Need help defending yourself against a Seattle traffic ticket case? Being pulled over and getting a speeding ticket can be irritating. You witness people driving faster than the speed limit all the time. Why did you have to get a ticket? Unfortunately, a speeding ticket quickly becomes something much more than an annoyance. It can have a significant impact on your life, including fines, higher insurance premiums, and potentially losing your driver’s license for a period of time. By working with one of the experienced and aggressive Seattle speeding ticket lawyer from Emerald City Law Group, you have someone who will contest the ticket and fight for the best possible outcome in your situation.
Contact our team of Seattle speeding ticket lawyers today at 206-973-0407 for a free case consultation.
Washington Speed Laws
Washington’s speeding laws are outlined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 46.61.400. This statute details that no one will drive a vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent based on the conditions. This sets up an initial standard that, no matter the posted speed limit, how fast you drive needs to be appropriate for the environment. RCW 46.61.400(3) more specifically states that you should slow down when crossing an intersection or railroad, going around a curve, cresting a hill, driving on a narrow and winding road, and when other traffic, road, and weather conditions create hazards. You could get into trouble with the law if you drive faster than a reasonable person would in those circumstances.
Most speeding tickets arise due to driving faster than the posted or lawful limit though. RCW 46.61.400(2) establishes baseline speed limits for various types of roads when a different limit is not posted:
- 25 mph on city and town streets
- 50 mph on country roads
- 60 mph on state highways
If you are driving and do not see speed limit signs on the right side of the road, then you can assume these limits are in effect. Driving faster than these limits can lead to being stopped and ticketed for speeding. After being ticketed for failing to obey the posted or statutory speed limit, call our speeding ticket lawyers to discuss your options.
However, you can also drive too slowly. According to RCW 46.61.425, no one can drive a vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede normal and reasonable traffic, except when that low of a speed is necessary for safety. This can become an issue for overly cautious drivers. If you are unable to drive an appropriate speed for the roadways, it may not be safe for you to be behind the wheel.
Penalties for Speeding
When it comes to speeding, the ticket you receive and its penalty depends on the location’s speed limit and how fast you were driving. A Seattle speeding ticket attorney at Emerald City Law Group can review your situation and explain the financial penalty.
For speed limits over 40 mph, Washington’s base fine schedule is:
- 1 to 5 mph over- $33
- 6 to 10 mph over- $43
- 11 to 15 mph over- $58
- 16 to 20 mph over- $73
- 21 to 25 mph over- $88
- 26 to 30 mph over- $108
- 31 to 35 mph over- $133
- 36 to 40 mph over- $158
- More than 40 mph over- $188
For speed limits below 40 mph:
- 1 to 5 mph over- $43
- 6 to 10 mph over- $48
- 11 to 15 mph over- $63
- 16 to 20 mph over- $83
- 21 to 25 mph over- $108
- 26 to 30 mph over- $133
- 31 to 35 mph over- $158
- More than 35 mph over- $188
If you are pulled over and ticketed for driving too fast for the conditions, then the Washington base fine is $48.
These are the current base fines established by the Washington State Supreme Court. The amount you would need to pay if you do not contest the ticket or if you are found guilty of the violation will include various other assessments and fees, and will be much more than the fines above. When dealing with a speeding ticket in Seattle, always talk with a Washington speeding ticket lawyer to understand the potential cost. This varies depending on where you were ticketed, and by which law enforcement agency.
Collateral Consequences of a Speeding Ticket
The impact of a speeding ticket can go beyond paying a one-time fee. If you agree or are found to have violated the rules of the road, your auto insurance rates will go up. What may seem like a small monthly increase could lead to hundreds over dollars over the next several years.
You could also lose your driver’s license. If you receive four moving violations within a 12-month period or five moving violations within a 24-month period, you will be put on probation for one year. Two moving violations that occur during this probationary period could lead to a license suspension for at least 30 days. When you are able to drive again, you will be placed back on probation for another year.
Options for Handling a Speeding Ticket
When you are handed a speeding ticket in Washington, you have a variety of options. You can mark an “X” in the box for payment and send a check or pay your fee online. This may seem like the simplest way to handle a speed ticket. However, this is the same as pleading guilty. You are admitting to the traffic violation and paying the full penalty, which is not necessary.
Instead, you should call a Seattle speeding ticket lawyer and discuss your other options: a mitigation hearing or a contested hearing. A mitigation hearing is used when you agree you committed the violation, yet you had your reason for doing so. Based on the circumstances, you do not deserve any penalty. Your attorney may recommend this if the prosecution has strong evidence against you, yet you want to fight to mitigate the penalties of the violation.
In many situations, your Seattle speeding ticket lawyer will recommend requesting a contested hearing. You have a short period of time to respond to your ticket, which is why you need to call a speeding ticket lawyer right away. A contested hearing gives you the opportunity to force the prosecution to prove you committed the offense. It is the prosecution’s burden to prove you committed the violation by a preponderance of the evidence. You never have to admit to doing anything wrong. Instead, you can force the prosecution to put forth evidence while also taking the opportunity to establish your own argument that you did not commit the violation you were ticketed for.
When you work with a Seattle traffic lawyer to mitigate or contest the ticket, you also have the opportunity to plea the ticket down to a lessor violation and penalty.
Let Our Seattle Speeding Ticket Lawyers Help You
The experienced Seattle speeding ticket lawyer at Emerald City Law Group are ready to help you contest your speeding ticket. There is no need for you to automatically pay a ticket and tarnish your record. Instead, we will deal with the court hearings and fight to either reduce the ticket or have it dismissed altogether.
Let us fight for you. Call one of our Seattle criminal defense attorneys or personal injury lawyers from Emerald City Law Group at 206-973-0407. We can discuss your specific case in a free initial consultation.
How a Seattle Traffic Attorney Can Help
No matter how small your traffic issue may seem, all the consequences need to be considered.
People are often shocked by the far-reaching implications of simply paying a fine or ignoring some other seemingly minor traffic or license issue, but with effective representation it does not need to be that way. The traffic lawyers with Emerald City Law Group are well-versed in the fine points of Washington traffic law and know how to obtain results for their clients. There is no need to simply accept responsibility if an officer made a mistake, a clerical error said your license was suspended, or your career is dependent on having a clear driving record. Whatever the traffic issue, we can help assess your situation, review all your options, and determine how to best protect your license and bank account.
If you’ve received a traffic citation anywhere in the Seattle, King County, or surrounding Washington areas, contact Emerald City Law Group at 206-973-0407 and speak directly with a traffic lawyer.