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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Unhappy Two Washington State Speeding Tickets

    Two or three years ago, I got a speeding ticket in Yakima County (Eastern WA). I was granted a deferral, and fulfilled the deferral terms by not getting another ticket within that year.

    A few years later, this January, I received a speeding ticket in Snohomish County while visiting a friend. I wrote a letter instead of appearing at court, because of the distance (I now live in Seattle). The judge granted a deferral, I received a notice to pay that (by this Monday - I've been putting it off).

    Last week, late to work south of Seattle, I got a speeding ticket in King County, for 10 over. Sigh. I was speeding. But, I'm really a safe and careful driver, I was going the speed of traffic till everyone slowed down around the cop that I didn't notice. I really try not to speed, but my cruise control broke recently so I've had to start watching my speed more carefully/manually.

    These are my questions:
    1. How could I be granted a deferral in Snohomish if I'd already had a deferral within the last 7 years (WA state law, right?)?
    2. Will Snohomish ct find out about my new ticket? I assume so, except they apparently didn't check my first deferral??
    3. What happens if/when Snohomish finds out about my second ticket? Will I have to pay more than the deferral cost for 1st ticket? If so, can I pay the ticket and not the deferral since I already got another ticket?
    4. Is there anything I can do about the 2nd ticket - I'm going to check that they filed within 5 days and ask for the discovery, and I can write a letter or go to court, but because of my recent ticket in Snohomish will they be less likely to reduce that fine? Is there anything else I can do to help my case - recalibrate my wheels, driving school, anything? I'm worried about my insurance going up.

    I tried calling Snohomish Court to see if I had other options besides the deferral, or what a deferral even means in that county. I was told "Google it, we can't tell you anything, that's legal advice." All my notice said for the first ticket is "The court...will grant a Deferred Finding for your case. Upon payment of a $100 administrative fee outlined on the...Agreement (an invoice ordering $100 payment), our case will be closed and will not appear on your driving record." Will I get to keep my deferred finding despite my second ticket, then? So confusing, and Snohomish Court won't answer any of my questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Two Washington State Speeding Tickets

    I would say that you "lucked out" so far. It would appear that -- for some unknown reason -- the Yakima court failed to properly file the deferral with the DOL. Thus, it was not on your record when you got the ticket in Snohomish. However, don't expect to be so lucky twice.

    My guess is that when this latest ticket -- if you're convicted -- reaches the DOL, BOTH will be recorded on your driving record. As far as additional fines, I don't believe there will be any.

    So, it is really in your best interest to contest this latest ticket. You seem to have a good handle on what to do (request discovery, check filing date). When you get your discovery information, look for holes (officer's location, moving or stationary radar, etc.). In my experience you are better off to NOT subpoena the officer, but you'll have to make that call yourself (if the information on the ticket seems complete, your only chance may be if the officer fails to show up).

    The other thing you can try is to contact the Snohomish court again and ask what happens if you DON'T pay the deferral fee, but rather petition the court to reopen the case so you can plead guilty and just pay the fine. If they will allow you to do that, you might be able to get a deferral on this ticket (assuming the folks in Yakima haven't gotten their act together and updated the DOL records).

    Oh, and slow down!

    Good luck,
    Where am I going? And why am I in this handbasket?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: Two Washington State Speeding Tickets

    Thanks so much! Yeah, I'm definitely slowing down.

    How do I petition Snohomish to reopen the case so I can pay the fine instead of the deferral? I tried calling the clerk and they would tell me NOTHING, stonewalled me and said if I wanted to do anything I could write a letter to the judge. Is that how I petition to reopen my case? But unfortunately, the payment is due today...I know, I've been researching this since I got my second ticket. Can I write a letter and delay paying the fine but then I would get a late fee, right...or is there anyway to pay the ticket not the deferral fee without going through formal reopening procedure.

    I will definitely follow the steps to look for loopholes to contest my latest ticket - but I was basically speeding so it seems like it'll be hard to get out of.

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