The first thing you should do is order a copy of your driving record from the Department of Licensing. You can do this online by visiting www.dol.wa.gov It is a good idea to get a copy of your driving record because it will give you a realistic appreciation for your driving history. The lack of a history may be beneficial to you in court. If you have a long and bad driving record, be prepared for the worst. The judge or the commissioner will have a copy of your record.
Should I request that the trooper or officer be subpoenaed for court?
This could be a good strategy. If the officer or trooper fails to appear in court, you may ask the court to dismiss the traffic infraction. In most cases, the dismissal will probably be granted…but it is the judge’s/commissioner’s discretion. Police officers are very busy and may not have time to appear in court to deal with a minor traffic ticket. If you were pulled over in the middle of the night, there is a high probability that the officer sleeps during the day, which is when the hearings are scheduled. An officer may not want to give up his sleep time to testify in a minor traffic case. However, there are police officers that are very dedicated to their jobs and will appear in court no matter the time or the case.
Are there any other “tricks” to getting a ticket dismissed?
Yes, there are many ways to get your ticket dismissed. For example, if you were caught speeding by use of a radar gun, you can demand that the prosecutor/police prove that the radar equipment was tested recently and found to be in accurate working order. If such proof cannot be provided, you may ask for your ticket to be dismissed. In general, however, the many ways to get your ticket dismissed involve a deep understanding of the rules and laws. If your intent is to use a technicality to get your ticket dismissed, I recommend you contact an attorney who specializes in fighting traffic tickets.
How much do attorneys charge to fight traffic tickets?
In general, these specialist attorneys charge anywhere from $300 – $500, inclusive of all costs and expenses. The fee depends on the attorney’s experience and the volume of cases he/she handles. To some people, the legal fees are well worth it. Others prefer to try and save money and fight their ticket on their own. This is a matter of choice. If you do decide to hire an attorney, select one that has experience fighting in traffic court. A fancy corporate lawyer from a big law firm likely won’t have the necessary experience and knowledge to successfully represent you in traffic court. Such a lawyer is also unlikely to want to handle such a minor case.