If you receive and infraction you need to...
Read the entire reverse side of the copy of your ticket. You should note that you must respond in person, by phone, or in writing within fifteen days of the date the ticket was issued. An infraction is not a crime, but failure to respond can result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Select one of the boxes on the back of the ticket and verify your address. If you select box one (1) you are electing to pay the amount of the penalty as shown on the front of the ticket. By selecting box two (2) you are choosing to mitigate the infraction. To mitigate you are admitting that you committed the infraction and would like an opportunity to explain the circumstances and request a reduction in the fine. The judge will not dismiss your ticket. As the Court is required to forward all committed traffic tickets to the Department of Licensing, it will appear on your driving record. When you select box three (3) you are requesting a contested hearing because you do not believe that you committed the infraction. You must appear in person to contest your ticket. The contested hearing will be heard before the Court without a jury. Unless you request in writing that the officer be subpoenaed, the procedure at the hearing will be for the judge to read the officer’s sworn statement. You may then testify or present any evidence or witnesses that you wish. A fourth option, not listed on the back of the ticket, is a deferral. To request a deferral, complete and sign the REQUEST TO DEFER TRAFFIC INFRACTION form and mail it to the Court.
To defer your traffic infraction you must..
By Washington State Law, the court is required to report all committed traffic infractions to the Department of Licensing to be recorded on an individual’s driving record. RCW 46.63.070(5)(a), however, permits the court to defer a finding of committed for a period up to one year and to not report the infraction to the Department of Licensing, provided the person complies with such conditions as the court deems appropriate. A person is only entitled to one deferral in a seven-year period for one moving and one non-moving violation. If you have already been granted a deferral you are not eligible for another seven years.
Colfax Municipal Court has adopted a policy authorizing the deferral of traffic infractions, subject to the following conditions:
The defendant shall commit no traffic violations for six months from the date the deferral order is entered.
The defendant shall pay the full monetary penalty for the infraction along with an additional $75.00 administrative fee.
The defendant shall complete and sign the REQUEST TO DEFER TRAFFIC INFRACTION form and send to the Colfax Municipal Court.
The deferral process will begin upon payment. Time payments will not be accepted.
If a defendant fully complies with the condition of the deferral, the infraction shall be automatically dismissed at the end of the six month period. If the defendant fails to comply, the infraction shall be immediately adjudged committed, and shall be reported to the Department of Licensing.
Hearings are scheduled every other Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. The Colfax Municipal Court is located at 400 N. Mill in Colfax, WA. You can call the Court to verify the dates or click here to check the schedule on the internet.
May I have a lawyer at a contested hearing?.
You may, at your own expense, have a lawyer appear and represent you at your hearing. If you are to be represented by counsel, the lawyer is required to file a notice of appearance with the Court, and the Colfax Municipal Prosecutor, prior to the hearing date.
What if I live to far away to come to court?
If you live beyond a 60-mile radius of the court, or if appearing in court presents an extreme hardship, you may request a mitigation hearing by mail. You must appear in person to contest your case. The clerk will schedule your hearing and you must have your letter to the court by the date specified. Failure to do so will result in the assessment of a $52 late penalty and the process to suspend your license will begin. The court will review your written sworn affidavit as well as the citing officer’s report and make a decision. You will be provided with a written judgment and, if a fine is imposed, given 15 business days from the date of judgment to pay. A time pay option may also be requested.
What about a "no liablility insurance" ticket?
If you receive a ticket for no insurance, and you had insurance at the time of the ticket, you may file proof of insurance with the Court Clerk along with a $25.00 administrative fee. It must provide proof that you indeed had insurance at the time of the stop, not quickly thereafter. The clerk can then dismiss that charge without you having to come to Court before the judge. If you obtained insurance after you received the ticket, you may request a mitigation hearing (2) on the back of your green copy of the ticket to explain the circumstances and show your policy to the judge. You must do this within the 15 day response time.
Can I appeal a contested hearing judgement?
If you do not prevail at your contested hearing you have the right to appeal to the Superior Court of Whitman County. The notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judgment. There will be various appeal costs, payable in advance, including a $200 Superior Court filing fee and costs for copying the Court recording. If you choose to appeal your case, the Superior Court will review the record that was made at the Colfax Municipal Court, but there will not be a new trial. The Clerk’s office will provide you with the information about the appellate process.
What happens if I fail to pay for a ticket or don't appear in court?
A failure to pay or respond to the ticket within 15 days results in an order that the infraction was committed. If you asked for a hearing and did not appear your payment is due immediately. When an infraction is not paid in a timely manner or a hearing is missed, a $52 late penalty is added to the amount shown on the ticket. Your license may then be suspended if the penalty is not paid following a notice to pay the increased penalty, and the account will be assigned to a collection agency.
400 N Mill Street
Deborah McCormick-Public Defender