When deciding whether to fight your traffic ticket, you need to think about what happens if you simply pay it. Will your insurance rates go up and stay up for the next three to seven years? Will you lose your license? Would it be cheaper to fight and beat your ticket?
It may seem easier to simply pay off a ticket, but that's usually a really bad idea. Always talk to a lawyer before giving up your right to defend yourself. This is especially important in criminal matters such as Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Hit and Run as well as any other misdemeanor driving offense. Besides, if you call Durflinger Oliver, (253)683-4180, you can speak to an attorney for free.
Below are some of the cases that we fight. Even if you don't see your ticket listed below, give us a call to schedule your free consultation. We can help with any and every driving issue in Tacoma, Pierce County and Washington State.
We generally advise fighting all moving violations. To get started, you need to request a Contested Hearing to fight your Washington ticket. You do this by checking the Contested Hearing box on your infraction and delivering it to the Court within 15 days of getting your ticket.
You can either hand deliver the citation to the Court indicated on the ticket, or you can mail the infraction. Once you check the Contested box, sign the ticket, if necessary, and make a photocopy of the ticket. You should photocopy both sides of two-sided tickets. Most tickets, today, however, are one-sided.
If you're mailing the ticket, fill out the front of the envelope with the court information from the ticket. Put your return address on the envelope as well as correct postage. Make a copy of the front of your Self Addressed Stamped Envelope.
You're making copies of everything to document that you requested a hearing. If you personally serve and file a copy of the ticket with the Court, you'll take your copy so that the clerk can stamp it "Filed". If you're mailing the ticket, put your copy of the ticket in a safe place. Next, pick a calendar date a week from mailing to call the Court clerk and confirm they received your request. I generally advise putting the paperwork and follow-up date on your fridge where you'll see it every day.
Demanding a contested hearing allows you, or your lawyer, to appear in court to attack your speeding ticket, negligent driving infraction, over weight ticket, and every other driving infraction. Within ten days, the Court should provide you with a hearing date. The hearing date is usually about 30 days after you receive notice.
Fighting a traffic ticket in a Washington court puts you, the driver, at a disadvantage. Let's face it, the cop has appeared in court to testify probably hundreds of times. You haven't. It's also likely that you don't know the court rules, case law, and rules of evidence. You'll also probably be nervous in front of a Judge, or arguing against an experienced prosecutor. Even if you're comfortable talking to people, fighting a ticket is like getting a tattoo on your shoulder: a professional is going to do a better job than you.
If you want to represent yourself, here are the basics of case analysis.
If you want to beat your traffic infraction in court, you will need to conduct discovery and argue technical legal theories based on what's in the Discovery. Discovery materials is basically everything "they" will use against you in court. You can't effectively fight your infraction unless you know what the evidence against you looks like. Here's how you get Discovery.
You request discovery by drafting a Demand for Discovery to serve on the Court and Prosecutor's office in the jurisdiction where you were cited. You can find an example of a Demand for Discovery here. You need to make your request at least 14 days before the scheduled Contested Hearing. The Court, or Prosecutor's Office, needs to provide you with discovery at least one week before your hearing.
File your Demand for Discovery just like your Demand for a Contested Hearing. Keep copies of everything and calendar a follow-up date to make sure your Demand was received by the Court and Prosecutor. Many jurisdictions don't use prosecutors in traffic matters, so you don't need to serve materials on offices. When in doubt, serve the Prosecutor's office.
At least two weeks before your scheduled hearing, you should receive a copy of the ticket, the officer's declaration, speed measuring device certifications and the 6.6 document. YOU WILL ONLY GET THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION IF YOU PROPERLY REQUEST IT. This is the information you'll use to attack that ticket. It's also the same information that a Court will consider in your case. Incidentally, it doesn't matter whether you actually broke the law. What matters is what is in the Discovery paperwork.
Oh, and another thing, calling the cop or the Speed Measuring Device Expert will work against you. Do not do it. Ever. Without the Cop or Expert, you can often find problems in the Discovery which can be used to beat your ticket. If the cop or SMD Expert appears in court, they can fix the paperwork problems, and you Will lose. Don't be a loser. DON'T CALL THE COP OR HIS EXPERT.
If you haven't successfully fought a ticket before, you should retain an attorney to represent you. The Washington State traffic case law has been evolving for about 90 years. It is complicated, and there are a lot of exceptions to the numerous rules. Call our successful traffic attorneys today for a free consultation, (253)683-4180.
The days of simply tearing up your out of state traffic tickets are over. States not only share information, but they have linked their computer systems to automatically update driver records. That means that your Washington traffic infraction will affect your driver license in your home state.
The team at TicketGangsta represents a large number of clients who have received citations while in Washington on business or vacation, or just before shipping out for a new duty station. Call us if you find yourself in this situation. We appear in court on your behalf, so you don't have to show up.
Call us today to see how we can help you and protect your license, insurance premiums, and livelihood, (253)683-4180. You can also find more information at DO.Legal.
The lawyers at TicketGangsta.com provide solutions to traffic problems throughout Western Washington State. With a combined almost 50 years experience working with and against prosecutors and cops who just want to hammer Washington drivers, we're ready to protect you. Our team of attorneys knows the tricks of the trade, and how to use them to defend you.
Courts dismiss approximately 90% of the tickets we fight. When you add in dismissals after the court hearing, the numbers are even more impressive. If we can't get your ticket kicked out, we will do our best to minimize the impact on your life and your freedom. Durflinger Oliver attorneys will do everything possible to protect you.
711 St. Helens Ave.
Ste. 209, Tacoma 98402