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Street Law: Traffic Infractions. by Ryan Yoke. What are Traffic Infractions?. An “efficient” method of traffic enforcement Civil NOT criminal Fines, not jail Can affect insurance. Notice of Infraction. Notice of Infraction. A determination that an infraction has been committed

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Presentation Transcript
what are traffic infractions

What are Traffic Infractions?

An “efficient” method of traffic enforcement

Civil NOT criminal

Fines, not jail

Can affect insurance

notice of infraction1
Notice of Infraction
  • A determination that an infraction has been committed
  • Three options:
    • Pay the fine
    • Mitigation Hearing
    • Contested Hearing
  • Fourth Option?
    • Collection agency
    • Increased fines
    • Suspended license
    • Bench warrant
habitual traffic offender
Habitual Traffic Offender
  • A driver that within a 5 year period receives:
    • Three traffic related crimes; or
    • 20 moving violations
  • Traffic related crimes include:
    • DUI, vehicular assault/homicide, reckless driving, hit & run, or attempting to elude the police
  • Moving violations include:
    • Speeding, running red lights, tailgating, HOV violations, negligent driving
    • Full list in WAC 308-104-160
mitigation hearings
Mitigation Hearings

You admit to committing the offense

The judge may decrease your fine (judicial discretion; mandatory minimum)

Violation goes on your record

Often the best choice with non-moving violations

contested hearings
Contested Hearings

You did not commit the offense

State has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence

If you win, the infraction does not go on your record

If you lose, it goes on your record, you pay the fine, and your insurance goes up

preparing for the contested hearing
Preparing for the Contested Hearing

Hire a lawyer?

Read the IRLJ

Read the statute your charged with

Request discovery

Analyze the NOI/Affidavit

Subpoena the officer?

Check the SMD/speedometer certificates

Make a plea bargain with the State?

Deferred finding

traffic infractions summary
Traffic Infractions:Summary
  • Don’t ignore the ticket!
  • Hire a lawyer if you don’t have the time to prepare adequately
  • Read the statute charged
    • Know it inside out, the prosecutor will
  • Request discovery
  • Deferred findings are often a good option

Break into groups of 3-4

Discuss these three problems

What kind of hearing should the defendant request?

What other things should the defendant do?

  • RCW 46.61.400:
    • “…no person shall drive…at a speed in excess of such limits.
      • 25mph in cities and towns
      • 50mph on county roads
      • 60mph on state highways”
  • RCW 46.16A.030:
    • “Failure to renew an expired registration before operating a vehicle…is a traffic infraction.”