Nobody likes to see flashing lights in their rearview mirror. It means that you’re going to be late to work that day. It means your driving record won’t be as in tact as it was before. It mean’s you’ve gotten what we all try to avoid getting: a traffic ticket.
A common misconception is that you only get traffic tickets because of speeding. Many think that if they were always sure to drive within five miles of the speed limit, they’ll be in the clear and avoid being ticketed. In reality, you can get a traffic ticket for things besides speeding. Speeding, however, is one of the more common culprits for traffic tickets, especially for habitual traffic offenders.
You can get a traffic ticket for a myriad of other reasons. Did you perform an unsafe lane change? Are there expired tabs on your car? Did you run a red light? Were you using your cell phone while operating your vehicle? Were you traveling in the third lane, but not passing? Were you going the speed limit, but traveling too fast for the conditions? Did you have an open container in your vehicle?
Regardless of how you received your traffic ticket, how you handle it is very important.
Whether you received a citation in the mail or because you’re pulled over on the side of the road, you cannot ignore your traffic ticket. If you ignore your traffic ticket, you’ll receive a notice of suspension of your driver’s license. As small as they seem, sometimes traffic tickets have a larger impact than you’d think. A mere ticket or two can increase your car insurance premium and go on your driving record. Traffic tickets can put your driver’s license at risk; and when your driver’s license is at risk, your job, family, and daily life also are. Age also has a factor. If you are an inexperienced driver, they can have consequences that are much more severe.
Taking care of your traffic ticket doesn’t just mean that you pay it, either. While paying is sometimes the best option (the only option), it is not always the case. How do you know whether or not you should just pay your traffic ticket or if you should fight it? It is up to you as the person who received the ticket to decide: do you want to pay it, attempt to reduce the fine, or fight it?
This is where we come in.
As traffic ticket attorneys at The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we help people throughout Pierce County and Tacoma figure out what to do about their traffic tickets. Sometimes we have people call our office after their first ticket, looking for advice from an attorney. Our office is happy to help you figure out the best option for you, whether it be to pay the ticket or fight the ticket.
Because we have experience in all types of traffic tickets, infractions and offenses alike, we are able to help people figure out what steps you should take next. Regardless of whether this traffic ticket was your first or your third, it never hurts to call a team of traffic ticket attorneys to help you figure out what to do next. Our team can help you figure out court dates, times, locations of hearings, and about any other question you may have regarding your ticket. However, it is especially important to seek the help of a traffic lawyer if you are a habitual traffic offender or your CDL is at risk.
Common Traffic Ticket Questions
When do I need an attorney for my traffic ticket?
As traffic ticket attorneys, one of the most common questions we are asked is, “Do I need your help?” We aren’t the type of law office to receive a phone call about a traffic ticket and hang up if it is one that doesn’t need to be mitigated or fought. While you may not need our help, if you call our office, we’ll give it to you. That could mean that we walk you through the steps of how and when to pay your traffic ticket, or it could mean we start the process of fighting it.
Can I receive a traffic ticket for the same offense multiple times?
If you receive a traffic ticket and do not pay the ticket or fix the issue you were cited for, you are still able to receive another ticket for it. For example, let’s say you were driving with expired registration tags and pulled over and ticketed. The next day, as you were driving to work with those same expired registration tags, you get pulled over and receive another ticket. In Washington, a ticket can be issued each and every time you’re caught driving a vehicle with a violation. Just like if you are caught speeding multiple times, they are treated like different offenses.
If someone else gets a ticket in my car am I liable?
When you let other people drive your car, including family members and children, we don’t think that we’ll get a traffic ticket or get pulled over. Technology, though, allows us to receive a traffic ticket without even driving ourselves. While someone else is driving your car and caught by a red light camera, you could receive a ticket. The vehicle is ticketed, not you. While people don’t usually challenge it because it doesn’t affect their insurance, you still received the citation and would be forced to pay the fine.
Should I pay the ticket by mail or in person?
If you are paying the ticket and not mitigating or fighting it, you can do either. Know that when you mail tickets, some do get lost, so be sure to use return receipt mail to insure that your ticket is being paid. Clerks go through hundreds of tickets each day, so unfortunately, tickets get lost in the shuffle. “You lost my ticket,” isn’t an excuse not to pay it, though.
Call our Lakewood or Tacoma Office
If you live in Lakewood or the surrounding area and have questions about your traffic ticket and what steps to take next, feel free to call our office. We have locations conveniently located in Lakewood. At The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, our ultimate goal is that you are able to work through your traffic tickets as cost-effectively as possible, and we hope to help you do that!