Infractions - Electronic Hearing Instructions and Form
The local rules of the Municipal Court allow you to submit a written statement instead of physically appearing at an infraction hearing.
If you submit an electronic written statement rather than physically appearing at the hearing, please use the Electronic Infraction Hearing Response Form. If you are currently scheduled for a hearing, this form must be received by the court clerk at least two business days prior to the hearing. You must also include an active email address so the court can advise you of the result of the hearing. No appeal may be taken from the result. If you are contesting the infraction and intend to appeal if you don't prevail at the hearing, you must physically appear in court rather than submitting a written statement.
Form Submission Directions
Fill out the Electronic Infraction Hearing Response Form completely and click the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page to process your form. The court will advise you of the outcome of the hearing by email. Please refer to the Notice of Hearing you received to complete the "Hearing Information" section of the form.
Complete Electronic Infraction Hearing Response Form
Unless you request the law enforcement officer to be subpoenaed, the procedure at the hearing will be as follows: The judge will read the officer's sworn statement. Then you may testify or present any evidence or witnesses that you would like. Please be prepared with your evidence and witnesses at this hearing.
If you would like to have the officer or any technician present, please advise the court clerk at the time you present your ticket or as soon thereafter as possible (at least 14 days prior to the hearing).
A contested infraction hearing is a civil case and the judge will decide the case based on the preponderance of the evidence.
A mitigation hearing is where you admit you committed the violation, but wish to explain the circumstances of the infraction. The judge, depending on your explanation and record, may adjust your penalty - unless your infraction is for speeding in a school or construction zone. In these cases, state law prohibits reducing the penalty.
At a mitigation hearing, the judge will not dismiss your ticket. The Court is required to forward all committed traffic tickets to the Department of Licensing. Therefore, it will appear on your driving record.
However, you may request the Court to defer its finding, pursuant to RCW 46.63.070 (5)(a) except that a person may not receive more than one deferral in a seven-year period.
RCW 46.63.070 (5)(a) Except as provided in (b) and (c) of this subsection, in hearings conducted pursuant to subsections (3) and (4) of this section, the court may defer findings, or in a hearing to explain mitigating circumstances may defer entry of its order, for up to one year and impose conditions upon the defendant the court deems appropriate. Upon deferring findings, the court may assess costs as the court deems appropriate for administrative processing. If at the end of the deferral period the defendant has met all conditions and has not been determined to have committed another traffic infraction, the court may dismiss the infraction.