Traffic and Parking Infractions

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TRAFFIC AND PARKING VIOLATIONS

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If you receive a notice of a traffic or parking infraction, you have a limited time to respond to the charge(s). A person who has been served with a notice of infraction must respond to the notice within 15 days of the date the notice is personally served or, if the notice is served by mail, within 18 days of the date the notice is mailed.

Failure to respond in a timely fashion, or failure to appear at a scheduled hearing can result in a finding of “Committed” to the infraction, which will then be reported to the Department of Licensing and an additional assessment may be added to the penalty. Failure to timely respond to a traffic violation may result in the violation appearing on your driving record, and it may result in suspension of your driver’s license privilege.

You may respond by 1) mailing in payment for the full amount of the ticket; 2) requesting a contested hearing to challenge the infraction(s); 3) requesting a mitigation hearing to explain the circumstances and ask for a reduced fine or a deferred finding; or 4) submitting a written statement in person, by mail, or by email on the proper form either contesting the infraction, explaining mitigating circumstances, or requesting a deferred finding.

To mitigate or contest an infraction via email, click here.

If you pay for the infraction(s), the infraction(s) will appear on your driving record*.

If you contest (challenge) the infraction and you prevail, the infraction is dismissed and does not appear on your driving record.

If you appear in court and contest (challenge) the infraction and you do not prevail, you must pay the penalty assessed and the infraction will appear on your driving record*, but you may appeal the court’s decision. A defendant may appeal a judgment entered after a contested hearing finding that the defendant has committed the infraction. No other orders or judgments are appealable by the defendant.

If you mitigate the infraction, the infraction will appear on your driving record*, but the penalty may be reduced by the judge. Keep in mind, that under the current law, the judge does not have the discretion to reduce the penalty for certain violations such as infractions for “Speeding within a School Zone,” or ,”Speeding in a Construction Zone.” Also, in some cases the judge has the discretion to reduce the fine, but is restricted by current law as to the amount of the reduction (i.e., “Parking in a Disabled Parking Space without a Permit” cannot be reduced by more than half).

For traffic violations, you may also request a deferred finding . An infraction that has been deferred does not appear on your driving record as long as you comply with the conditions of the deferred finding. You are allowed to defer one moving violation every seven years, and one non-moving violation every seven years in the State of Washington. If you hold a commercial driver’s license, you are not eligible for a deferred finding.

As a general rule, to defer an infraction, you must pay costs as specified in the court’s order within the time specified by the court, you must not incur any violations during the deferral period, and you must comply with any other conditions that the judge may impose (such as a defensive driving class). If you are granted a deferred finding and you comply in all respects with the conditions set by the judge, at the end of the deferral period, the infraction(s) will be dismissed. If you fail to comply with any of the conditions of the deferred finding, the infraction(s) will be found committed, the original penalty for the infraction(s) will be imposed, and the infraction(s) will appear on your driving record.

By submitting a written statement for decision, you are promising to pay the penalty assessed by the court, if any, and you agree to be bound by the court’s decision. There is no appeal from a court’s decision on a written statement. Click the following link to print out the Infraction Hearing by Mail form to request a decision based on your written statement. Make sure you submit your request for decision on written statement before your response deadline. You may also mitigate or contest the infraction via email by clicking here.

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Click the following link to check the status of your driver’s license ,

*Certain infractions, even if found committed, will not appear on your driving record if you pay as you promise. For instance, parking violations will not appear on your driving record and charges for "Inattentive Driving", if paid in a timely manner, will not appear on your driving record