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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    9

    Default Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Washington State

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

    As indicated, I'm looking for input on my best approach for dealing with a speeding ticket in the city of Shoreline, WA.

    I was traveling south on I5, approaching the 45th/50th St exits. I was in the left most lane, a dually truck was about 30 feet ahead of me in the lane to my right. He appeared wobly, uncertain whether he was going to enter my lane or something else entirely, so rather than test it, I accelerated past him and then slowed down once I was ahead. At this point, I saw the cop about 30 yards in front of me, he slowed, moved to the right, then got behind me and pulled me over.

    He said he got me going 82 (per the ticket, by SMD) in what, apparently, was a 60 mph area (I didn't see any signs). I explained what happened and why, he ended up writing the ticket for 70 though noted 82 on the ticket. $125 fine.

    I've already submitted a request for hearing, but I'm not sure whether to simply request a deferral or try to fight it, either by myself or by getting a lawyer. Aside from a not using a turn signal ticket a few years back, I haven't gotten any moving violations in a decade or so. I'm more concerned with the ticket going on my license than absolute cost, though if attorney's fees would surpass ~$500 or so, it seems like it'd probably be preferrable to just pay the ticket and deal with the likely small bump in insurance for the next couple cycles, net/net.

    Looking for general guidance/suggestions, and also what I can/should request from the court to prep assuming I try to fight it (read on the forums I may be able to subpoena information to establish whether I have any kind of case--what's the process for doing this?).

    Appreciate it,
    Chris

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    What defense do you think you might have? The appropriate thing to do under the circumstance would have been to slow a bit so that if the truck pulled in front of you, it wouldn't cause a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    I disagree, like I'd mentioned, the truck seemed wobbly, possibly just an erratic driver. The issue wasn't simply that the driver could pull in front of me. I'd much rather have an erratic driver behind me than in front of me. Not really the point of my post though.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    791

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    If you have not already done so, be sure to read the sticky thread Procedural Guide to Traffic Tickets in Washington State which contains a link to a discovery template. Per the instructions in that template, you serve the discovery request on the prosecutor (King County) and file a copy with the court.

    Any possible defenses are likely to be preliminary, meaning that you would not be arguing circumstances at all. Rather you would be attempting to exclude readings from the speed measuring devices, including the speedometer since you were clocked by moving radar.

    If you want help reviewing discovery, upload digital photos or scans (with your personal id and citation number redacted) to any free image hosting site and link them here in your thread.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    Thanks. It looks like the template omits the second item under IRLJ 3.1(b):
    "a copy of video or photographic evidence the prosecutor proposes to introduce at trial, unless in reply to the discovery request the prosecutor provides the address to a web site where such evidence is accessible to the defendant"

    Any reason not to include this as well?

    A copy of my redacted discovery request below:

    https://i.imgur.com/AhbK2LF.jpg

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    184

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    In WA the officer will not be present unless you subpoena them. The only evidence generally presented is the officer,s sworn statement so video/photo evidence is rarely presented.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    791

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    Quote Quoting cptd
    View Post
    Thanks. It looks like the template omits the second item under IRLJ 3.1(b):
    "a copy of video or photographic evidence the prosecutor proposes to introduce at trial, unless in reply to the discovery request the prosecutor provides the address to a web site where such evidence is accessible to the defendant"

    Any reason not to include this as well?
    Probably there are 2 reasons why the author of the template does not list a request for video evidence, starting with what joef mentioned above. The other reason is that any video would more likely hurt your case than help it.

    You cannot successfully argue passing as a justification for speeding. RCW 46.61.425 only allows you to exceed the speed limit on a highway with only one lane in each direction. You were on I-5 with 4 southbound lanes.

    The best thing you can do is to request and wait for discovery materials, then go from there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    What most drivers don't realize is that speeding to pass another vehicle is still speeding.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    151

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    Quote Quoting paddywakk
    View Post
    What most drivers don't realize is that speeding to pass another vehicle is still speeding.
    I would disagree with this. I would expect most drivers know it's speeding, they might try to excuse their speeding but they still know it's speeding. What most drivers don't realize is that it is legal in some states/situations to exceed the speed limit while passing. For example, in Washington, on a two-lane highway, if the car you are passing is going under the speed limit. This of course does not apply in this situation, but I want to point out that in some cases it is legal, and that it is not widely known, even in Washington.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Challenge or Deferral of Speeding Ticket in Wa

    Thanks...take it no obvious issue with my discovery request?

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