Minor traffic or motor vehicle offenses are decriminalized into a system of civil infractions.
A person has 3 options when he/she receives an infraction:
Admit, by mailing in the amount on the ticket; or
Admit the violation, but request that the penalty be reduced in a mitigation hearing or
Contest the ticket by requesting a court date or by filling out the contested by mail paperwork and submitting it to the court.
A Defendant must appear for a contested hearing. A person also has the right to ask the Judge for a deferred finding. The clerks do not have the authority to offer a deferred finding.
Deferred Findings Program
To qualify for the Deferred Findings program, you must pay a non-refundable administrative fee and not commit another infraction for 6 months. Certain violations cannot be deferred, and anyone with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) is not eligible.
The court holds your infraction for 6 months. If you pay court costs as promised and do not commit another infraction for 6 months, the infraction will be dismissed and will not appear on your driving record.
Failure to pay and/or receiving any additional infractions during the next 6 months will cause this ticket to be reported to the Washington Department of Licensing.
You can only defer 1 moving and 1 non-moving infraction once during a 7 year period.
If you are an out-of-state driver, you must provide a copy of your driving record to the court prior to the 6 months ending. Notice will be sent to you to remind you of this. The court can not check an out-of-state driver's record. Washington drivers do not need to do this as the court can review your driving record.