Possible Options when We Contest a Ticket:
Whatcom County Traffic Tickets have a far longer reaching impact on you and your driving record than most people tend to think. Before you go and pay any traffic ticket, consider contacting an experienced law firm that deals with traffic and vehicle violations all the time. Consider that simply paying the ticket is, essentially, an admission of guilt in the eyes of the court. This means that, in addition to paying the fine and getting the points on your license, you now have the violation on your record. This means that your insurance rates will go up in many cases, and further, any future issues you might have where you get pulled over are likely to result in another ticket – because you’ve already admitted to the first one.
Don’t face the courts alone to try and fight your Whatcom County traffic tickets, especially if you have more than one. It is a general truth that most courts and judges will not give the same level of respect to a person defending themselves as they will to a qualified traffic ticket lawyer.
You’ve been stopped for speeding or some other minor traffic violation. And while you are waiting for the officer to approach, dozens of passing motorists are gawking at you sitting in your car. What shame! The motorists looking at you are undoubtedly thinking, “thank God that isn’t me.” And they are right to think such a thing. Unfortunately minor traffic offenses are common place and most motorists at some point in their driving career will encounter that sickening moment when the blue and red lights start flashing behind them.
Despite the common nature of a speeding ticket or some other miscellaneous traffic offense the possible consequences are not so ordinary. Such tickets cost money, may raise insurance premiums, suspend licenses and even cause loss of employment. The many collateral consequences of a traffic ticket make them worth fighting. Besides, it probably won’t get worse so you have nothing to lose!
Fighting your ticket starts immediately after the officer pulls you over. First, when the officer approaches have your driver’s license, registration and insurance ready. Second, be polite, calm and cooperative. This may not necessarily help, but it certainly won’t hurt. And third, say very little and do not admit fault.
There are different trains of thought regarding whether a driver should keep a low profile or ask questions of the officer regarding the speed measuring device that was used (for a speeding ticket) or how to deal with the ticket. I firmly believe that saying very little is the only way to go as very little positive can be accomplished by talking.
The last thing you should do before leaving the scene, ticket in hand, is take mental notes regarding your location, the officer (his/her name), and the facts as you recall them. When you have an opportunity later that day, write down as many notes as you can remember and preserve these notes.
Stop and Contact
When the day comes that you are caught by the men and women in blue, and the day will come, it is important that you act appropriately from the very beginning. And when that day does come remember, you are now a suspect! It is necessary for you to act appropriately even if you feel hard done by, prejudiced, or completely taken advantage of. Bite your tongue and prepare your defense.
When those piercing red and blue lights start flashing pull over to the side of the road as quickly and as safely as possible. Be certain to signal your intentions and react immediately. Officers are on high alert and are trained to observe even the most minor delay and driving behavior. Once you have pulled over as quickly and safely as possible be sure to put your vehicle in park (or neutral if it is a manual transmission) and pull the emergency brake. Ensure that the vehicle is safely stopped.
At this time prepare your driver’s license, insurance, and registration. However, in doing so do not make any sudden or furtive movements as this may be misinterpreted by the officer as suspicious behavior and things may quickly go from bad to worse. Roll down your window and stay in your car. There is no need to exit your car and more importantly the officer will want you to remain in your car for his / her safety and your safety.
Once the officer does approach be courteous and polite. There are occasions, and I have been the beneficiary more than once, when the officer may simply give you a warning (not likely!) if the offense was relatively minor and you were polite and courteous. Regardless of whether you’re given a warning or not, it is imperative to behave yourself. Such good behavior may or may not be reflected in the officer’s notes but poor behavior definitely will be detailed. Negative behavior may restrict your ability to win the case, negotiate a favorable plea, or mitigate (reduce) the fines.
One of the things which make this Firm unique among others that deal with resolving your traffic ticket in Bellingham is that this Firm has a firm belief in your rights and your respect. With our Firm, if you have a question and contact us you can rest assured knowing that you’ll get a call back, from your attorney, on the same day you call every single time. With a commitment to earning your respect, you can expect that your lawyer will explain every aspect of the case to you in plain English, showing you your options and giving you their best advice.
Once an officer makes contact with you he will immediately ask you to produce your driver’s license, registration and insurance. Failure to provide any one of these documents may result in additional, and expensive, traffic tickets. It is important to know where these documents are and if possible, have them ready for the officer upon contact. If you cannot immediately locate all of these documents give the officer what documents you do have and inform him that you need to locate the rest of these documents. Hopefully you have all of these documents organized (if not, organize them for next time) and can provide them easily to the officer.
