Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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What happens if I ignore my traffic ticket?

Even though it may seem easier to avoid dealing with your ticket, you have to address your traffic ticket.  The longer you wait to address your traffic ticket, the more issues you will have with the court system, and the harder it will be to resolve.  By addressing your ticket promptly, you can avoid many of the headaches that come with avoiding a traffic ticket, and prevent yourself further headaches that come from prolonging dealing with a traffic ticket.

It is imperative that you respond to your traffic ticket within 30 days in the state of Washington (or 33 days from the date it was mailed).  If you don’t respond within that time period, the court will note your case as an FTA or “failure to appear,” and proceeds to notify the licensing bureau, which will then suspend your license.  If your license is suspended, it is important to avoid driving during this period.  You will need to take care of your ticket, either by paying it, asking for a mitigation hearing, or asking for a contested hearing.

Learn more about what happens if you get multiple traffic offenses.

It is important to note that by paying or asking for a mitigation hearing, you are entering a guilty plea, but by requesting a contested hearing, you are entering a not guilty plea.  If you plan to fight your traffic ticket, you should speak with a traffic attorney, as this will improve your odds of a favorable decision.

Another important fact to consider is that you must request a hearing within fifteen days of getting a ticket.  If you fail to do so, the court clerk might not be able to grant you a late hearing request.  If you are ignoring the ticket because you do not have the money to pay for it, request a payment plan or community service; if the court determines that you cannot pay the traffic fine, they are required to give you a payment plan according to RCW 46.63.110(6).

At The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we tell all of our clients that you can’t ignore a traffic ticket, and you have to address it as soon as possible, even if it is asking for a hearing at a later date.  Ignoring a traffic ticket will only cause you more problems.  If you have any questions regarding your traffic ticket, please contact a traffic attorney today to discuss your potential options to deal with the ticket, as it is important to not ignore your traffic ticket!

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