Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney

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Posts made in December, 2016

By on Dec 16, 2016 in Civil, Communication, Court, Department of Licensing, Misconduct, Procedure, Public Records, Traffic Ticket | 0 comments

I recently wrapped up an interesting situation with a traffic ticket. It’s a good snapshot into some of the issues that come up when working with my clients. The client hired me to contest a speeding ticket which is of course something I do. Like most of my clients with moving violations, the goal was to minimize fines and eliminate the impact to insurance. Speeding tickets bump up insurance premiums for three years, plus getting enough tickets in a period of time can result in having your license suspended. No one’s going to jail for a traffic ticket, but there are still consequences beyond the fine. Whenever I’m hired to contest a ticket, the first thing I do is let the courts and prosecutors know I’m the lawyer on the case and request the full report from the issuing officer. The paper ticket a driver receives on the side of the road is not the only thing generated by the traffic stop. I always ask the prosecutor to provide the additional narrative report issued by the officer. If they can’t, or won’t, I’ll be able to have the ticket thrown out every time. In Washington there’s no rule that an issuing officer has to appear in court if you contest your ticket. Instead the police report, the full one, is offered into evidence. Of course the officer can show up, but especially in the major urban areas, they don’t unless they’re formally subpoenaed. So the court relies on the written narrative. This has pros and cons for the driver. Without an officer present, whatever that report says is what the prosecutor is stuck with. If the reports are solid, they’re admitted into evidence and there’s no person to cross-examine. But if they’re faulty, there’s no one to fill in the missing pieces. There are foundational requirements for every kind of ticket, stuff that needs to be in there before a driver will actually have to pay. These are things like talking about the radar guns being in proper working order, making sure a measurement based on pacing was for the correct length of time, making sure that an officer who tags someone for a carpool violation actually says the driver was the only occupant, etc. These things are somewhat technical,...

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The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters in which results and testimonials have been provided. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.