Infractions & Requesting a Hearing
What is an Infraction?
Infractions are citations (tickets) received from local law enforcement agencies for offenses such as speeding, failure to have liability insurance, and seat belt violations. The District Court may impose a penalty, but may not commit the defendant to jail.
Regulations Regarding Infractions
A defendant has 15 days to pay the infraction or request a hearing. If the defendant fails to respond, the District Court assesses a late penalty fee and notifies the Department of Licensing (DOL). Upon notice from the District Court, DOL gives the defendant 45 days to resolve the infraction. If the defendant does not pay the penalty in full or arrange for a payment plan, DOL will suspend the driver's license. Infractions that are not paid are sent to a collection agency. Additional costs will be assessed by the collection company.
Requesting a Hearing
A defendant may request an infraction hearing (mitigation or contested) by checking the appropriate box on the back of the ticket and mailing it to our office, by phone at (253)798-7487, or through Live Chat. The hearing request must be made within 15 days of the date of violation.
- Mitigation Hearings - A mitigation hearing is one to determine whether there were mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of the infraction in order to decide whether a reduction in the penalty will be granted. When this type of hearing is requested the infraction will appear on the defendant's driving record. No appeal is allowed from a mitigation hearing.
- Contested Hearings - A contested hearing is to determine whether the defendant committed the infraction. A defendant may subpoena the officer to appear for a contested hearing, but must do so at least 7 days before the scheduled hearing. It is the responsibility of the defendant to serve the officer and show proof of service to the Court by using this form. If the officer is not subpoenaed, the Court will accept the officer's written declaration as evidence in your case. A defendant may appeal the judgment entered after a contested hearing.
- Hearing by Mail - You may submit your statement by completing the Hearing by Mail Statement online and submitting it to the court. A judicial officer will review your statement and a court order will be mailed to you within 4-6 weeks with the decision. If a penalty is imposed, you will be given a date the money is due. If you fail to pay the total amount due, a late penalty fee will be added, the case will be referred to a collection agency and the Department of Licensing will be notified. You cannot appeal a hearing by mail.