Once an officer issues you a ticket, a record is created in the court that can never be erased, but your ticket can be Dismissed. What that means is that anyone who checks your driving record can see that you were cited for driving, but that the ticket was Dismissed, so a court can't use it against you, and the insurance companies don't increase your rates over it.
No, and I can't ethically guarantee results, but I've had a great success rate over the last 6 years, and I've developed arguments that work under the greatest of pressure. I've traveled the state from corner to corner and worked real hard to keep in tune with what arguments work in what court from Blaine to Ritzville, and Vancouver to Okanogan.
Every argument I make is open to interpretation and persuasion, and in some courts, the Judges interpret the argument against us, and in other courts, Prosecutors appear on behalf of City or State and defend against our arguments. Even then, however, I can still manage to negotiate a deal that keeps your insurance rates from going up. This usually involves persuading the Prosecutor to amend/change/convert your ticket from something like speeding which is a moving violation, to something like a no seat-belt or expired tabs, which are non-moving violations.
A moving violation is treated as a more serious offense under State Law, each moving violation is counted toward a maximum allowable before your driving privilege is suspended, and insurance companies will count these against you in calculating premiums. On the other hand, non-moving violations generally, but not always, do not count toward a maximum allowed before your privilege is suspended, unless you are under 18 and driving on a conditional/probationary license (See our section on Minor Drivers). Also, insurance companies generally do not count Non-Moving violations against you in calculating premiums.
Moving Violations include: Speeding, Negligent Driving 2nd Degree (Neg 2), Unsafe Lane Change, Fail to Stop/Yield, Defective Equipment (mufflers, bumpers, mirrors, windshields etc...), Fail to Signal, and many others, so for a specific case, send me a message or call for an answer.
Non-Moving Violations include: No-Seatbelt, Expired Tabs, No Front License Plate, and Currently cellphone tickets, but that may soon change.
Traffic Accidents get reported on a form that gets recorded with the department of licensing regardless of whether you were issued a ticket or not. This means that insurance companies will find out about the accident, and decide what that should do to your rates independent of any ticket you may have received.
This also means that just because I get the ticket dismissed, it doesn't mean that the insurance company will decide in your favor. It does mean that the insurance company will not count both the accident and the ticket against you.
Also, winning a traffic ticket case does not determine what party is more at fault in an accident. That is a decision that gets made separately in a civil lawsuit or dispute over damages.
When you are issued a ticket, the officer should point out to you where you can read about your options, usually on the back of your ticket. These options include, a) paying your ticket (which means you admit the ticket and it counts against you), b) requesting a Mitigation Hearing (which means you admit the ticket and it counts against you), or c) requesting a Contested Hearing (which means you challenge the ticket and deny you committed the infraction).
The one option that is not explained is a Deferred Adjudication, and that is because it is each courts choice as to whether or not you are offered this option, it is not a right like the other options. Most courts will, however, offer you the option of deferring the finding on what happened for a period as little as 1 day to 36 months if you agree to certain conditions. These conditions include paying an administrative fee (not a fine) even though it's usually as much as the ticket, but if you don't get any other tickets for the period of time required, the ticket will get dismissed. You only get to use this option once every 7 years, and if you violate the conditions, you will automatically be fined for the ticket, and it will go down on your record as a committed. Also, if you have a CDL (See our section on Commercial Drivers), you are not eligible for a deferred.
My prices start at $350 and vary based on the specific case. My clients usually pay me to represent them at a Contested Hearing because they don't want to risk increased insurance premiums; and, NO, you don't get a refund if you don't get the result you want, but I wouldn't have happy customers if I made it a habit of losing cases.
No, once you hire me on a traffic ticket, I can respond on your behalf, appear in court on your behalf, and make arguments on your behalf, so you will not need to appear unless I decide I want you to come with me. The court will send you a summons to appear when I request the hearing for you, but I will also get a copy of that summons, and I am authorized to show up to court for you.
After the hearing, you will get a call from my office to inform you if your ticket was dismissed. I usually get a copy of the order dismissing your ticket, and will keep if a copy. However, sometimes the court does not issue a copy of the order, and you can obtain it from the court directly, or from my office on request. If anything other than a dismissal happened at the hearing, besides a continuance, which is a postponement of your case to a future date, I will send you a letter in the mail explaining the results, and what steps you have to take next.