What is a Ticket?

A Ticket is a Civil Infraction

What is a ticket? It is a civil infraction that is issued by an officer. It can go on your driving abstract.

These are some examples :

  • Speeding
  • Negligent Driving 2nd degree
  • Personal Electronic Device
  • Fail to Yield
  • Improper Lane change
  • Fail to Signal
  • Speeding too fast for conditions

How does a Traffic Ticket affect you:

  • Appear on your Driving Abstract as a moving violation.
  • Can cause your insurance rates to go up.
  • Can add points to your license.
  • Will show on your record for 3 years.
  • May affect your job either now or in the future.

We Can Help You Fight Your Ticket!

Our Attorneys work to protect your record. We will:

  • Request all required documentation from the court.
  • Develop the best defense strategy for each individual infraction.
  • Address your ticket at the court hearing for you.
  • Confirm the outcome has been properly recorded in your docket.
  • Notify you of the outcome and any steps you need to do to complete the process.

How do you Hire Merrill Law to Represent You?

You will need to complete the client agreement form and pay the fee before Merrill Law will be able to represent you in court. Parent or Guardian Signatures are also required If the client is a minor.

Our legal team handles tickets during office hours.

How to get started.

  • Come in to the office during business hours or,
  • Call during business hours to have the form sent to you by Email, Fax or Mail.
  • Send a request for an agreement form via the website.

Regarding your Ticket

  • You must respond to the court with in the 15 calendar day time restriction.  
  • we can send the ticket to the court for you, if you bring it into the office in a timely manner.
  • If you intend to hire Merrill Law, we ask that you mark the contested hearing box, it is the 3rd box on the ticket, and mail the ticket directly to the court.  

We have pointed out come important areas to look for information on your ticket. There are a few different formats that may be issued.

Options on your ticket.

You have a three options to tell the court how you wish to address this matter.  You will find these options at the bottom of a white ticket or on the back of a green ticket.

  1. Enclose payment and mail the ticket directly to the court.  If you select this option, you should understand that the traffic infraction will go on your driving record.
  2. Request a Mitigation Hearing.  When you request this type of hearing you are agreeing that you have committed the infraction. The hearing allows you to explain the circumstances in which the violation occurred.  You will be required to to attend the hearing to present your case to the judge. The infraction will go on your record with a mitigated hearing.
  3. Request a Contested Hearing. A contested hearing is the preferred type of hearing if you are hiring Merrill Law. This type of hearing allows the details of the infraction to be challenged in court.

Please return the ticket to the court at the address noted on the ticket.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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After You Hire Merrill Law for a Traffic Ticket

What happens after you hire Merrill Law for representation for a traffic ticket?

After You hire means that you have completed the client agreement form and provided payment. Our legal team members will process the proper paperwork to fight your ticket.

We will notify the court in writing that Merrill Law is representing you, and we will request the Discovery.

The Discovery are documents that include the sworn reports from the arresting officer. The Attorney will review and build a defense for your specific case.

Setting a Court Date

When the court receives our notice of appearance, the court clerks will assign a court date. We watch your case closely for this date to be set. It will then be added to our calendar for the attorney to appear on your behalf.

The court has 120 days to hold a hearing for the traffic infraction.

Sometimes the courts will send you a notice of the hearing date. You are not required to attend or fill out the statement. We will address your infraction at the court hearing. You do not need to miss any of your own obligations.

Sometimes an infraction will have more than one hearing date for a variety of reasons. We will address this infraction for you until it has been resolved.

The day of your hearing

It is not necessary for you to attend the court date. We will address your traffic infraction at the time of the hearing. When you completed the client agreement form, you authorized Merrill Law to act on your behalf at the court hearing.

What happens next?

We will monitor your file for the court clerks to complete the updates in the court docket regarding your case.

This is a very important step as the Docket Entry directly affects your driving record. We want to make sure that this has been correctly entered to reflect the decisions that were made at Court.

Once the docket has been updated and the outcome is verified by the attorney. We will notify you by mail of the outcome of your case. This process normally takes several days to a week.

Call us now to ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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Subscribe to the Monthly Newsletter.

Intermediate License

What is an Intermediate License?

An intermediate license is issued by the Washington State Department of Licensing to a teen driver under the age of 18.

The teen driver is required to:

  • Obtain an instruction permit.
  • Drive with a licensed driver that has been licensed for 5 years or more.
  • Complete 50 hours of driving practice, including 10 hours of night driving.
  • Pass an approved driver training course.
  • Have an instruction permit for at least 6 months.
  • Pass the driving test at an approved driver testing location.

