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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    17

    Post Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    Hi,
    I got an speeding ticket in Bellvue, WA, a suburb of Seattle. The speed limit on street was 25, I was on 36 and I did not see 3 people having measuring devices ahead of me. Actually, not just me but it was 10 people at a time receiving tickets there. I did not protest or argue with the officer. He gave me the ticket and said that he had giving me discount of $80 and also he gave me a flyer that had some ruling about "deferring tickets", he also explained to me that by using this I can have this violation off my record.

    I am an Indianan citizen and so have got Indianan license and a car registered in Indiana. Can I still get this off my driving record ? Also, what is the procedure to do that ? where to go ? Please explain me in detail because this is my life's first ticket.

    Thanks,

    Fahad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    You can check with the Washington court to see if they offer deferral to residents of other states. If so, and you successfully complete your deferral, there would be no ticket to be reported back to Indiana.

  3. #3

    Question Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    First time speed ticket here.

    I made a search for "deferral" on this forum and read up lots on fighting tickets.
    I received the ticket form Thurston:
    http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/distcrt/defer.htm

    Is it wiser to contest the ticket and fight in court, or contest and send in a deferral? Does deferral mean it will never ever go on my driving record, or does it mean they wait one year to report?? It's a bit vague on the link above and the word "deferral."
    "If you have received a traffic infraction, you may be eligible for a deferral. By successfully completing a deferral, the Court will not report your ticket to the Department of Licensing (DOL). You may defer only one moving and one non-moving infraction each seven years. The length of deferral is one year." -thruston link

    I don't care about the money so much as it will go on my driving record and raise insurance.




    I don't intend to get another ticket. It was my first time driving up to Seattle and on the highway more than 10 miles. I was in the left lane with several other cars including a large blue SUV in front of me, just keeping up with them and still got pulled over from a speed trap (several officers in the grassy median). Ticket says the issuer used radar at 1004 feet to spot me 73mph on a 60mph. I could've sworn i was going 70 or lower with others on the left lane.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    When you mail the ticket, mark "Contested" on the back. Call the court clerk listed on the ticket in a couple days and ask for the filing date of your citation. In the state of WA, it must be filed within 5 days (excluding weekends/holidays). If it hasn't been filed within that time frame, object pursuant to IRLJ 2.2 (d).

    As for the Deferral, according to RCW 46.63.070 5(a):
    (5)(a) Except as provided in (b) and (c) of this subsection, in hearings conducted pursuant to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the court may defer findings, or in a hearing to explain mitigating circumstances may defer entry of its order, for up to one year and impose conditions upon the defendant the court deems appropriate. Upon deferring findings, the court may assess costs as the court deems appropriate for administrative processing. If at the end of the deferral period the defendant has met all conditions and has not been determined to have committed another traffic infraction, the court may dismiss the infraction.

    (b) A person may not receive more than one deferral within a seven-year period for traffic infractions for moving violations and more than one deferral within a seven-year period for traffic infractions for nonmoving violations.
    If you decide to fight the ticket, file a formal request for Discovery with the court clerk and prosecutor. This entitles you to the officer's notes and the SMD certification for the radar device. If you receive it and any of those elements are missing or the discovery is not sent, object pursuant to IRLJ 3.1 (b). If the certification is incomplete or nonexistent, object pursuant to IRLJ 6.6(d).

    Out of curiosity, what makes you think it was radar as opposed to LIDAR? Did the officer indicate that?

    I was in the left lane with several other cars including a large blue SUV in front of me
    Is it possible your car was NOT the one he "clocked" on radar? Were there any other vehicles beside you?

    Regards,

    Trent

  5. #5

    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    Thank you very much for the guidance Trent. I will follow it for deferral. Living in an Asian family and just being a safe overall person, I want to rid any possibility of risk with my record.

    I am only going off the ticket information itself. I do not know whether if it was Radar or Lidar, not much was said during the pull-over transaction. But the ticket info says Speed over legal limit, vehicle speed: 65 in a 60 zone (73 actual). (L - 1061 1004.3 ft 3/3)
    SMD box checked.
    Penalty is under $100.


