph). Even if that speed limit is inaccurate, I wouldn't bring it up because speeding 69 in a 55 is better than speeding 69 in a 50.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    Thank you for your response.

    I guess I will just have to wait for my discovery documents and hope there is some way to go from there.

    Are there any requirements for the officer to keep the alleged violator's vehicle in view during a pursuit? I honestly feel like he may have been chasing a similar vehicle and got me instead.

    I drive that area with relative regularity and do not speed. Speeding on that road in particular is difficult as the road is also a dike and drops off on both sides. It doesn't feel safe to me even at the posted speed limit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    The affidavit may only serve to piss off the judge, and will likey be denied because your rights have not been prejudiced by receiving a citation. Your lawyer friend probably shouldn't be giving advice if he doesn't handle traffic cases. Redact and post the discovery response when (if) you get it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    Thank you for your response.

    I will certainly post all documentation that I receive from discovery as soon as humanly possible.

    I certainly hope that I have not hurt my chances with the affidavit, but I guess it is too late now.

    Let us hope that I can continue to proceed without jeopardizing myself any further.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    193

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    Remember that in WA state, the standard is preponderance of the evidence, not reasonable doubt. Also, the police officer will not show up unless you subpoena them, so that is not a way out.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    Thank you for your reply.

    I am hoping that the officer does not show, and that his statement has at least as many errors on it as the citation.

    I am very interested to see how sure he is that I was the same vehicle.

    As long as my dates look good to the experts, I think I will pursue the contest.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Snohomish, WA
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    The officer won't be there unless you make the grand mistake of issuing a subponena for him to be there, or if you get unlucky enough to have the prosecutor do the same. Our lovely ex-governor Christine 'Skeletor' Gregoire's administration removed the need for the officer to show up by allowing them to submit a sworn statement instead. You want to attack that statement on all possible fronts because it will be THE evidence against you.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State

    Thank you, Speedy!

    I will post it as soon as I receive it!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Contesting a Speeding Ticket in Washington State


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