Infractions & Requesting a Hearing

Infractions - What They Are

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 of $52 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 time payment plan, DOL suspends the driver's license of the defendant. Infractions that are not paid are referred 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) online or by checking the appropriate box on the back of the green copy of the ticket that is provided to the defendant by the officer.  A hearing may also be requested by contacting the court at (253) 798-7487 or via 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 one to determine whether the defendant committed the infraction. A defendant may subpoena the officer to appear for a contested hearing, but must do so 15 court days before the scheduled hearing. The Court issues the subpoena, but the defendant has the responsibility to serve the officer and file a return of service with the Court on or before the date of the hearing. If the officer is not subpoenaed the Court will determine the facts of the case from the officer's sworn affidavit on the infraction. A defendant may appeal the judgment entered after a contested hearing.
District Court allows you to have a hearing by mail.  You may submit your statement online or by completing the Hearing by Mail Statement and mailing 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 of $52 will be added, the case will be referred to a collection agency and the Department of Licensing will be notified.  There is no appeal from a hearing by mail.