Most people go with the most straightforward option when issued a minor ticket, which is to pay the fine. On the back of the ticket you can find the exact amount that has to be paid along with the exact traffic code that you violated. Once you pay the fine, you have irrevocably declared your guilt of the stated offense. The Department of Licensing will be notified and this violation will now remain on your driving record for five years. Even the most minor traffic infractions can accumulate over time and ruin your driving record. Eventually they lead to increased insurance premiums, inability to find employment, huge fines, and suspension of driver's license. Some violations qualify as criminal offenses and are associated with correspondingly stricter penalties like criminal record and sometimes even a jail stay.
If you decide to contest the ticket, you will have to ask for a Contested Hearing within fifteen days from the court listed on the backside of your ticket. If this deadline is missed then you will have to admit your guilt at a Mitigation Hearing and you will not be allowed to fight the ticket.
A Washington traffic attorney can assist you in getting your traffic ticket dismissed and record cleared. It is important to ensure that your attorney has experience contesting traffic tickets in Washington state court. The attorney will prepare your defense in the best possible manner as he knows the law and legal issues that are relevant to each case. He or she will also carry out the needed investigations to gather evidence and witnesses. An attorney is allowed by Washington state law to appear on your behalf for non-criminal offense. Hence you will be able to save your time.
If during the hearing, the judge decides that you are guilty of the stated offense, you will be given a right to appeal. You can avail this by filing a Notice of Appeal within thirty days. Your attorney can also obtain a settlement ensuring that the ticket will not appear on your record. This can be in the form of periods of probation that end with dismissal and completion of a traffic safety program.