Seattle Traffic Lawyer | Three Speeding Ticket Options

Almost every one of us has been pulled over for speeding or breaking some other traffic law at some point in our lives. Me personally? I've been pulled over a couple times for speeding (though I was never issued a ticket) and one time for failing to yield to traffic (there was no accident but it was a busy intersection and the cop was pissed - but no infraction issued there either). And when that time comes, people are usually more annoyed than anything. Speeding tickets are expensive. Speeding tickets can be time consuming. And there is always that threat that a speeding ticket will significantly increase your car insurance.

But, all is not lost. If you do get pulled over for speeding in Seattle or for some other traffic infraction, all is not lost. There are options out there for beating your speeding ticket, number one of which is hiring a Seattle traffic lawyer. But before you even get to the part about beating your speeding ticket, you have to make a decision about how to proceed with your ticket.

Generally, there are three ways to contest your ticket: admit that it is committed and pay the fine; request a mitigation hearing; and contest the ticket (there is a fourth option, which is writing in to contest your ticket, but in my opinion your explanation is going to be given the weight of the paper it's written on). With each of three options comes benefits and drawbacks. Today I'm just going to discuss them and let you decide what you should do.

First we have admit the Seattle speeding ticket was committed and pay the fine. Is it okay to say this is about the dumbest thing you could do? There is no reason to ever pick this option. It has no benefits. All this does is make the city or county rich because you didn't have the guts to fight your ticket. And, to boot, you have the record of the speeding ticket on your driving record, potentially increasing your insurance premiums. In a way, this could be the Seattle speeding ticket that just keeps on giving.

Needless to say, you should probably never, under any circumstances, check this box and send in your traffic infraction.

Next up we have mitigation. If you didn't know, mitigation, by its definition, is the act of reducing something from its current size. In this case a mitigation hearing is designed to give you the opportunity to lower the size of your current traffic infraction fine. The only problem? The infraction remains on your record as is, so if you were cited for speeding, you will have a speeding ticket on your driving record for a few years. The only good thing about this? Maybe you get your fine knocked down $20 bucks from what it was - some benefit.

If you couldn't tell, I'm not a big fan of mitigation hearings either. The way I see it, the state should at least have to earn their money from me or my clients. I'm not just going to give it away. So, while mitigation looks pretty appealing, in the end, it is usually just a waste of time (and, by the way, you can usually turn your contested hearing into a mitigation hearing if things are looking well).

Finally, the coup de gras - the contested speeding ticket hearing. If you have received a Seattle speeding ticket, this is the only route to take. Not only will the judge usually mitigate if you end up losing, but you have every chance of actually beating your speeding ticket, meaning no fine and no increased insurance premiums.

But there is a catch. You can't just walk into your contested hearing, say hi, and get your traffic infraction case dismissed. You have to have a reason for asking for a dismissal. And, maybe if you see something obvious, you can do it yourself. But more often than not, you will not have any clue what to look for, where the weak point of a case are, or how to approach the prosecutor or the officer (if necessary) to get your point across. And, not to blatantly advertise for my services here, that is why you need a Seattle speeding ticket attorney working for you to help you spot those issues, present them in the best manner to the judge, and get your speeding ticket dismissed.

Now, this is not to say that you can't do it on your own. People do it every day. I'm only saying that your chances of success increase exponentially when you have someone as experienced and practiced in traffic law as the state does on its side (which, by the way, even if there is no prosecutor there, the judge is working on the state's side).

In the end, if you do get popped with a Seattle speeding ticket it isn't the end of the world. Eventually your insurance premiums will go down, and eventually your driving record will clear up. But if you want to keep it clean entirely, read the Seattle Traffic Lawyer Blog and hire a Seattle traffic attorney.

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