Friday, April 17, 2009

Getting Out of a Traffic Ticket

In my lifetime, I have received my fair share of traffic tickets. I have dodged some, and paid dearly for others. Below are some tips to minimize the consequences of getting a traffic ticket:

*Take these tips at face value, I am not a lawyer*

1. Show respect to the officer when pulled over- The initial issuing of the ticket is ultimately at the discretion of the officer. He might let you off with a warning if you don't make his day more difficult.

2. Contact the Court Clerk or Prosecuting Attorney- If you can get on good terms with these people, they might be able to come to agreement or settle outside of court, usually with traffic school or some kind of probation.

3. In Washington request for Deferred Findings- If you have a clean record, and are a responsible driver, deferred findings will place you on a probation for a year. If you don't have any other citations in that year, the charges will be dismissed without appearing on your driving record after the $150 administration fee is paid. Deferred findings can only be administered once every 7 years.

4. See the Judge - By checking the "mitigation" box you can go see the judge, and humbly ask for a fine reduction or to have the violation not reflect on your record.

5. Fight it, if you can - If you have any kind of case against the ticket, fight it. If the officer doesn't show up to court the case will be dismissed.

Anytime you are dealing with law enforcement or the courts, it's imperative to be polite and respectful. Arguing with a judge or a police officer is just asking for more trouble.

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