Traffic Defense


Infraction cases are initiated when an officer issues a citation. The infraction ticket may be served directly at the scene of an alleged infraction OR sent to the court for mailing after the fact. The officer will give you a copy of the ticket.

When you are stopped by an officer, hopefully you remain calm, and try to be polite and at least maintained a degree of control over your emotions.

Officers understand the frustration of being pulled over. Nonetheless all officers are individuals and have their own personalities. How you are treated varies from officer to officer. They have a difficult job, and they do their professional best to treat you with respect while acting on what they perceived was a traffic violation.

Always provide your license, insurance, and vehicle registration when asked. If you try to offer an excuse or explanation for your manner of driving, please remember the officer is writing down those statements you make when he or she writes their report. Once the officer prepares the ticket, court rules require the officer to file copies of the ticket with the court in their jurisdiction.

2. What are your options?

Once you have been issued a citation, you have four available options for resolving your case. These options are listed in the Revised Code of Washington, RCW 46.63.070.

One of this options must exercise within 15 days as indicated on the back of the ticket you receive from the officer.

You must either:

  1. Admit you committed the infraction and pay the monetary penalty
  2. Request a mitigation hearing at which you may present your viewpoint on the ticket to a judicial magistrate who will to consider whether to reduce the dollar penalty you must pay
  3. Request a contested hearing at which to challenge the infraction, or
  4. Submit a written statement that contests the infraction or offers explanatory facts that could possibly allow a judicial officer to mitigate the amount of money you must pay if permitted by state law.
  5. If you fail to respond to the ticket, the court will automatically enter a default judgment of committed on the infraction, add additional monetary penalties, and report to the Department of Licensing, which could result in suspension of your drivers’ license.

3. Contested hearing

If a person chooses to contest an infraction, the court may first set a preliminary hearing. The pretrial conference may be waived. If a person attends the pretrial conference hearing, he or she may have the option to mitigate or request a deferral at that time.

At the contested hearing the state or city will present their case, usually by way of the officer narrative. You will present your evidence and the judge will make the determination if the prosecutor has met their burden of proof.

Infraction hearings are fast-paced and high volume enterprises for the court, prosecution, and defense attorneys. The hearings tend to be very technical, since the court rules, laws of evidence, and other procedures are familiar.

4. We find flaws in the ticket

We know that many cases that reach COURTS could be thrown out with the right defense. Our skilled Tacoma based team will carefully scrutinize all the evidence that’s been put together to inform your case, looking for procedural errors or other mistakes that could mean that the charge isn’t valid; we aim to give all our clients the strong defense they need to get the outcome they’re looking for.

5. Getting started

Once retained as counsel I will notify the court and prosecutor with a notice of appearance that our firm represents you in the case. This will require all actions by the prosecutor and the court be taken through your attorney rather than you personally. We will also request the prosecutor provide to provide all police reports and any accident reports issued by the police officer.

Our goal is to have your ticket dismissed, amended to a non-moving infraction that is not reported to insurance or other agencies, deferred without a finding on payment of court costs, or a reduced monetary penalty. If this goal requires an actual trial of the facts at a hearing, we will take that action. Our fixed rate fee covers all these legal activities on your behalf.

You deserve an experienced attorney at Traffic Attorneys of Washington ® who has many years of experience, who knows the court rules backwards and forwards, who knows the rules of evidence and case law that govern a particular case, and an attorney committed to the Pursuit of Excellence.