FreQuently asked questions
Traffic Ticket Overview
WHAT IS A TRAFFIC INFRACTION?
Also referred to as a "ticket", a traffic infraction is a civil penalty brought by Municipal and State prosecuting agencies against defendants, involving their use and operation of automobiles. Traffic infractions are classified as “non-moving” or “moving violations. Generally, only moving violations affect the defendant’s driving record.
What iS a contested hearing?
If a defendant is served with a traffic infraction, they may challenge the validity of the officer's affidavit by requesting a contested hearing. At the hearing, a defendant or their attorney may negotiate with the prosecutor and/or present evidence to the court.
What is a mitigation hearing?
Another option for the defendant is to mitigate their traffic infraction. This option is not a recommended since the defendant appears at a mitigation hearing and automatically accepts the infraction to be found committed on their driving record. The defendant may provide the Judge with mitigating circumstances in exchange for a reduction in the penalty.
What should i do if i am pulled over by police?
It is imperative to be polite and respectful to the police officer. Unfortunately, you are their mercy when stopped. Police officers have discretion to cite a driver with a traffic infraction or potentially issue a warning. It is important that you never make an admission to the police officer. Do not say "I was speeding a little" or "you got me". These statements can be used against you in Court. Always remember that you have a Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions regarding the investigated infraction. However, you have a duty to identify yourself and provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance.
HOw do i prevent a traffic infraction from affecting my driving record and increasing my insurance?
A defendant who appears "pro se" (without legal representation from an attorney) is faced with an exponential disadvantage. Prosecuting attorneys are familiar with the court rules and applicable laws. Attorney Kevin is highly-qualified to represent you in your traffic infraction. As a former King County Deputy Prosecutor who specialized in traffic infractions, he has the skills and knowledge that you can use to help prevent the infraction from affecting your driving record. By hiring Attorney Kevin, your presence in court will be waived.
the criminal COurt Process
What is an Arraignment?
The first court appearance in the criminal process. Defendants are informed of their rights, maximum and minimum penalties of the charge(s) they are facing, and will enter a plea of not guilty. Depending on their prior history and the facts of their police report, the Court may impose bail in order to take the defendant in to custody.
What is a Pre Trial?
A hearing or number of hearings that follow the arraignment. At a pre trial, the defendant may continue for further negotiations and investigation, accept a plea bargain, or set their case for trial if the prosecution is unwilling to dismiss their case.
What is a Jury Call/Readiness?
A hearing preceeds a jury trial. The prosecution and defense must answer whether they are prepared to proceed to trial.
What is a Jury Trial?
A jury trial can last anywhere from one to two days. A jury is impaneled through a thorough selection process called voir dire. Both the prosecution and defense make opening statements, admit evidence, question witnesses, and make closing statements. The jury makes a final determination as to whether a defendant is guilty of the charges.
What is Sentencing?
This hearing occurs after a plea or a jury trial that resulted in a guilty conviction.
What is a Review?
A review hearing occurs after a defendant has been sentenced. If a defendant violates any terms of their probation, then they will summoned to appear for a review.