How To Fight A Speeding Ticket In Washington State

How To Fight A Speeding Ticket In Washington State

Speeding tickets are annoying; they disrupt your daily routine and can lead to severe consequences. It is important to avoid them but sometimes there is nothing you can do, even if you were in the right. However, some people don’t realize that speeding tickets can be withdrawn relatively easily. This is because the standard of proof for civil traffic infractions is lower than it is for criminal law violations. For civil traffic infractions, the standard of proof is “preponderance of the evidence” which is considerably lower than the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard required in criminal cases.

Like most states, Washington has two types of speeding laws: absolute speed limits and a basic speeding law.

Basic Speeding Law

Washington's basic speeding law prohibits driving at a "speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing." In other words, motorists must always drive at a safe speed. What a safe speed is will depend on the circumstances. For instance, driving 55 miles per hour might be safe on a bright, sunny day. But if it's dark and the road is icy, going 55 miles per hour could be dangerous and a violation of the basic speeding law.

Absolute Speed Limits

There is no trick to how Washington's absolute speed limits work: If the absolute speed limit is 40 miles per hour and you drive faster than 40 miles per hour, you've violated the law.

What Not to Do After Getting a Traffic Ticket

Regardless of whether you were speeding (or ran a stop sign, or whatever the police allege), the worst thing to do is ignore the ticket. If you do nothing you’ll be accountable for the fine, and if you don’t pay it, your could get your driver's license suspended.

Available Options You Have When Dealing with a Traffic Ticket

You have 15 days from the date you received the ticket to respond or you’ll have to pay the ticket. You can respond in one of the following ways:

  • Pay the ticket. This is rarely the best option because you spontaneously prove your guilt.
  • Request a mitigation hearing. Many people think this is the best option. However, when you request a mitigation hearing you are not contesting whether the infraction was committed. This relieves the State of their burden to prove that you committed the infraction. In many courts, if you request a contested hearing (option 3), the judge may still mitigate your fine if they find you committed the infraction. So requesting a mitigation hearing is rarely better than requesting a contested hearing.
  • Request a contested hearing. This is generally your best option. There are many reasons the ticket may be dismissed. They could be procedural technicalities, a deficiency with the officer’s report, or a number of other reasons. Also, this option generally preserves your ability to mitigate the ticket and to pursue a deferral. An experienced attorney can greatly increase your chances of success.
  • If you receive a speeding ticket, you never want to pay it off. Instead, you should talk to a traffic/speeding attorney. We offer free consultations with our highly skilled collection of lawyers to ensure that you are getting what you need. Just remember, trying to fight a ticket on your own can be extremely difficult. Most drivers believe that when representing themselves, they can subdue the officers; however, that is never the case. The court will take the officer’s word over yours every single time. Our attorneys are trained to overturn accusations.
  • If you’ve received a ticket and would like us to fight for you contact us today to set up a case consultation (Fight My Ticket).

If you have any questions or need help with your Traffic Ticket, DUI, DWI, Criminal Case, Auto Accident or any other related questions, just give us a call at 425-278-9922 or email us at

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