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Traffic Ticket in Pierce County? Here’s What To Do

Posted Thursday, July 18, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

I regularly represent folks who have received speeding and other traffic tickets in the Tacoma and unincorporated Pierce County area. This is an active area for law enforcement to regularly stop drivers and issue tickets for speeding, failure to stop, not using a signal, negligent driving, etc.

When issued a ticket in Pierce County, make sure to check the “Contested Hearings” box and mail the original ticket back to the court within 15 days after making a copy of the front. The court will then schedule a hearing and notify you and counsel of the hearing date and time. Remember that you do not need to appear for this hearing since counsel can appear for you.

Tickets issued in Pierce County should be mailed to:Pierce County District CourtCivil-Infraction Division930 Tacoma Ave S Room 239Tacoma WA 98402

Pierce County normally sets their Contested Hearings calendar for mornings at either 9:00 am or 10:00 am at the Tacoma courthouse.

The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office normally does not send a prosecutor to represent the state in Contested Hearings for traffic tickets. This means there is no one to respond to the various motions to dismiss the ticket we make before the judge, which is beneficial because the judge has to rule on the motion without the prosecutor responding with a counter argument.

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Traffic Tickets in Snohomish County

Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

If you have been cited for a traffic infraction in Snohomish County, your ticket will be filed in one of four courts currently used for traffic (and criminal) matters. Here are the four courts currently used by Snohomish County:

Cascade Division415 E. BurkeArlington, WA 98223

Evergreen Division14414 179th Ave. SEMonroe, WA 98272-0625

South Division20520 68th Avenue W.Lynnwood, WA 98036-7406

Everett Division3000 Rockefeller Ave. Everett, WA 98201-4046

The specific court your ticket will be filed in will appear on the citation and this is where you need to mail the ticket to. However, your appearance is not necessary if you have an attorney represent you.

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Why Fight a Traffic Ticket? Here is Why….

Posted Monday, July 8, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

When you are driving down the highway and suddenly see those lights flash in your rearview mirror, most of us feel the blood rushing to our face and nerves tied in knots. And if given a ticket, it’s critical to handle it properly or else you could face higher insurance rates and potentially a license suspension. But many people do not know how to fight a ticket, or feel the cost of hiring an attorney is not worth it. Unfortunately, many folks opt to pay the fine and move on.

When you pay your ticket, you agree that you were in violation of the law and accept all the consequences. Traffic tickets are reported to the Washington DOL when paid and end up on your driver’s record. This can cause your insurance rates to go up at renewal time or for too many tickets a non-renewal decision by your insurer.

But can traffic tickets affect your ability to find a job in Washington?

In Washington state, DOL maintains a record for every driver with an active driver’s license. Your driving record is also a record of every interaction you have had as a driver including law enforcement, your personal information, car collisions you’ve been involved in, the status of your driver’s license and any suspensions or disqualifications on your record.

Traffic tickets can and will cause a rise in the premiums you pay for car insurance. A single ticket can cause many to see a rise in their premiums, even if you have a good record. In Washington, a traffic ticket remains on your record for 3 years for insurance purposes. This means those rate increases will be around for a while.

How Traffic Tickets Effect Your Driving Record

Every time a change is made to your driving record, this is essentially a recording that remains with you and includes all “committed” findings and fine payments. When you pay any fines, you are pleading guilty to the violation you were cited for. Moving violations are recorded and appear on your driving record, which can then be seen by any law enforcement officials, insurance agencies and anyone conducting a background check. For many good drivers, just one traffic violation is often enough to raise rates or lose any “good driver” discount.

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Jail Sentence? There are Options

Posted Friday, July 5, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

Convictions for Driving Under the Influence carry mandatory jail time in Washington State and there is always the possibility that you will be ordered to serve jail or some alternative to jail for any criminal conviction. Here are some other “jail alternatives” available and used by most courts:

WORK RELEASE

Work release is an alternative to jail that allows you to go to work at your job during the day then return to the corrections facility at night. This requires screening by your local corrections facility to participate in the program and a fee will be assessed for use of the facility. Both King County and Snohomish Counties require a certain minimum sentence before you become eligible for the work release program.

ELECTRONIC HOME MONITORING

Electronic home monitoring (EHM) allows you to serve your jail commitment in your home. EHM allows you to go to work and any treatment programs, but you must be in your home at all other times. The cost for this service varies but can be between $15-$25 per day. EHM is set up and monitored by the county, city jail or private company, depending upon where you are serving your EHM commitment.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Community service is an excellent way to both meet any court obligations and also serve the community. Most courts allow someone to find a non-profit agency at which to volunteer. After completing these hours, you need to provide proof on the organization’s letterhead.

DIFFERENT JAILS

Many judges will allow you to serve your sentence at another jail facility at your own expense upon your request. Many of these facilities are much better than the county jail and only house misdemeanor offenders. Some jails such as the Issaquah facility charge a per-day fee to serve time there but it’s usually worth it over the county jails.

I have found most courts receptive to requests to serve any jail time through an alternative or simply at a different jail facility because it both saves the city and county money and allows judges to tailor punishments to the individual. It’s important to ask at sentencing for these various alternatives to jail.

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“Deadliest Catch” Case Dismissed

Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2019 by Andrew Charles Huff

A great outcome for my client Captain Sig Hansen of the show “Deadliest Catch” as a judge dismissed a case of assault in Seattle Municipal Court today. Under the terms of an agreement we drafted last year, Sig completed specific conditions for the court including performing community service hours. The end was result was a full and complete dismissal of his case.

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