What is a Deferred Finding?

seattle speeding ticket attorneyIf you are looking for a way to beat your traffic ticket without using a Seattle traffic lawyer, the deferred finding is it.

And, although this is something you can do on your own, because I like you, I’m going to tell you how to do it. It’s the least I can do.

What is a Deferred Finding?

RCW 46.63.070(5) governs deferred findings. This is what it says:

(5)(a) Except as provided in (b), (c), and (d) 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.

(b) A person may not receive more than one deferral within a seven-year period for traffic infractions for moving violations and more than one deferral within a seven-year period for traffic infractions for nonmoving violations.

(c) A person who is the holder of a commercial driver’s license or who was operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the violation may not receive a deferral under this section.

(d) A person who commits negligent driving in the second degree with a vulnerable user victim may not receive a deferral for this infraction under this section.

What is a Deferred Finding (in English)?

Translated, a deferred finding allows a judge to continue your case and eventually dismiss it if you follow a couple of rules.

First, you can’t get another traffic violation within 12 months.

Second, you can’t have had another deferred finding within 7 years of this one (you get to use this once every 7 years).

Third, you have to pay court costs. The costs vary but the standard amount is $150 which is for the court costs to monitor your driving record.

If you do those three things within the 12 months, then the ticket is dismissed. Nothing is reported and no therefore no hit on your insurance.

What Happens if you Mess Up?

If you violate any of the conditions imposed during that 12 months, then the deferred finding is revoked.

What does this mean? It means that you are now responsible for the original fine and the violation will be reported to the Department of Licensing.

When Deferred Finding is Not Allowed

If you have a commercial driver’s license at the time of violation you are ineligible for a deferred finding.

If you commit negligent driving in the 2nd degree with a vulnerable user victim you are ineligible to use a deferred finding.

When is the Right Time to Use a Deferred Finding?

When it comes to our services, we only do this as a last resort. Our ultimate goal is to keep your driving record clean, so if we absolutely have to use it we will.

If you are handling your traffic ticket yourself, I still would not recommend it as a first option. However, it can be good in a couple of different scenarios: if the court is really far and you are able to do it by mail; if you do not get stopped often; and if you do not want to hire an speeding ticket attorney.

Is Your Deferred Traffic Ticket in Danger of Getting Revoked? Call Now to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you have received a traffic ticket, you only have 15 days to contest the hearing or you lose automatically. Don’t wait, get experienced professionals on the job immediately. Let us handle this for you from start to finish.

Call us now at 206.973.0407 to schedule your free consultation. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Christopher Small is the co-founder and owner of Emerald City Law Group, a full service speeding ticket law firm.

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What to do when You get a Speeding Ticket with a Deferral Pending

Podcast: Download

In this episode of the podcast I talk about what to do when you get a speeding ticket (or other moving violation while you have a deferral pending.


00:20 – Definition of deferred traffic ticket.

01:15 – What you should do if you get a new speeding ticket while on deferral.

01:45 – What a traffic attorney can do for you in this situation.

02:04 – One strategy we use to help you win your deferral AND your new speeding ticket.

Getting a Speeding Ticket While a Deferral is Pending Brings Double Trouble

speeding ticket lawyer

The deferral is supposed to be used as a last resort (I know we typically do everything we can to avoid using deferrals for our clients). You can only use one every seven years, and you are basically making a deal with the court where you automatically lose if you find yourself in front of a cop that wants to be a jerk and write you a speeding ticket for 5 miles over the limit.

Today we’re talking about some strategies you can use if you find yourself in that precarious position of getting a new traffic ticket while you have a deferral pending. There are some things that can be done to both beat the new ticket and keep the deferral with the old ticket, but you’ve got to know what you’re doing.

In this Episode I Talk About:

  • What a deferred ticket actually is;
  • Why getting a new speeding ticket while a deferral is pending is double the trouble;
  • Some strategies we use to win both the deferral AND the new ticket; and
  • Much much more!

Right click here to download the MP3

Items Mentioned in this podcast:

  • No links this week!

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If you have a question you’d potentially like answered on the show, or just feedback in general (constructive criticism and praise is absolutely welcome!), feel free to leave us a comment below.

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Thank you for listening. Can’t wait to hear from you!

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Why You Should Hire a Traffic Lawyer Even in a Tough Court

In this episode of The Ultimate Traffic Lawyer Podcast I talk why it’s important to hire a traffic lawyer even if you know the court is a tough one to beat a speeding ticket in.