While the officer is preparing to issue you a traffic ticket he is continuing to investigate the case. He will be making visual observations of you to ensure that you are not driving under the influence and will also be listening to what you have to say. To that end, be very cautious about what you say to the officer.
Officers are trained to ask you questions that illicit admissions or statements that will ultimately harm you in court. This is not rocket science. For example, an officer may approach your vehicle and ask you, “Do you know why I stopped you?” He is hoping that you will admit your violation such as, “Yes officer, I just drove through the red light.” On the other hand if you state, “No I have no idea,” the officer may then decide to paint a picture of a non-attentive driver. Every situation is different so it is difficult to generalize, however my advice is to be friendly, say as little as possible and simply hand over your driver’s license, registration, and insurance. On occasions when I have been stopped and asked that awful question, I literally say nothing except, “here is my driver’s license.” No officer has ever pushed me to say anything but if they did I would reply, “I would rather not say anything, thank you.” This also informs the officer that if he asks you any more questions about your driving you will politely not provide any answers.
There are occasions when you may feel like the officer has pulled you over for no reason. Whatever you do, do not express anger at the officer. I know that this is difficult but it is imperative. Remember, the officer in Whatcom County is not your friend and will document everything he observes.
Once the Bellingham officer has finished processing the traffic ticket and given it to you say little and be on your way. Do not let frustration get the better of you and leave in a reckless manner as this will potentially cause the officer to stop and ticket you again. Leave the scene lawfully and politely.
Whenever you have been stopped by a traffic officer it is likely that you’ll be sitting and waiting in your vehicle for many minutes. While you are doing this have a look around at your surroundings, observe the scene, the weather conditions, traffic conditions (light or heavy traffic), exact location of the alleged offense, and where the officer was located when he observed the alleged violation (if you know). The importance of these observations may come to light when your case goes to court or you (or your attorney) try to negotiate a deal. If the officer makes an error regarding location, weather conditions (i.e. it was raining but he says it was clear), or traffic conditions then you may work yourself into a far better negotiating position.
If you have a camera with you (for example on your cell phone) take pictures of the area. I advise doing this shortly after the officer has left the scene. The importance of doing this immediately is because the scene will never again look the way it does when you were stopped. Traffic conditions change, weather conditions change, and road conditions change. If there is road work in the area this may be temporary so it is important to photograph this on the day in question.
Once you have been permitted to leave the loving arms of the officer the work now begins in preparing your case for court. Once you have make the observations of location, weather conditions, traffic conditions, and the scene in general, it is important to memorialize these observations in writing. I recommend writing down (or typing on your computer) these observations and dating the page. It may be many months from the date of violation when you have to argue the facts of your case so it is important to note these observations when your memory is most fresh. Remember, the officer is making his notes the day of the event (or shortly thereafter), so you must do the same.
In addition to writing down your notes, if you had any adult passengers who can provide valuable factual information then be certain that they write down some notes of the event and provide you with a copy of their notes. While note taking is important, photographs and diagrams of the scene may prove even more important. Preserve any photographs you may have and draft any diagrams as soon as you are able. Such diagrams and photographs may illustrate obstructions that may have made the officer’s observations of you difficult or may illustrate traffic or road conditions that may make the facts alleged by the police officer impossible or difficult to believe. Such documents may assist you in court and may be admissible as evidence so do it early and do it right.
Officer not trained on specific device; Radar not calibrated before and after use; Logs not available after request (discovery request); Radar technician requested to hearing (subpoenaed) and failed to appear; Log reports errors prior to use of radar in your case; tuning forks used not assigned to that radar unit; tuning forks damaged; procedural errors with ticket (wrong date, wrong car, wrong location, not filed timely); radar operator unable to testify to cosine angle or cosine angle high (which equals error in reading); radar used in location where the angle between the radar unit and the target vehicle is great (“cosine effect:” causing an inaccurate reading).
•TICKET TIP: The way to beat a radar speeding ticket is to closely examine the ticket for procedural errors and research the logs for that particular unit. Logs are available on request (discovery request) and may contain maintenance issues, tuning fork issues, or calibration problems. Know the typical radar errors and ask the operator if he is aware of these potential errors (i.e. cosine effect).