Intermediate License Restrictions

Keep the following restrictions in mind to avoid a possible suspension of your license. These restrictions are in place until the driver has reached the age of 18.

Driving with Passengers

  • For the first 6 months, a driver under 18, is not allowed to have passengers (under the age of 20 years old) in the vehicle. Exception for immediate family members.
  • After the first 6 months, a driver under 18, is not allowed to have more than 3 passengers (under the age of 20 years old) in the vehicle. Exception for immediate family members.
  • If the intermediate licensed driver is convicted of an infraction, the 6 month passenger restriction begins again on the date the ticket was found committed, or paid to the court.

Driving at Night

For the first 12 months, the intermediate driver is not allowed to drive between the hours of 1:00 am and 5:00 am. Unless there is a licensed driver (over the age of 25) accompanying the teen driver in the car.

No Personal Electronic Devices

The intermediate licensed driver is not allowed to use a wireless device while driving. This includes a hands-free device.

  • Talking on cell phones
  • Texting
  • Emailing

Consequences of Violation Restrictions

First violation:

A warning letter will be mailed from the Washington State Department of Licensing to the parent of the intermediate licensed driver. The following situations will generate a warning letter from DOL.

  • The intermediate driver is issued a ticket for violating the restrictions
  • The intermediate driver is issued a ticket for violating the rules of the road
  • The intermediate driver is involved in an accident in which:
    • The intermediate driver is determined to have caused the accident
    • No one involved in the accident receives a ticket
    • The cause of the accident can not be determined
    • There is only one car involved in the accident.

Second violation:

The intermediate licensed driver will have their license suspended for 6 months or until they reach the age of 18, whichever comes first.

The Washington State Department of Licensing will notify the intermediate licensed driver, as well as, the parent or guardian before they take any suspension action.

Third violation:

The intermediate licensed driver will be suspended until they reach the age of 18.

The Washington State Department of Licensing will notify the intermediate licensed driver as well as the parent of guardian before they take any suspension action.

To Clarify Suspensions

We know that you may be trying to clarify the things that can cause suspensions of an Intermediate License. 

Per RCW 46.20.267 Intermediate License

Will be suspended for up to 6 months if you commit two traffic offenses under RCW 46.61 or Violation of Intermediate License Restrictions under RCW 46.20.075

If three violations are found committed the DOL will suspend the Driver’s License until the person reaches 18 years of age.

Violations that DO count towards suspension include these common offenses:

  • Speeding
  • Negligent driving 2nd degree
  • Failure to wear safety belt
  • Speed too fast for conditions
  • HOV lane violation
  • Following too closely
  • Driving later than curfew
  • Driving with unrelated passengers
  • Personal electronic device use while driving

Violations that DO NOT count toward suspension include these common offenses:

  • Expired registration
  • Modified exhaust
  • Tinted windows too dark
  • Defective equipment

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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Your Driving Record

What is a Driving Record?

According to the Washington State Department of Licensing, a driving record (also called a motor vehicle record or driver abstract) is “a history of violations, convictions, collisions, and departmental actions incurred by a driver over a period of time.”  Your driving record contains detailed information about your driving history and status.

Types of Driving Records in Washington

There are several different types of driving records available from the Washington State Department of Licensing, depending on who is requesting the record and for what purpose. 

Complete Driving Record

A complete record contains the full history including:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Suspensions
  • Revocations
  • Disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear

The following parties are allowed to obtain a complete driving record:

  • The individual named on the record
  • Attorneys
  • Law enforcement and government agencies

Insurance Abstract

An insurance abstract shows the past 3 years of both commercial and non-commercial driving events such as:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Failures to appear

Insurance companies and agents can obtain insurance abstracts when creating or renewing auto insurance policies for an individual.

Employment Record

Employment driving records include:

  • Convictions
  • Violations
  • Collisions
  • Suspensions
  • Revocations
  • Disqualifications
  • Deferred prosecutions
  • Failures to appear

Current and prospective employers are able to get employment records when hiring drivers or individuals who will operate a vehicle for work purposes.

Alcohol/Drug Assessment Record

Chemical dependency assessment agencies can obtain a record showing any alcohol or drug-related incidents within the last 10 years.