Last week we helped someone with a traffic ticket in a court that is notoriously tough (at least notoriously tough to us). Although we ended up with a successful defense of the ticket, the client was unhappy because we had to exercise his deferral.

That wasn’t the part that led to this podcast. The part that led to this podcast was the client’s insinuation that we’d been less than up front with him about the ticket.

Basically the client was unhappy because he thought we just went in and did the same thing they could have done. He wondered why he should even hire a traffic lawyer if the court was tough to win in.

That feeling sparked this episode, because I think it’s an important question for anyone out there considering hiring a traffic attorney. It’s important because if you make a hasty decision and don’t think the decision all the way through there is a decent chance you could regret that decision for years to come.

In this Episode I Talk About:


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Don’t Contest Your Speeding Ticket by Admitting to Speeding

I was in traffic court the other day and I saw something I don’t normally see a lot of – people contesting their Seattle speeding tickets even though they were eligible for a deferral, and they didn’t have a Seattle traffic lawyer with them.

Why is this so strange?

Because they never win, they never have a good defense, and they always say the darndest things (kind of like that kids show back in the day when Bill Cosby would ask kids questions).

Not convinced? Let me give you an example.

Why You Shouldn’t Admit to Speeding

In traffic court, unlike the regular criminal court (speeding tickets and most other traffic infractions have been decriminalized so attorneys don’t have to be appointed), the traffic attorneys don’t get to go first. They have to wait in line with everyone else. I think this is done in part because the judges don’t like to see all the traffic tickets get dismissed, and our punishment for that is having to wait in line, even if we have somewhere else to be.

Because of this “punishment” I get to see a lot of regular citizens come up, present their case, and give it their best shot.

Just such a guy was giving it his best shot, trying to beat his speeding ticket. He comes up to the table after his name is called and introduces himself to the judge. He does not have a speeding ticket lawyer with him.

The judge lets the guy know that he is eligible for a deferral and asks him if he wants to take advantage of that. He says no.

Now, let me interrupt here for a second. Whenever someone gets up without a lawyer and says they want to contest their speeding ticket, particularly when a deferral is on the table, I’m expecting some magic. Or, in the alternative, I’m expecting some kind of halfway decent argument from the accused.

Back to the story. When the guy passes on the traffic ticket deferral, the judge reads the police report into the record, so the court has it and so the guy knows what he is facing. Essentially, the report says this: “I was traveling on a road. The speed limit was 60. I saw the guy speeding. Using my radar, I clocked him at 65 mph. I pulled him over and issued him a speeding ticket.”

Then, as you might expect, the judge waits to hear from the guy. His defense, which I bet he thought was going to work, was this: “I was going 65, but everyone else was too. Because of that, I shouldn’t be the only unlucky guy who gets a speeding ticket.”

Admitting to Speeding Won’t Work

Guess what the judge did. You are right, she found he’d committed the speeding ticket infraction and reduced his fine for being so naive as to think the everyone is doing it so it must be okay defense. She even asked the guy if everyone didn’t do their homework if it was okay if he didn’t do it too.

What it Takes to Beat Speeding Tickets

Now, I have a lot of respect for people that fight their Seattle speeding tickets, even if they don’t hire a speeding ticket lawyer (it takes a lot of guts to get up in front of the judge and argue for your case). But, if you are going to do it, you’ve got to be smart enough to take a little bit of time before hand to put together a defense. And, secondly, if you think you’ve got a good defense, to check it out with some people and make sure it will actually fly when you get into court.

Beating a speeding ticket isn’t rocket science. But there is a reason speeding ticket lawyer win all the time and regular people don’t – you still have to lawyer them up a little bit. And although I’d love to tell you all how I beat speeding tickets every day, it’d be kind of like giving you a motorcycle without teaching you how to ride – in the end you’d do more harm than good (and the other traffic lawyers out there would get really pissed at me – trust me, they’ve called).

I may catch some flack for saying this by my colleagues, but I am going to let you in on one secret of speeding tickets in Seattle – speeding is a strict liability crime. What does that mean? It means if you are driving even one mile an hour over the speed limit you are guilty of speeding. Period. So, if you decide to contest your own speeding ticket, don’t think you can go in there with an excuse as to why you are speeding and hope to beat the ticket. It isn’t going to work.

About Me: Christopher Small isn’t just the author of this article, he’s also one of the traffic lawyers at Emerald City Traffic Defense. If you need help with a speeding ticket, give us a call at 206-651-4245.

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