Traffic Infractions & Violations Defense Attorney in Kennewick, Washington

If you’ve received a traffic infraction or violation in Washington, it’s natural to feel unsure of your next steps. Facing traffic violations like DUI, driving on a suspended license, reckless driving, or vehicular assault can be stressful, overwhelming, and expensive.  

Have you recently received a traffic infraction or violation in or around Kennewick, Walla Walla, Spokane, Benton County, or Franklin County? Reach out to Nicholas George Law Firm PLLC. To further help you navigate this trying time, here’s what you need to know about facing these accusations in the state of Washington.

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Traffic Infractions vs. Traffic Violations 

Unfortunately, the differences between traffic infractions and traffic violations can be stark. Learning the difference between the two and common driving behaviors that fall under their jurisdiction is vital for every driver that wants to protect their rights and operate within the law.  

Traffic Infractions: Traffic infractions are minor, non-criminal events that drivers can resolve with a ticket. Individuals pulled over and ticketed for traffic infractions can resolve the matter by paying their fine or challenging the validity of their ticket in court.  

Common traffic infractions include:  

  • Minor speeding 

  • Failure to stop at a stop sign 

  • Broken headlights, taillights, or turn signals 

  • Failing to signal when merging lanes 

Traffic Violations: Traffic violations are more severe infractions that carry the possibility of criminal prosecution and even imprisonment. Traffic violations can be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies depending on the severity of the infraction. They can result in jail time, loss of driving privileges, significant fines, or community service.  

Common traffic violations include:  

  • DUI 

  • Reckless driving 

  • Vehicular assault  

  • Hit and Run 

  • Criminal Speeding 

  • Driving without Insurance 

Does Washington Have a Point System?  

While Washington does not use a traditional point system to track and punish traffic infractions and violations, they keep track of each driver's infraction and violation records.  

Washington state's infraction tracking system can cause additional complications and even more severe punishment for individuals with pre-existing infractions on their licenses. If you were recently arrested or cited for a traffic violation and already had traffic infractions or violations on your record, you could be facing the following: 

  • A revoked, canceled, or suspended driver's license 

  • Driving, anger management, or risk assessment classes 

  • Driving privilege restrictions  

  • Increased car insurance rates 

  • Court fees 

Traffic Violation Fines & Penalties   

There are various fines, penalties, and punishments for traffic violations in the state of Washington. Common penalties and fines for traffic violations include jail time, hefty fines, driver's license suspension or revocation, and probation. These are all punishments you could face for your traffic violation.  

Fighting a Traffic Violation 

Fortunately, partnering with an experienced criminal defense attorney opens the door to fighting your traffic violation in court. These strategies primarily rely on disputing the fundamental facts of the violation, such as the officer's statement, case evidence, incorrect facts, and arguments that your driving actions were justified due to extenuating circumstances.  

Disputing the Officer  

In some cases, disputing the opinion or judgment of the officer that issued your traffic violation can help your traffic case.  

Washington's basic speeding law defines speeding as operating a vehicle at a "speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing." The law's subjective premise of "reasonable and prudent" speeds related to the driving conditions could potentially allow your criminal defense attorney to argue that the officer's assessment of the conditions of your violation was unreasonable and, by extension, unenforceable.  

Disputing the Evidence  

Not all evidence is worthy of consideration during traffic violation cases. A skilled criminal attorney can review the evidence presented against you to determine its strength, validity, and objectivity. If your attorney discovers shaky evidence being used against you, they can move to have the exhibits (and ideally, the case) thrown out.  

Mistake of Fact  

Mistakes of fact, or honest and reasonable errors made due to circumstances beyond your control, can also help fight your traffic violation. If the judge presiding over your case determines your actions leading to the traffic violation were reasonable and without malintent, they may reduce your penalty or drop the case entirely.  

Action was Justified  

In rare cases, the court can deem committing traffic violations justified or necessary. This uncommon argument relies on proving your traffic violation was committed while avoiding a far more grave or harmful situation, such as driving without a license to take a seriously injured person to the hospital.

Traffic Infractions & Violations Defense Attorney in Kennewick, Washington

Facing traffic infractions and violations can be a traumatic experience. Allow an attorney to guide, support, and advocate for you every step of the way. Contact Nicholas George Law Firm PLLC today to arrange a case evaluation. Attorney Nicholas George is prepared to use his more than 30 years of experience defending traffic violations to work for you.