Use Your Photos to show:
• Obscured traffic signs/signals
• View from where officer is
• Road obstructions that restrict visibility
• Road conditions at time of incident
(construction, weather, traffic)
• Have photos enlarged
Your time is valuable and you may not be able to appear in court during a work day. Additionally, you may be sitting in court for several hours waiting for the Judge to hear your case. Let one of our Whatcom County traffic ticket attorneys do it for you. We will appear in court on your behalf and fight zealously to defend your rights. This is another benefit to hiring a seasoned Whatcom County traffic ticket attorney. Obviously we want your ticket dismissed, however, we do have other options to attempt to keep your ticket off of your Department of Licensing driver's abstract.When considering whether it is worth your while hiring a Bellingham traffic ticket attorney is the value for money in such an investment. The attorneys at the Law Firm of David N. Jolly have more than 60 years of combined experience fighting traffic tickets and can help you with your traffic ticket in Whatcom County District Court. This means that you have the best chances of dealing with your Whatcom County traffic ticket; either the cases will get thrown out and you won’t have to deal with any points and insurance raises, or you’ll get your money back to be able to afford the court fees and violations. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, consider contacting the Firm today for a free quote and estimate.
Call David for a Free Consultation: (360) 336-8722
(425) 493-1115 | (360) 336-8722
The Bellingham traffic ticket attorneys at the Law Firm of David N. Jolly have over 60 years of experience in traffic court and have handled more than 10,000 contested hearing cases. We have the experience in court, with prosecutors and with Judges to negotiate cases to amended and reduced charges and in many instances, argue your case to a dismissal. However, we also have the knowledge and experience to understand the risks of arguing for a dismissal and in certain situations can overcome this risk by successful negotiating a ticket to a resolution that has no impact on your insurance or driving history.
Tips from a Traffic Cop
• Pull Over in a Safe Area
• Don’t Coast before stopping, just stop
• Keep the Engine Running
• Keep Your Hands on the Wheel
• Stay in the Car
• Be Careful What You Say
Must have proof of when the laser unit was last tested for accuracy; be certain laser was tested for accuracy using a tripod (ask officer how it was tested and if not a tripod (or something similar), move to dismiss); must have proof of when laser was calibrated (must be within reasonable time period and calibrated by a company/individual certified to do so); laser must not be used in a car through windows; ask officer about moisture levels in the air.
•TICKET TIP: Laser unit must be properly tested and calibrated, demand proof; Laser must not be used through a vehicle’s window (inside an officer’s car).
LAW FIRM OF DAVID N. JOLLY
Don’t pay that traffic ticket in Whatcom County! Sending in the payment is the same as admitting wrong-doing, and no one should ever deal with a legal matter without the benefit of legal counsel; the Bellingham traffic ticket attorneys at the Law Firm of David N. Jolly focus on dealing with, and defeating, traffic violations. For a similar amount of money that you’d have to pay for the violation itself, you can avoid getting any points on your license as well as not having to pay the inflated insurance premiums that come after a traffic violation. With that in mind, why would you not want to have an experienced traffic lawyer on your side – after all, the state has one on theirs. There is a better way to deal with an infraction and that is calling an experienced Whatcom County traffic ticket lawyer. Contact the Author of the Traffic Ticket Handbook today for a free consultation.
The following is from The Traffic Ticket Handbook: How to Fight Your Ticket and Win. Jolly, David N. Outskirts Press (2012)
If you have been charged with a traffic ticket please contact one of our Whatcom County traffic ticket attorneys for a free consultation. In addition to consulting with an experience traffic ticket lawyer, you must contest the ticket and forward the ticket to the appropriate agency within 15 days of the citation. No one should have to face the courts alone – and not everyone can afford a high priced lawyer. By having a Whatcom County traffic ticket attorney on your side, you can be assured of getting a fair day in court and someone on your side that will do their best to make sure that the ticket does not affect your life. You have every reason to trust your traffic ticket to our Whatcom County lawyers and contact the Law Firm of David N. Jolly for a free estimate today!
If you have received a traffic ticket, including a speeding ticket or any moving violation in Whatcom County, please contact our traffic ticket attorneys at our downtown Bellingham office. We can help!
You have the power to choose your Whatcom County traffic ticket lawyer, so why not choose one that is not only committed to earning your respect and defending your rights, but one who is a tried and true expert in the laws regarding Whatcom County traffic tickets? Call the Whatcom County traffic ticket attorneys today at the Law Firm of David N. Jolly for a free consultation.
The traffic ticket lawyers at our office are highly respected for the ethical manner in which they aggressively pursue the best result for every client. We are all career litigators and have gained the respect of the legal community after many hard years of court room experience. Our legal office is located in downtown Bellingham directly across from the Whatcom County District Court and Bellingham Municipal Court. This gives us quick access to the courts where all Bellingham speeding tickets and traffic tickets are heard and access to important documents such as radar certificates, laser certificates and traffic ticket filing information.
The negative consequences of getting a ticket include the fine imposed, higher costs of insurance, possible loss of employment (if your job involves driving), and even the loss of your privilege to drive. The stakes are high so it is worth fighting every ticket that you receive. Plus going to court can be awfully entertaining and most importantly, you can share your misery and negative stories about police officers with dozens of other poor souls like yourself.
