Infractions & Requesting a Hearing
Infractions - What They Are
Infractions are citations (tickets) received from local law enforcement agencies for offenses such as speeding, failure to have liability insurance, and seat belt violations. The District Court may impose a penalty, but may not commit the defendant to jail.
Regulations Regarding Infractions
A defendant has 15 days to pay the infraction or request a hearing. If the defendant fails to respond, the District Court assesses a late penalty of $52 and notifies the Department of Licensing (DOL). Upon notice from the District Court, DOL gives the defendant 45 days to resolve the infraction. If the defendant does not pay the penalty in full or arrange for a time payment plan, DOL suspends the driver's license of the defendant. Infractions that are not paid are referred to a collection agency. Additional costs will be assessed by the collection company.
Requesting a Hearing
A defendant may request an infraction hearing (mitigation or contested) online or by checking the appropriate box on the back of the green copy of the ticket that is provided to the defendant by the officer. A hearing may also be requested by appearing at the public counter of the Court's Operations Division (CCB) (930 Tacoma Avenue South, Room 239) to have a date assigned. The hearing request must be made within 15 days of the date of violation.
- Mitigation Hearings - A mitigation hearing is one to determine whether there were mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of the infraction in order to decide whether a reduction in the penalty will be granted. When this type of hearing is requested the infraction will appear on the defendant's driving record. No appeal is allowed from a mitigation hearing.
- Contested Hearings - A contested hearing is one to determine whether the defendant committed the infraction. A defendant may subpoena the officer to appear for a contested hearing, but must do so 15 court days before the scheduled hearing. The Court issues the subpoena, but the defendant has the responsibility to serve the officer and file a return of service with the Court on or before the date of the hearing. If the officer is not subpoenaed the Court will determine the facts of the case from the officer's sworn affidavit on the infraction. A defendant may appeal the judgment entered after a contested hearing.