Infraction - Frequently Asked Questions

What is an infraction?

What if I receive an infraction?

What if I just want to explain what happened?

What if I don't agree with the ticket?

What if I want a lawyer?

How will an infraction appear on my driving record?

What if I do not pay the ticket or appear for the hearing?

What about a no liability insurance ticket?

Is there a right to appeal?

What if I can't pay my penalty all at once?

What Options are available to make my payments?

Where can I find needed forms?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is an infraction?

Several years ago, the Washington Legislature decriminalized many traffic offenses. These offenses are now called infractions and are civil instead of criminal cases.

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What if I receive an infraction? - Response Due 15 Days From Date of Infraction

Start by reading the entire informational section of your notice of infraction. If you received a green paper ticket, this information will be located on the back side of your copy of the ticket. If you received a white "electronic" ticket this information will be located on the lower section of the front side of the ticket. Follow the instructions contained in this NOTICE OF INFRACTION section, making sure that you respond to the court within fifteen (15) days of the date that the ticket was issued. Note that while the infraction is not a crime, failure to respond can result in the suspension of your driving privilege. You can respond by either mailing the green ticket to the Court or bringing it in person to the District Court office. You must select one of the boxes on the back of the ticket and verify your address. If you decide to pay the ticket without coming to court, you should mark box one (1) and send the penalty amount listed in the "penalty/bail" box located on the front in the lower right-hand part of the ticket. Please note that if you do not respond within 15 days additional penalties may be added. Please contact the court if you are paying the infraction to verify the correct amount.

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What if I just want to explain what happened?

MITIGATION HEARING - If you admit or committed the violation, but wish to explain the circumstances of what happened, you may check box two (2). This is called a mitigation hearing and a court date will be sent to you. You then will attend a short Court proceeding. The Judge, depending on the explanation and your record, may adjust the penalty. However, the Judge will not dismiss the ticket and it will appear on your driving record.

MITIGATION BY MAIL - At the time of your request for a mitigation hearing or up until the scheduled hearing date, you have the option of a mitigation hearing by mail. If you decide to proceed with a hearing by mail, you will not be required to appear in court. You must, however, complete the Defendant's Statement Form (form link below) and mail, fax or deliver it to the court prior to your scheduled hearing. The court will review your statement and the police officer's sworn statement and render a decision. That decision will be mailed to you. In the case of a mitigation hearing, the infraction is found committed and a monetary penalty will be determined. The finding will be reported to the Department of Licensing. Any penalty will be based on the facts of the case and your driving record. You must agree to pay the court-ordered penalty within the specified time ordered by the judge. You will be notified by mail of the judge's decision. There is NO right to appeal the judge's decision.

Mitigation by Mail Form

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What if I don't agree with the ticket?

CONTESTED HEARING - If you believe you did not commit the violation, then you should select box three (3) to request a contested hearing. Here, the Judge will read a sworn statement submitted by the officer unless you request the presence and live testimony of the officer. Then you may testify or present any evidence or witnesses that you wish. If you want to have the officer or any technician present, you must advise the clerk at the time you present your ticket or as soon as possible thereafter so the hearing can be appropriately scheduled. As a result of a contested hearing, a ticket may be dismissed, the original penalty imposed in full, or some lesser amount may be imposed. If you have subpoenaed witnesses and the court finds you did commit the infraction, you may be required to pay court costs. A contested infraction hearing is a civil case in which the Judge must find a preponderance of the evidence is against you before the infraction can be deemed committed.

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What if I want a lawyer?

At your own expense, you may have a lawyer appear and represent you at your hearing. The lawyer will know how to notify the court of their representation of you and your court date will be sent to them.

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How will an infraction appear on my driving record?

When you pay the penalty, mitigate or are found to have committed the infraction at a contested hearing, the law requires that the infraction be reported to the Department of Licensing. The infraction will then appear on your driving record. If you win at a contested hearing and the citation is dismissed, it is not reported and will not appear on your driving record.

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What if I do not pay for the ticket or appear for the hearing?

A failure to pay or respond to the ticket within 15 days results in an order that the infraction was committed. If you asked for a hearing and do not appear, your payment is due immediately. When an infraction is not paid in a timely manner or a hearing is missed, a $52.00 late penalty is added to the original penalty listed on the ticket. A notice to pay the increased amount will be sent to you. Your license may be suspended if the penalty is not paid as required following the notice and the ticket may be assigned to a collection agency, involving additional costs.

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What about a no liability insurance ticket?

If you receive a ticket for no insurance and you had insurance at the time of the ticket, you may file proof of the insurance with the court and the charge will be dismissed and not go on your driving record upon payment of a $25.00 administrative fee. If you, obtained insurance after you were cited, you may request mitigation of the citation and show proof of the insurance. The court will then notify you of any reduction in the penalty amount. You must do this within the 15 day response time.

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Is there a right to appeal?

If you do not win at a contested hearing, you have the right to appeal to the Superior Court of Okanogan County. A Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the court's decision against you. There is a $230.00 Superior Court filing fee. The Superior Court will review the record that was made at the District Court; there will not be a new hearing. The District Court office has a form and instruction sheet to assist with the appellate process.

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What if I can’t pay my penalty all at once?

If you can't pay all of your penalty, you will be offered a time payment agreement. This is a contract with the Court for installment payments and must be strictly adhered to. Read the agreement carefully, as failure to comply can result in late fees, suspension of your driver's license and assignment of the account to a collection agency resulting in additional expense. You are responsible for making your payments on time per the agreement - No monthly statements will be mailed.

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What options are available to make my payments?

You can pay online at Modern Payments, call the court (509) 422-7170 to pay with a credit card, mail your payment, or make your payment in person.

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Where can I find needed forms?

Other forms may be provided at your District Court office or on our forms page.

Declaration for Infractions
To request that the court release the FTA and/or waive the FTA fee payment requirement.

RESPONSE TO NOTICE OF INFRACTION - English
To respond to infraction citation. this information can also be found on the reverse side of your citation.

Aviso De Infraccion - Espanol
Para responder al citatorio por infracciòn. Esta Informaciòn se encuentra tambien al reverso de su citatorio.

Mitigation by Mail form
Mitigation Statement to be considered in lieu of your appearance for a mitigation hearing.