A routine traffic ticket will typically cost you between $75 and $300. In many instances the fines can be significantly higher, in cases such as no insurance tickets or negligent driving tickets. The fine is often written directly on the face of the ticket but if it isn’t, the amount of the ticket is easily determined as they are readily available online in your jurisdiction or by calling the court listed on the ticket. The most common traffic ticket is the dreaded speeding ticket, and the amount of such a ticket is usually determined by the speed the driver is alleged to have traveled. Simply, the higher the speed the higher the fine. Some jurisdictions also determine the amount of the fine based on the driver’s recent related violations.
Most drivers drive faster than posted speed limits, at least occasionally. Sometimes these violations are intentional and sometimes that are purely accidental and the result of not paying attention or driving with the flow of traffic. Similarly, other moving violations such as failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign or running a red light occur frequently and often harm no-one. Most of the time drivers escape these minor indiscretions with no penalty but the odds are that eventually even the most cautious drivers will get stopped by a police officer.
When that day happens, and it most certainly will at some point in your life, you must give thought to how the traffic ticket will affect your insurance. And, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise! You may encounter increased premiums in your automobile insurance in addition to the cost of the fine itself. In instances where your speed was extreme or the violation occurred in a school or construction zone, your insurance premiums may increase substantially, even if it is your first offense.
The finding of “committed” in traffic court (or guilty in a criminal court) or alternatively, you paying the ticket and admitting you committed the infraction may result in your insurance company raising your rates or in some extreme situations, dropping your policy. Most typically, depending on your state law and your insurance company policies, automobile insurance rates will not increase if you receive one ordinary moving violation over three to five years. However, two or more moving violations during this same time period may result in an increase in your insurance bill. Unfortunately insurance companies use different formulas when determining whether to raise insurance rates for their policy holders so it is difficult to generalize, however do not assume that your insurance company will not raise your rates based on one moving violation alone. In this day and age when companies are in financial turmoil and looking for additional revenue streams it would be easy to assume that anything negative on your driving record may result in higher premiums.
One of the reasons automobile insurance increases at an alarming rate for certain speeding tickets is based on the old adage, “the faster you go, the more deadly it is.” According to Jeanne Salvatore, spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute (III), an industry trade group, “[t]here’s a higher possibility you’re going to cause a lot of damage to people or property.”
If you are cited for a speeding violation your insurance company may attach a temporary surcharge to your policy for up to three years. There is one large auto insurance company that may raise your rate by up to 26 percent the first year, then gradually lower that surcharge and drop it completely after three years, so long as you have no more moving violations. Whatever your insurance company, it is clear that traffic violations may cost you much more than the dollar amount on the face of the ticket.
The amount your insurance premium increases is dependent on several factors, including:
• Your driving record and your relationship with the insurance company. Some insurers may waive the surcharge if the customer has had a long relationship with the company and previously had a clean driving history.
• Where you live. Insurance is regulated by the states and different states have different laws regarding the cost of automobile insurance. Some states do not permit insurance companies to impose a surcharge for first-time traffic offenders, while others require insurers to raise rates for certain speeding violations.
• How much you were exceeding the speed limit. If you have been charged with speeding 25 mph above the speed limit, or charged with Reckless Driving (a criminal charge) then expect your insurance to be significantly affected. In cases such as these even a first-time citation can more than double the cost of car insurance.
In addition to the obvious insurance consequences of traffic violations (higher cost of insurance) there may be some unforeseen collateral consequences. Insurance companies may look at your driving record when determining whether you are a high-risk client and could charge you higher rates for life, health, disability or long term care insurance. Anything for a buck.
It is very unlikely that you will lose your license for one or even two routine indiscretions such as speeding, failing to stop at a stop light, failing to signal and so one. However, there are some obvious exceptions to this general rule which include excessive speeding or, in some states, the age of the driver. If you are over the age of 18 and have had at least three previous moving violations in the past three to five years, there is a possibility that you could lose your license. Other causes of license suspensions include failing to pay for a traffic ticket, becoming an “habitual traffic offender,” or committing more serious driving offenses such asDUI in Bellingham, Reckless Driving or Hit and Run Driving.
In most states license suspensions occur if the driver accumulates too many “points” on their license. It is important to be familiar with your State’s Department of Licensing (Department of Motor Vehicles) rules and procedures regarding a potential license suspension and how to get your license back.
If you are at risk of losing your privilege to drive then there is even more incentive to fight your traffic ticket. If your license is due to be revoked due to a traffic violation, most states will permit a hearing before a Department of Licensing hearing officer before the driver’s license is actually revoked.
