Everything you Need to Know About your Seattle Traffic Ticket
Standard of Proof for a Seattle Traffic Ticket
In Washington State, traffic law violations could be criminal or civil. For civil traffic infractions, the penalties are monetary and the defendant will not face jail time.
This website and its contents are designed for a civil Seattle traffic ticket.
Since civil infractions are less severe than criminal law violations, the standard of proof for the government to meet is a lot lower. For criminal infractions the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” It is a very high burden for the government to meet in order to convict a defendant.
For civil infractions, on the other hand, the standard of proof is “preponderance of the evidence.” It is commonly interpreted to mean that more than 50% of the evidence weighs against the defendant. It does not have to be much more than 50%. Another way to describe the “preponderance of the evidence standard is to apply the “more likely than not.” Is it more likely than not that the defendant committed the traffic infraction.
Many drivers who attempt to contest their Seattle traffic tickets without the help of a Seattle traffic lawyer, quickly get a hard lesson that it does not take much for the prosecutor to meet the preponderance of the evidence test. It is very simple for you to lose your case if you attempt to handle your Seattle traffic ticket without the help of a Seattle speeding ticket lawyer. If the officer’s report says he saw you driving at a certain speed, then the court will find that you were driving at that speed. It will not matter what your speedometer read, that you think the officer could not have seen you, or that your grandma testifies that you never drive above the speed limit.
Driver who decide to contest their Seattle traffic tickets without the help of a skillful Seattle traffic lawyer think that if it is their word against the officer’s, it will not be enough for the government to meet their burden of proof. That is very inaccurate. The officer does not have to provide any independent proof of your traffic violation. His observation of the violation will suffice.
Your chances of winning your contesting hearing will increase dramatically with the help of a Seattle traffic lawyer. Our initial consultations are free and we will put our experience to use for you!
CALL OUR SEATTLE TRAFFIC LAWYER AT (206) 409-7608
The Actual Cost of a Traffic Ticket in Seattle
“Why should I pay you to handle a Seattle traffic ticket that is $124?”
Most of our clients already know that our fee is minimal compared to what the $124 ticket will cost them in the long run. But for those who do not understand the real cost of a Seattle traffic ticket, let us explain.
First, there is the fine that is on the face of your traffic ticket. In our example above, we used a $124 fine, so let us go along with that example. Although, let us tell you, there are many traffic infractions that will cost you a lot more than that. A ticket for no insurance will run $550. If your traffic ticket is in a school zone or a construction zone, your fine will double. If your traffic ticket is more than our attorney for civil traffic infractions, than you can already see that is it worth to retain a Seattle ticket lawyer to fight your ticket. But let us continue with the $124 traffic ticket example.
When you agree to pay your traffic ticket you tell the court “yes, I committed the traffic violation.” Unfortunately, you do not get to deny the violation but agree to pay the fine. So once you pay the traffic ticket, the traffic violation appears on your driving record. A moving civil traffic infraction will remain on your driving record for three years. Again, we are talking about civil traffic violations here, not criminal. Your insurance company bases your insurance premium (your insurance rate) on several factors. The most important factor is your driving record. According to Forbes.com, a single traffic ticket can increase your insurance premiums by up to 22%.
Let us assume that your insurance payments were $100 per month before you received the traffic ticket. According to the study mentioned above, your monthly payment after the traffic ticket will be $122. At $22 dollars per month, by the time the traffic ticket is off your driving record after 3 years, you will pay $792 dollars more for your insurance. You add the $124 fine that you paid for your traffic ticket and the $792 you will pay more for your insurance for the next three years, and the total cost for the traffic ticket so far is $916. Do you see why it is important to hire a Seattle speeding ticket lawyer to help you fight your traffic ticket?
Washington State does not use a point system. However, your civil moving traffic violations can still result in a license suspension. If you receive six moving violations within 12-month period, the Department of Licensing will suspend your license for 60-days. With five moving violations within 24-month period, or four moving violations within 12-month period, the DOL will put you on probation for one-year.
If, during that 1-year probation period you receive two moving violations your license will be suspended for 30-days. And it all goes downhill from there if you continue to receive additional tickets.
Importance of Retaining a Seattle Traffic Lawyer
As you can tell from our discussion above, a Seattle traffic ticket cost is a lot more than the dollar figure you see on the front of the traffic ticket. Seattle traffic tickets are very profitable for the legal system and for the insurance industry. If you ask any Seattle traffic lawyer, the advice will be the same: fight your traffic ticket! The attorney fee that you pay for your traffic ticket attorney is well worth keeping the ticket off your driving record.
DO NOT PAY YOUR SEATTLE TRAFFIC TICKET, CALL A SEATTLE TRAFFIC LAWYER TODAY AT (206) 409-7608
Seattle Traffic Ticket Lawyer in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties
Traffic Defense Law Firm defends traffic infractions throughout King County and in parts of Snohomish and Pierce Counties. We have offices in Bellevue and Seattle. Traffic infractions do not typically come with disputed facts. Many of our clients will admit to the officers report. So there are no required office visits to meet with our Seattle traffic ticket lawyer. We will call you if we have any questions about something. Or you can always call us if you have a question. But typically, with traffic infractions, the facts are straightforward.
In King County, our legal services extend to Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Mercer Island, Issaquah, Auburn, and Kent. In Snohomish County, we help people in Everett, Lynnwood, and Bothell. We also help people in Tacoma and Gig Harbor. We also handle traffic matters in Grant County, Ellensburg, Franklin County and Spokane.