How to Get a Copy of Your Washington Driving Record

There are three main ways for individuals to request a copy of their own driving record in Washington state:

  1. Visit any local Washington State Department of Licensing in person and request it, providing:
    • Photo identification
    • $15 fee payment
  2. Order a copy online by providing:
    • Washington driver’s license number
    • Social security number
    • Credit/debit card for $15 fee
  3. Mail in a request form along with:
    • $15 check or money order
    • Completed driving records request form

No matter which method you choose, be prepared to verify your identity and pay the $15 record fee to the Department of Licensing. 

Why You May Need Your Driving Record

There are several common reasons why an individual may need to obtain a copy of their official driving record: Employment Purposes – Many employers, especially those hiring drivers, delivery personnel, or roles that require operating a vehicle, will want to view your driving record as part of the screening process. Insurance Rates – Your driving record factors into the calculation of your auto insurance rates. Insurers use the record to assess risk and determine appropriate pricing. Correcting Errors – Driving records can sometimes contain incorrect information. Obtaining an official copy allows you to identify and dispute any errors or inaccuracies. Court Cases – If you are involved in a traffic violation case or other legal matter, the court may require a copy of your driving transcript.

By understanding the different types of driving records available and how to obtain your own report, you can be prepared whenever the need arises for employment, insurance, legal matters, or simply maintaining accurate driving credentials in Washington state.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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Infraction Continuance

What is a Continuance for an Infraction?

There is a chance that we will need to ask for an infraction continuance for your case.

A “Continuance” is a motion to the court to request that a new court hearing date be set. Continuances are normal and have no negative impact on the outcome of your case. This rescheduling process is approved and processed through the court.

There are multiple reasons why a motion to continue may be filed.

Examples can include:

  • Court calendar scheduling conflicts.
  • Perhaps we are waiting for the complete documentation that we have requested to build the defense for your case.
  • Negotiation for an improved outcome.
  • Time needed to allow you to complete a step to address the needs that have come to light.

How Many Times?

The number of times a case may be continued, depends on the court that the case is assigned to. The Judge that is presiding may also have limits in place. In some situations motions to continue may be allowed multiple times for a case. In other situations they may only be allowed one time.

We file the appropriate documents to allow the court to reset the case to a new hearing date. The court will then have a new 120 days to hold a hearing for the traffic infraction.

Do I Need To Worry About Infraction Continuance?

No. The new court date will be placed on our calendar, and we will address the new hearing on your behalf.

We will confirm the outcome for your infraction has been recorded as agreed in the Court docket. You will be notified of the details by mail.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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Moving and Non Moving Violations

Moving Violations

There are many different moving violations that can affect your driving record. Moving Violations affect your record and can cause your insurance rates to go up. We will discuss a few at this time.

Personal Electronic Device

In June of 2017 the Washington State laws changed to make using your Personal Electronic Device a moving violation. For a first offense the fee is $136 and a a second offense will be $234.

Officers may pull you over if they see you holding your device in your hand while on the roadways, even if you are stopped at a traffic light.

A driver may use a personal electronic device if using it in a hands free manner. You may only start a function with a single touch or swipe if you are not holding your device.

Speeding

Speed limits are important to help with overall traffic safety and having an enforced speed limit reduces traffic collisions and fatalities.

There are multiple ways a driver could be caught for speeding. These include Radar, Lidar, Aircraft Patrol, Pacing your vehicle. In each instance documentation will be filed regarding the infraction, this is commonly referred to as the police report.

Accident tickets

Not all accidents result in an issuance of a traffic ticket.  Some common citations issued due to an accident include: speed too fast for conditions, improper lane change, failure to yield, failure to stop, following too close and negligent driving.

If a citation is issued regarding the accident it would appear in the infractions section of the motor vehicle record.

In Washington the report of an accident will appear on your driving record in the Accident Section.

Once hired, we would go to court for you and help fight the traffic ticket in court and try to keep the citation off of the infraction section of your driving record.  

Non Moving Violations

Non moving violations may be reported to the Department of Licensing. These may be visible to your insurance company, however would have less consequences to your record than a moving violation. These can include some of the items listed below.

Seat belt Violations

A seat belt violation may be visible on your driving record however it will not be visible for insurance companies to view. All occupants of a vehicle must wear appropriate restraints. Children are to be in approved child restraints as noted in the Rules of the Road.

Parking tickets

Parking tickets are assigned to the vehicle or the vehicle’s registered owner. Parking tickets do not affect your driving record, because you are not usually present when the the ticket is issued.

Camera tickets

Camera tickets or photo enforced tickets are issued to the registered owner of a vehicle that was caught on a camera committing an infraction.

These infractions do not go on your driving record. However if you do not address them in a timely manner they can cause you to not be able to renew your registration.