At such a hearing it is imperative to inform the hearing officer if any of the previous tickets were the result of mistakes by the police officer or alternatively, if there was a good reason why you didn’t contest the hearing. Further, some state hearing officers will take into consideration what steps, if any, you have taken since the previous ticket to rectify any poor driving. You must be advised that not all hearing officers are sympathetic, but you still must attempt anything you can to accomplish the goal of keeping your driving privilege.
If you are in a state that assesses points for accidents then the hearing provides an opportunity to explain that the accident was not your fault, was difficult to avoid, or was simply an anomaly. Additionally, it is important to inform the hearing officer if your job depends on driving or if you require a valid driver’s license to commute to work. Also, if you drive an exceptional amount it would be important to mention this because the more you drive the more it is likely you will be ticketed for a minor indiscretion or even an accident.
(360) 336-8722 | (425) 493-1115
Speeding tickets are the most common, and probably most annoying, type of traffic tickets. They can also be the most expensive and most troubling to your insurance company. Call one of our Whatcom County speeding ticket attorneys for free advice. Many of my clients believe that you cannot defeat such a ticket, but you can! Machines do produce errors and operators can create problems, and you must focus on these two things when fighting your ticket.
Your speed can be measured a number of ways. Radar and laser devices are the most common but we also fight speeding tickets from aircraft and good old fashioned pacing. It is important to remember that radar and laser speed measuring devices are not the same thing and therefore require specific knowledge of each.
218 W. Champion Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
EXPERIENCED | SUCCESSFUL | AFFORDABLE
Your insurance costs may increase as much as 30% for a single traffic ticket, according to Jennifer Flaten on Life 123.com. According to Ms. Flaten, “[d]epending on your age, your driving history and the severity of the ticket, you could see an increase of $300 per year to your insurance premium for a single infraction.”
The only chance you truly have of beating your speeding ticket in court and preserving your insurance is by hiring a speeding ticket attorney. In Whatcom County, prosecuting attorneys are well trained to argue against you and are successful in doing so most of the time. However, a well trained Whatcom County speeding ticket attorney is better trained to defeat your ticket in court. Don't give up, beat the ticket. We charge as little as $250 for representation and you do not have to go to court. Call one of our Whatcom County speeding ticket attorneys today for a free consultation.
Why Fight Your Ticket?
When considering whether it is worth your effort to fight your traffic ticket you should consider the negative consequences of the ticket being on your record. This is clear and obvious. As clear as the big blue and red lights that burned deeply into your retina when you were stopped by the officer. However, you should also be aware that there is little damage that can be done by fighting your ticket. Surely it cannot get worse than the fines you may have to pay, your insurance premiums crashing through the roof, and the utter humiliation of sitting in your car on the side of the road while hundreds of motorists passed by laughing at your misfortune. For non-criminal traffic tickets Judges will not impose harsher sanctions or higher fines because you have appeared in court and argued the validity of your ticket or the evidence presented.
What you Need to Know:
Fighting and negotiating traffic tickets should be left to trained professionals like our Whatcom County traffic ticket attorney. Traffic tickets are usually won (or negotiated to a better outcome) based on technical issues, legal and procedural, not facts. Knowing the Whatcom County Court rules is critical and we know the court procedures. Moreover, having relationships with prosecuting attorneys also helps when negotiating a favorable outcome.
For information on your Whatcom County Traffic (Speeding Ticket) please contact our Whatcom County Traffic Ticket attorneys for a free consultation at 360-293-2275 or fill out the form on the right. Please give us a call and we'll tell you how we can help you - and of course, the many options you probably have.
When considering whether it is worth your while hiring a Bellingham traffic ticket attorney is the value for money in such an investment. The attorneys at the Law Firm of David N. Jolly have more than 60 years of combined experience fighting traffic tickets and can help you with your traffic ticket in Whatcom County District Court. This means that you have the best chances of dealing with your Whatcom County traffic ticket; either the cases will get thrown out and you won’t have to deal with any points and insurance raises, or you’ll get your money back to be able to afford the court fees and violations. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, consider contacting the Firm today for a free quote and estimate.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Further, if you are not a United States Citizens we strongly encourage consulting with an immigration attorney to determine how a criminal charge may affect your immigration status.
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LAW FIRM OF DAVID N. JOLLY - OFFICE LOCATIONS
Whatcom County: 218 W. Champion St., Bellingham, WA 98225
Skagit County: 410 Myrtle St., Mount Vernon, WA 98273
Snohomish County: 2731 Wetmore, #401, Everett, WA 98201