If you received a traffic ticket, you have been charged with a traffic infraction. Before you call the court, please carefully read the entire front and back (if applicable) of the infraction for instructions. You must respond within 15 days of the date of the infraction by doing one of the following:
- Pay the fine in full.
- Set up a payment plan as outlined in Payment Options .
- Submit a hearing request by mail or appear in person at the front counter. Mitigation and Contested hearings are typically held on Monday mornings.
- Request a Contested Hearing to challenge the infraction.
- Request a Mitigation Hearing to explain the circumstances surrounding the infraction. Infractions for speeding in school/construction/emergency zone, failing to yield to emergency vehicle, or passing a stopped school bus cannot be mitigated.
- Hearing by mail. Complete the Written Statement for Decision on Infraction form and return it to the Court along with any supporting documentation. The Judge will review your statement and make a ruling. Please note that if the decision of the Judge is the infraction was committed, that decision cannot be appealed.
Failure to respond within 15 days will result in a $52 penalty. Unpaid balances will be reported to a collection agency and to Department of Licensing to suspend your license. Any conviction and/or failure to appear become a part of your driving record.
The infraction is issued to the registered owner of the vehicle. In addition to the same three response options listed above, the registered owner has a fourth option available to file a Sworn Affidavit that the driver was not operating the vehicle at the time of the infraction. You can view the video online (city code=LAKEWD). Photo infractions do not go on your driving record. Contested photo hearings are typically held on Wednesday afternoons except during jury week. Failure to respond within 15 days will result in the infraction being assigned to a collection agency. A vehicle with two or more unpaid violations will result in a hold on the vehicle registration tabs.
A deferred finding is not an option for speeding in school or construction zones; passing a stopped school bus; emergency zone violations; CDL drivers CDL or drivers driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation.
A deferred finding is available once every seven years in the State of Washington for both moving and non-moving violations. If you are eligible, you have to comply with the following to have the violation dismissed:
- Pay the original fine amount as agreed.
- Have no moving or similar violations for six months from the date of entry of the deferred finding.
*It is extremely important that you maintain a current address with the court at all times*