Our goal when we represent you is to protect your driving record. Since the red light camera tickets do not appear on your driving record, our advice would be to pay the fine or go to court and get the fine reduced.. 

How Can You Tell If it is Moving and Non Moving?

There is a list of moving violations and non moving violations on the Washington Administrative Code, also known as the WAC.

WAC 308.104.160 has this list.

This list is not exhaustive and some non moving violations can affect your record.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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Possible Infraction Outcomes

Possible Outcomes

There are many different outcomes that are possible for an infraction. Each one has different effects on your driving abstract or record. Some will appear in your abstract and some will not. Some may raise your insurance rates, because insurance plans are different the only way to truly know if your insurance rates are going to increase would be to talk with your car insurance agent.

We will discuss some of the main categories of these possible outcomes.

Dismissed

Our first goal to protect your driving record would be an outright Dismissal without cost to you.

This case will appear in the court dockets as having occurred, but the outcome is listed as dismissed. Thereby protecting your driving abstract or record.

Committed

This is when the Judge has ruled, despite all arguments, that the charges on your ticket are valid and is not willing to remove or amend the infraction in any way to protect the record.

Amended

Having a ticket amended means that although the Judge was unwilling to dismiss the ticket, they were agreeable to amend the infraction in a way to help reduce insurance consequences. With a procedural change of this manner the Judge will assess a court fee in relation to the new charge.

Deferred Finding

According to Washington State Legislature RCW 46.63.070 the court may grant deferred findings for a traffic infraction. However, the court also has the option of placing stipulations or conditions on that deferred finding and may assess additional court costs for administrative processing.

If at the end of the deferral period, you have met all of the conditions that the court has imposed, then the court may dismiss the infraction.

You are only allowed to use the deferral option one time within a seven year period for traffic infractions for moving violations.

Commercial Drivers License (CDL) operators are not eligible for a deferral.

Confirmed Outcome

We will notify you when we have confirmed that your outcome has been recorded correctly in your court docket.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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Ticket Mistakes and Myths

Ticket Mistakes and Myths

Ticket Mistakes happen. It is important to remember that  each citation is unique. Each ticket is addressed  in a manner that takes into account the appropriate City and County laws along with court rules and case law to determine the final outcome of the ticket.

Incorrect Information on the Ticket

It is a common misconception, that an error on the ticket will lead to an automatic dismissal of the ticket.  

Mistakes might include the incorrect make or model of the car, color of the vehicle, or the incorrect plate number being written on the ticket.

The court would usually not consider these mistakes as valid arguments for dismissal.

The judge may still decide that the citation was committed and the infraction would go on your driving record.

Some Myths to Avoid

Going with the flow of traffic and exceeding the posted speed limit, is still considered speeding.

In Washington State, the officer is not required to show you radar/lidar gun result.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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Failure to Appear for a Traffic Ticket

What is Failure to Appear?

If you do not respond to your Traffic Citation in a timely manner a Failure to Appear (FTA) will be added to your court file.

When you receive a traffic citation, you are required to respond to the court within 15 calendar days from the date of the infraction.

A failure to appear may make resolving your infraction more complicated. This depends on when the ticket was issued and which court has jurisdiction.

Failure to Appear Can Cause a License Suspension.

According to RCW 46.20.289.The Washington State Department of Licensing can suspend all driving privileges if they receive notice from the court that a person has:

  • Failed to respond to a traffic citation.
  • Failed to appear at a hearing.
  • Violated a written promise to appear in court for the infraction.

How Long is my License Suspended or Revoked?

Your license can be suspended until you pay the fine or comply with the requirement to appear in court.

Steps to Reinstate Your License.

  1. Once your failure to appear has been cleared with the court, they will issue a certificate of adjudication.
  2. After the court notifies DOL that your failure to appear has been cleared, DOL will update your driving record to show your license is not suspended or revoked any more.
  3. You will need to apply for a new license. You may need to pay a:
    • $75 reissue fee plus your licensing fees if the original charge wasn’t drug or alcohol related, or
    • $150 reissue fee plus your licensing fees if the original charge was drug or alcohol related.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

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Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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Infraction Traffic School

Infraction and Traffic School

Sometimes you may be asked to complete infraction traffic school to facilitate a favorable resolution of a traffic infraction. These requests may originate with the judge or prosecutor or the attorneys and are a way to negotiate a resolution.

Why Infraction Traffic School?

Depending on what has been negotiated, you may be asked to attend a specific class, may have the stipulation to attend the traffic school in person, sometimes, the requirement to complete traffic school can be completed online.