    It is very possible that he clocked another car. So many cars were relatively close to each other that the officer's car could not get into traffic to stop me immediately. He had to yield and use lights without sound to get other cars to change lanes and finally got to me. I hadn't known I was already picked off till about 2 more miles later and watching what he was doing as I slowed to 60 that whole time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    A deferral is safe, provided you don't receive another ticket in the next 12 months. Be prepared to pay an administrative fee (it depends on the court) -- $150 in Issaquah. You have a shot at a defense, especially since you were observed from over 1000ft away with moderate traffic surrounding you.

    Also, assuming he was ahead of you when he "clocked" your speed, you could attack the credibility of the SMD reading. That large SUV in front of you is more susceptible to radar readings due to a larger surface area. In fact, any other vehicles in your surroundings could impact a radar reading, especially from over 1000ft away.

    Let me know how it turns out or if you have any other questions.

    Good Luck,

    Trent

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3,577

    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    Anytime you see a distance (especially expressed in tenths of a foot), you can be assured that it was a LIDAR unit -- not RADAR. At 1000 feet, a good LIDAR has a beam about 3 feet in diameter. It is handheld. It is aimed through a sighting device, usually binocular. Surface area has nothing to do with the readings -- it's usually aimed at your license plate or headlight. It will capture your speed in about 1/3 of a second. LIDAR is deadly accurate with almost NO chance of picking the wrong target (despite several web sites that claim otherwise).

    If it were me, I'd follow Trent's advice and check out the Discovery information. If the officer is lazy in his/her writeup, you might find a way to beat the ticket. If it all looks good, however, you can still opt for the deferral.

    Barry

  8. #8

    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    I've been thinking more and more about this before I send in my ticket checked as contesting. I'm thinking he used a lidar since he reported "(L - 1061 1004.3 ft 3/3)."


    How would you normally send in a ticket? Using certified mail at USPS to make sure it gets there?

    About filing by date (object pursuant to IRLJ 2.2 (d):
    How do I check if the clerk hasn't filed in the 5 days, do I ask the clerk himself to call himself out?
    If he did file late, to whom do I object and how?



    Thruston deferral requires that I "Please request the deferral at least 5 working days before any scheduled hearing on your traffic infraction."
    Unfortunately, I cannot test whether the officer would be present at a court date AND have the deferral as an option. I really believe you when you say I have a chance, but I am going to be safe and fill the deferral.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
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    3,577

    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    You can call the Clerk of the Court to ask about the filing date. If the ticket was filed with the Court past the fifth day, you must show up for your hearing a make a motion for dismissal pursuant to IRLJ 2.2(d). You will NOT be objecting to anything -- you will be making a motion for dismissal -- but you must request a "contested" hearing to do this.

    Be sure to make a copy of your citation (both sides) before you mail it. I have always used regular mail, but it you really want to be sure it gets there, use certified.

    The officer will NOT be present unless you issue a subpoena. If you subpoena the officer and the officer does not show, your case will most likely be dismissed. However, if the officer does show up, you will most likely lose, and you will not be offered a deferral (according to the Thurston County web site).

    However, you can still respond "contested", find out the filing date, obtain the Discovery information, and THEN decide whether to opt for the deferral -- by mail 5 days before the hearing or at the hearing itself, if you haven't subpoenaed the officer.

    That path offers you the most options.

    Good luck,
    Barry

  10. #10

    Default Re: Contesting a Ticket in Washington

    After calling the district court number, I found out my filing date was the 16th (one day immediately after I received the infraction ticket).
    I've sent in my ticket "contested" may 16th certified, and it was tracked and confirmed delivered may 20th.

    The clerk was unaware what discovery request is, and knows no one who can give me info about it or request it. I am also unaware. I am hinted it is here:
    http://www.wsp.wa.gov/reports/pubdiscl.htm#request under "Request for Public Records Form (Microsoft WORD )" but not sure, especially with the format it's in.
    (hint came other post http://www.expertlaw.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48838)

    But it may not matter, I plan to file for deferral, which I think is in person at the location ( 1:30 hours away, blarg ), plus $145 admin fee.

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