Deana Wright (253) 512-2258 • Fax (253) 512-2267 • CityCourt@cityoflakewood.us
Court Administrator

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NEW Distracted Driving Law

 

General

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:

  1. Pay the fine in full.
  2. Set up a payment plan as outlined in Payment Options .
  3. 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 and/or request a reduction in the fine. Infractions for speeding in school/construction/emergency zone, failing to yield to emergency vehicle, or passing a stopped school bus cannot be mitigated or reduced.
  4. Hearing by mail. Complete the Infraction Written Statement 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.

Some charges may be eligible for reduction . 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.

Deferred Finding

A deferred finding is available once every seven years in the State of Washington for both a moving and a non-moving violation. If you have a commercial driver license (CDL) or were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation you will not be eligible.  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.

Photo Ticket

General – The infraction is issued to the first listed owner on the vehicle registration. Liability cannot be transferred from one party to another, except rental agencies. You can view the video online (city code=LAKEWD). Photo infractions do not go on your driving record. Photo hearings are typically held on the last Wednesday of the month in the afternoon.

Responding – In addition to the options listed above, an owner may overcome presumption of liability by completing a Declaration of Non-Responsibility if one of the following applies:

PERSONAL VEHICLES
  • The first listed registered owner was not the driver at the time of the infraction.
  • The vehicle was stolen or sold prior to the date of the infraction.
NON-RENTAL BUSINESS VEHICLES
  • The vehicle was in the care or custody of someone who is not an employee of the business.
  • The vehicle was stolen or sold prior to the date of the infraction.
RENTAL CAR BUSINESS
  • Nominations of responsible party must be submitted to 9401 Lakewood DR SW, Lakewood, WA 98499, Attn: Photo Enforcement within 18 days.
  • 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.

Red Light Violation – These can be contested or mitigated. The City Council has reduced the photo enforced fine to $101 compared to $136 if you were stopped by an officer.

Speeding in School Zone – These can only be contested. If found committed the Court may not waive, reduce, or suspend [defer] the penalty for school zone infractions by statute. Please note the fine has already been reduced below the usual fine. For example, if you had been stopped by an officer for speeding in a school zone the normal fine would be:

$214 for 01-05 over limit         $480 for 21-25 over limit

$234 for 06-10 over limit         $583 for 26-30 over limit

$296 for 11-15 over limit         $685 for 31-35 over limit

$378 for 16-20 over limit         $808 for 36+ over limit