- There is no such thing here as "traffic school", that silly waste of time that people in California refer to as "kindergarten for adults".
- Since I have an excellent driving record, I can take a "deferment" if the judge allows. Basically, this means I pay the fine and if I don't commit any other violations for a year, it gets wiped off my record. I'm only allowed one deferment every seven years.
- Speeding tickets remain on your record for three years.
- SpeedingTicketCentral recommends against a contested hearing. The ticket itself is considered evidence you committed the infraction. The officer doesn't have to appear in court, and it's simply the word of a trained officer against yours.
Possible attorneys who can represent me
TixNix is a site that claims to put me in touch with an attorney specializing in traffic violations. Donaldson & Knigge is one such firm that for $265 will handle all the paperwork, and even appear in court for you. Another firm, Jahnis J. Abelite, based in Arlington (where my officer is based) and on their web site claims they won 110/115 cases. Another is Waticket, though their website makes them sound more pushy than I like.
The whole episode caught me off-guard and I'm now kicking myself for not paying more attention, not so much to the speed I was traveling (believe me, I wasn't doing anything unsafe) but to my reaction when I saw the policeman.
Here are some things I wish I had done:
- Take lots of photos. My video camera was right there on the seat next to me: why oh why didn't I just pick it up and record the whole thing? IF nothing else it would have been a great Youtube video.
- Engage in conversation. I had so many questions, but I just wasn't thinking enough to ask. What was his evidence? What is the speed limit here and how far up the road does it last?
How about you? Any advice?
After how many decades of perfect driving (not one scratch, not one ticket), I was stopped last week by officer M684 on motorcycle at Milepost 202 on I-5 North, just North of Marysville. He claims I was going 65 in a 60mph zone and ticketed me for a 46.61.400 ("Basic Rule and Maximum Limits"). He wrote me up for $81.
As I study this thing more closely I learn the following about Washington driving laws: