I just got a photo ticket, what should I do now?
These are similar to parking tickets in that they do not go on your driving record. We generally do not handle these tickets; however, depending on cirumstances (CDL, employer issues, principal, numerous tickets) we may be able to assist you. Contact our office if you feel strongly about your photo ticket.
I just got a ticket, what should I do now?
Please see our "options for a ticket." It is our belief that you should, in most cases, contest the ticket to preserve your rights and options in each case. Although each person’s motivations and reasons are different, we can help. If after reviewing this site your question is still not answered, please call the office.
I haven't responded in time, what can I do now?
You technically need to respond within 15 days. Contact us immediately if this time has lapsed. There is additional paperwork we can file to explain your reasoning and attempt to get a contested hearing.
I want to contest a ticket, but I know I did it, should I still contest?
Yes, it preserves your rights. Just because you agree that you committed the infraction doesn’t necessarily mean you deserve a ticket. In every instance, the prosecution must prove that you committed the infraction. Just because you’re contesting does not mean that you have to testify, or that they can prove their case, so you should still contest. You can always change your mind and then mitigate or pay your ticket.
If I marked “mitigation” on the back of the ticket, can I still contest the ticket?
In the majority of cases, your ticket hearing can be changed to a contested hearing. Please let us know at the inception of representation and we can contact the court and have them change it to a contested hearing.
Do I need to appear at the court hearing?
When you are represented by an attorney, it really depends on the court, your possible testimony, whether it was an accident and/or whether you were subpoenaed by any party to appear. In most cases, for a simple speeding matter, it is not necessary to appear. However, in accident cases, Negligent Driving II and any unique case, it is best if the client appears. The real decision factor is a cost benefit analysis that each client will have to make. If it costs you more to miss work, school or some special occasion, then it probably is not necessary to appear. However, if you are available and want to see the process or be involved in your case, then by all means appear at your hearing. All we ask is that you inform our office, so that if we continue your court date, or are running late, we can inform you for proper timing.
Do I need an attorney to represent me with my ticket?
Not necessarily - this is an individual decision. By no means is it mandatory. Mitch Greene will give you that extra edge you may need on a procedural issue and you won't be bothered by having to request a hearing, wait in line, prepare your argument, communicate with the prosecutor, request witnesses to appear on your behalf, or appear in court. Our office takes care of everything and will keep you informed of the process along the way.
What’s the difference between mitigating and contesting?
Please see discussion in "options for a ticket."
If the court finds that I committed the infraction, what can I do now?
Sometimes you can still ask for a deferral, or within ten (10) days file a motion to reconsider. If you are at that stage, please contact our office. The last option is to appeal, which must be done within thirty (30) days from the hearing date. Please see "Appeals" in the "About Us" page.
Now that I have been advised of the dismissal of a ticket, do I need to do anything more?
No. If your matter was dismissed the court will reflect that in their docketing system and the matter will not appear on your DOL record. If there were certain conditions that you needed to meet for the dismissal, then you obviously need to make sure those conditions are met.
Which courts does Mitch Greene routinely handle?
Mitch Greene regularly attends courts in King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties. Mitch Greene also occasionally attends courts in Eastern Washington. If you have a question regarding whether we handle a court, please just give us a call or send us an email. If we do not handle a court, we know who does and can refer with confidence.
Options for how to respond to a ticket:
1. Pay the ticket – This is the worst decision because it means that the infraction will appear on your driving record and your employer and insurance company will have the ability to see it for the next three years, which could adversely affect employment and cost of insurance. Additionally, you will be paying the full price of the ticket.
2. Mitigation – This is the second worst decision because this ticket will appear on your record as well. However, the fine associated with the ticket may be reduced at the discretion of the judge. This may be a viable option if it is a non-moving infraction and you don’t care that it will appear on your record. However, monetary penalties associated with certain tickets cannot be reduced; i.e. school zone infractions, and certain judges do not reduce any tickets in mitigation hearings.
3. Contesting – This is the best decision you could make because it preserves all of your rights! You can always choose any of the other options once you have contested the infraction; although, the same can’t be said if you were to pay the ticket. These can be done in person or sometimes by mail. The results/options are as follows:
a. Winning the ticket.
b. Deferral (see paragraph 4 below).
c. Traffic School - some courts will dismiss the infraction upon completion with costs.
d. Stipulated Order of Continuance ("SOC"). Similar to a deferral, sometimes called an informal deferral. Allows you to keep the ticket off your record if you fulfill conditions while having already used, or not used, your deferral, there are costs associated.
e. Amendments - these are usually where prosecutors are present and we reach an agreement to amend the matter to something that will either not appear on your record or is a non-moving violation and therefore will not affect you; however, again there are costs associated with entering into such resolutions. Examples would be amending to a seatbelt or tabs violation.
4. Deferral – A deferral is a once in seven (7) year option for both a moving and non-moving violation. If you are willing to pay court costs of $100-150 and maintain a clean driving record from the date of the hearing until 4-12 months after the hearing, and you comply with the conditions set by the court, the matter will never appear on your driving record and will be dismissed. However, the deal is, if you obtain another ticket during the deferral period and that matter stays on your record, you lose the original deferral and have to pay the original fine on the ticket to the court. As a result, I would caution against this, because each court is different and has different eligibility requirements and conditions. It is probably best to use this option sparingly.
What are the costs associated with entering into a resolution?
Each court, prossecutor and case is different; however, if there is a resolution other than (a)Winning the ticket, listed above, there will be an additional cost associated with entering into this resolution. In some courts it is the face value of the ticket, in some courts it is the face value plus $25 for the pleasure of the prosecutor allowing such a resolution if you have a clean record and an additional $50 per existing case on your case history and in some courts it can be the maximum potential fine for the amended infraction that go as high as an additional $550. Again, these are determined case by case and the general range is anywhere from $45-250.
What are pre-hearing conferences?
The main courts that use this option are: Seattle Municipal, Kent Municipal and Des Moines Municipal. These are the pre-dates before the contested date. They are scheduled to allow the court and prosecutor to minimize the cases that go to trial by resolving them early at the pre-hearing. The usual resolution is mitigation or deferral, which is why we waive this hearing and set the matters for contested hearings. This gives us an opportunity to review the case more fully and then reach a resolution at the contested hearing if necessary.
Do you handle ticket appeals?
No. We can refer you to another attorney who may be able to help you.
What is a moving violation?
Technically, it is any violation of the law committed by the driver of a vehicle while it is in motion. This does not include parking violations, equipment violations relating to the use of seatbelts, cell phones and paperwork violations relating to tabs, insurance, etc.WAC-movimg violations defined
Speeding in Seattle
P. O. Box 88139
Seattle, Washington 98138
Phone: (206) 760-9822
Fax: (206) 721-8093
Please contact us through our contact form or fill out our Ticket Packet.