Level 1

A level 1 traffic school class is a 4 hour class will address safe driving practices.

Level 2

A level 2 traffic school class is a 8 hour class that will include safe driving practices, information regarding aggressive driving or road rage.

Completion

Upon completion of the traffic school you will receive a certificate to prove that you have met the requirements. This Certificate will be presented to the court.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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Ticket Terminology

Ticket Terminology

Ticket Terminology can be confusing. We are going to try to clear them up for you.

Traffic and Non Traffic Citations

A Traffic Ticket is related to a vehicle.

This might include Speeding, Fail to Obey Traffic Control Device, Fail to Renew Registration, Safety belt and more.

A Non Traffic Ticket that does not involve a vehicle.

This might include Jaywalking, noise violations, or other items.

Ticket Terminology Traffic Tickets? Let us talk about Moving Violation and Non Moving violation.  

Moving Violations affect your record and can cause your insurance rates to go up.

How Can You Tell If it is Non Moving or Moving?

There is a list of moving violations and non moving violations on the Washington Administrative Code, also known as the WAC.

WAC 308.104.160 has this list.

This list is not exhaustive and some non moving violations can affect your record.

Moving Violations

According to WAC 308-104-160 the term “moving violation” means any violation of vehicle laws listed in this section that is committed by the driver of a vehicle, while the vehicle is moving.

Non Moving Violations

Non-moving violation include Parking violations, equipment violations or paperwork violations relating to insurance, registration, licensing and inspection.

How do these affect your record?

There are different consequences to you and your record for each violation.

There are several factors to consider when addressing a ticket, do you:

  • Have a Commercial Drivers License?
  • Drive for work?
  • Have an Intermediate License?
  • What is the specific charge (reason for the ticket)?

A Moving Violation that is reported to the Department of License will appear on your Driving Abstract for 3 years.  It may affect your insurance rates and possibly your work.

A Non Moving Violation may be reported to the Department of License.  The consequences for a non moving violation are less than for a moving violation and may not affect your car insurance rates.  Each insurance company and policy is different.

For example: according to RCW 46.61.688 a person violating the safety belt law will be issued a traffic infraction.  If a committed finding is found for the safety belt violation it shall be reported on the driver’s abstract but shall not be available to insurance companies or employers.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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Negligent Driving 1st or 2nd Degree

Negligent Driving 1st Degree is a criminal misdemeanor charge.

According to the RCW 46.61.5249: A person is guilty of negligent driving in the first degree if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property, and exhibits the effects of having consumed liquor or marijuana or any drug or exhibits the effects of having inhaled or ingested any chemical, whether or not a legal substance, for its intoxicating or hallucinatory effects.

If convicted, a negligent driving in the 1st degree has a maximum penalty of:

  • 90 days in jail
  • $1000 penalty

A conviction of Negligent Driving 1st degree does not have a negative impact on the driver’s license and does not require a SR-22 filing.

There may be additional requirements, if there are prior convictions, including a conviction of DUI.

Ignition interlock license may be required by the Washington State Department of Licensing which include a requirement for an SR-22 filing.

Ignition interlock device may be required to be installed in your vehicle

Negligent Driving 2nd degree is a traffic infraction

It is considered a moving violation. It will have negative insurance consequences. This infraction is subject to a penalty of $550.00

According to RCW 46.61.525: A person is guilty of negligent driving in the second degree if, under circumstances not constituting negligent driving in the first degree, he or she operates a motor vehicle in a manner that is both negligent and endangers or is likely to endanger any person or property.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

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Speed Too Fast for Conditions

Speed Too Fast for Conditions, But I was not speeding.

A Speed Too Fast for Conditions infraction is in the same sub sections as speeding.  And while you might not have been speeding,  the “Condition” refers to being too close to the car in front of you to be able to stop before running into the back of that car.

This is a moving violation that will stay on your driving record for 3 years. It can cause your insurance rates to go up.

We Can Help with an Speed Too Fast for Conditions Ticket

We will go to court to fight the ticket for you. Our goal is to keep the citation, the moving violation, off of the infraction section of your driving record.  

In Washington the report of an accident will appear on your driving record in the Accident Section. We are not able remove an accident report.

I Don’t Want it on My Record…

Call the office to discuss the details and see if we can help you with an infraction like this.

There are many ways an experienced traffic attorney can fight your ticket for you.

Call us now

To ask additional questions or to hire an experienced attorney who has deep connections with the local legal system.

(425) 259 4972

Click Here To Learn More About Traffic Tickets.

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