If you have received a notice of infraction or citation for a traffic infraction in Washington State, your insurance rates could rise for the next three years, and the ticket will stay on your driving record for seven years. A common estimate is that a simple speeding ticket will end up costing a driver over $1,000 over the next three years, due entirely to insurance premium hikes due to a citation. A large portion of RCW 46.61 is devoted entirely to traffic infractions, and each infraction has its own rules, requirements, and evidentiary value. Traffic infractions are civil, not criminal in nature. This is important because the State or City need only prove its case by a preponderance of the evidence, or “more likely than not.” If the judge believes only that it’s more likely than not that you committed the infraction, you lose. Hiring a traffic defense attorney could save you hundreds, if not thousands, by keeping infractions off your record.
If you are a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder and you’ve received a notice of infraction or citation, your job could be at stake. Under State law, CDL holders are not eligible for deferred findings, and their CDL requires a clean record. Further, most trucking companies have their own internal standards for their CDL holder drivers, and these can be stricter than the State’s regulations. It is imperative that you seek an experienced and knowledgeable attorney to help you keep your record clean and keep your job.