How to fight Traffic Tickets, DUI, Auto Accidents in Seattle
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed most of our lives immensely. Most of us haven’t been driving as often anymore because of the stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders.
That’s why it’s vital that we respect the law of traffic and keep ourselves safe on the road in Seattle by not driving under the influence and know what to do when we get traffic tickets in Seattle. One of the best things you can do when you get traffic tickets, DUI, or into auto accidents in Seattle is to contact a Seattle attorney firm who can help you get out of these sticky situations, financially unscathed.
This article will explore the consequences of auto accidents, DUI, and traffic tickets in Seattle and explain why you need an attorney in these cases.
Auto accidents in Seattle
In 2019, Seattle car accident news recorded the second-highest number of people killed in traffic-related crashes in a decade, which was the same as 2013, despite the coronavirus pandemic keeping many commuters home and traffic volumes at all-time lows.
The number of severe collisions fell to the lowest in at least a decade. However, the number of people dying in 2020 remained as many as that of 2019, based on the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT). Out of 24 people killed, 13 were pedestrians.
Recent numbers have shown that Seattle is nowhere near reaching its so-called “Vision Zero,” whose goal is all about eliminating traffic fatalities and severe injuries by 2030.
Speeding, driving under the influence, and drivers failing to give way to pedestrians were the leading causes. Moreover, the lower rate of traffic congestion due to lockdowns may have given people overconfidence to drive at higher speeds, raising the risk of accidents.
What to do when you get into auto accidents in Seattle?
Legally, you have every right to handle the situation yourself. You can collect evidence related to the accident, talk to the insurer of the person at fault, negotiate a settlement, or seek compensation using a personal injury claim. However, you will have to quickly learn and grasp Washington state’s personal injury and insurance law by doing this alone. You will need to understand how the insurance claim process works and how insurers typically prefer to protect their own interests. Depending on whether you can find a settlement or not, you may need to learn the procedures and regulations imposed by the King County civil court system. All of these are monumental tasks that you will need to take on, plus recovering from the accident and keeping your finances from vaporizing from paying for the repair of your vehicle.
Alternatively, you can choose to hire our attorneys. When you work with our Seattle car accident attorney, you can get any information you want. Aside from our attorneys’ legal knowledge, our years of experience in working through court cases and dealing with different insurance carriers will also help you tremendously. We know which information to keep an eye on and form a strategy to work best for your situation(s).
DUI in Seattle
In several states, DUI deaths saw a rise in the first half of 2020. As the Coronavirus is causing more lockdown measures, many states predict that DUI rates and arrests would decrease due to people going outside less. However, recklessness seems to be on the rise since the roads are emptier.
If you are 21 years old or above and your blood alcohol level (BAC) is 0.08% when driving, you can be arrested for DUI in Seattle. If you have a commercial driver’s license, you are only allowed 0.04%. Meanwhile, if you are below 21 years old, you can get arrested for DUI for having just 0.02% BAC. To some degree, your BAC will determine how much your punishment will be. You will instantly have your driver’s license suspended. This suspension can last from 90 days to two years, effective 60 days after your arrest. You are given 20 days from the arrest date to request an administrative hearing for such a suspension.
What to do when you are charged with DUI in Seattle?
If you need to drive your car while your license is suspended, you will need to apply for an ignition interlock driver's license. When your request is approved, an ignition interlock device will be installed on your car. You also have to provide proof of financial responsibility by filing an SR-22 insurance form. In addition to the legal penalties that a DUI conviction imposes on you, there are other consequences that will affect you both in the short and long term. These consequences include:
- Your insurance company will receive a report about your DUI. As a result, you may see increased insurance premiums to compensate for your penalties, which could be difficult for you to afford.
- The court may mandate you to perform community service.
- If you have your driver's license suspended, you may not be allowed to drive your car to work, to school, or for other businesses. Without your license, you may also lose your job since you lose the ability to commute without driving.
- When you are charged with DUI, both felony and misdemeanor, your future applications will run into problems as your charges will appear in background checks. These background checks also affect your application for housing, your request for college financial aid, and even your college admission.
- Even if you are not actually convicted of a DUI, you will still be affected professionally. Your employer and co-workers will have different opinions on you whether you face sentences for your DUI charges or not. Moreover, you can also appear in newspapers since they report on DUIs lots of the time. You are likely unable to hide your DUI charges from acquaintances.
- A DUI also affects your personal relationships after you are arrested and/or convicted. You will face severe embarrassment and shame when having to bring up the issues to your friends and family members.
To minimize the consequences of a DUI arrest, it is extremely important that you contact our DUI attorney Seattle firm. Our Seattle DUI lawyers can help you work toward a better outcome.
Traffic tickets in Seattle
In Seattle, there are so many other things we would rather put up with than going through the process of getting and dealing with a traffic ticket. What a chore! You probably would rather go to the dentist. Because, at least, you have options for what to do with your teeth, including whether you want to go there at all. However, with a traffic ticket, you don’t really have any choice in the matter (well, aside from choosing to fight the ticket or not). And traffic tickets in Seattle aren’t cheap.
According to the Seattle Municipal Court’s Violation Table, the costs of traffic tickets are based on a number of factors. These include the type of streets, whether the violation is in a school zone, the speed limit, and whether there is a traffic block. Receiving a traffic ticket in Seattle can set you back anywhere between $99.00 and $426.00. That is without counting watercraft entries (That’s right! That’s a thing). However, there are many reasons why you should at least consider fighting it off in court.
Why should you fight traffic tickets in Seattle?
You probably will have to pay an absurd amount of money for insurance in the next three years. You won’t immediately feel the effect this month or next month, but eventually, you will feel the bills going up in the next six months or the next year. That depends on whether you renew your auto policy or not and don’t think that nobody will know about it. A record of your convictions in the past three years, including traffic tickets and parking tickets in Seattle, is available right at your insurance provider’s fingertips. Their named agent can also pull such a file. They will know, especially when you fail to appear at hearings of your charges. Information contained in there will be used to determine whether the insurance company is willing to accept risks from you. If they think you are a risk, you will be charged more. While you can keep looking around, hoping to find a cheaper policy, your driving record is still available to every insurance company. They can simply do a Washington state traffic ticket lookup and find your name. We can’t be certain that you will find an insurance provider with a more affordable rate with such a stain in the record. Moreover, it takes three years for a traffic ticket to fall off of your driving record. Therefore, that ticket will impact your life negatively for a while.
If you get too many tickets, the State of Washington may suspend your license, up to 60 days if you violate the law six times in a span of 12 months or seven times in a span of 24 months. Following the suspension, you will be placed on a one year of probation. Suppose you get another traffic ticket or another moving violation when you are on probation. In that case, your driver’s license will be suspended again for an additional 30 days. Then, the one year of probation’s countdown timer will reset.
It could impact your job or your eligibility for specific jobs. If your current job requires driving or if you are interested in a job that requires you to drive a company vehicle or deliver goods/personnel, getting a traffic ticket could mean that you lose your job or that the company will reconsider hiring you due to your violation.
Drivers can actually defer traffic tickets in Seattle. However, keep in mind that deferring a traffic ticket doesn’t mean you are fighting it. Not everyone is eligible for deferral. You cannot defer a traffic ticket if you have a commercial driver’s license, even if you were not driving a commercial vehicle when you received the ticket. Moreover, you are only eligible to apply for a deferral if you haven’t deferred in the last seven years. Even if the court grants you a deferral, keep in mind that you are betting that you still run the risk of receiving another traffic ticket due to accidents, speeding, or other violations during the deferral period, usually 12 months. If you get a traffic ticket, the deferral may be revoked. This is regardless of where you get the next ticket (meaning another jurisdictional area, different from the one where you get the deferred ticket). Basically, the court gets to have the final say whether your deferral is approved and whether the deferral period can be extended, even if the next traffic tickets in Seattle you get are dismissed or reduced. This leads to the fee that you paid for deferrals to not be refundable.
How to fight traffic tickets in Seattle
Generally, you are allowed 15 days to respond to a traffic ticket for a violation that won’t lead to you serving time in jail. Those are two short weeks, and you can’t afford to mess around. Remember what’s at stake here are your finances and reputation. Therefore, it’s best that you contact our traffic ticket lawyers Seattle staff. We will explain what options you have and you can pay the ticket (through pay ticket online King County services), ask for a reduction, or request a hearing to fight traffic tickets in Seattle. If you want to fight the ticket, we will help you file a request for a contested hearing within that period of 15 days. After the court receives the request, they will send you the date you have to show up for your hearing.
We will try to obtain as much information about your case as we can. This includes:
- Is it a technical violation?
- Are you properly ticketed?
- Does the prosecution abide by court rules?
If you actually didn’t violate, we can defend you more substantially by focusing on the prosecution’s failure to meet its responsibilities. A lack of evidence against your traffic ticket will also be helpful in your case. There are many defenses we can potentially use to fight traffic tickets.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, auto accidents, DUI, and traffic tickets in Seattle can cost you a lot of money, not to mention your life. Therefore, we hope this article has managed to shed some light on the situation. Remember that it makes all the difference when you can find good car accident attorneys, DUI attorneys, and traffic ticket attorneys in Seattle to defend your case.
Lucky for you, we know the best Traffic Ticket, DUI, and Car Accident Attorney in Seattle. Contact Ken Tsiprin, he has fought in over 10,000 cases over the last 12 years. Give him a call at 425-278-9922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com.
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