Here’s the scenario I hear over and over and over again:

Me: Hello?

Client: Hi, I need help. I just received a notice in the mail that my license is going to be suspended in 30 days because I didn’t take care of a ticket. I want to take care of the ticket. What can I do?

Me: I think we can help you out with that. Let me explain…

Under the Traffic Law Rules, You Have 15 Days to Contest Your Speeding Ticket

When the officer issues you a citation, you have 15 days to let the court know that you want to contest the speeding ticket. That’s 15 straight days. If your 15th day falls on a holiday, a Saturday, or a Sunday, you get until the next business day to reply.

Technically, if you miss the 15 day deadline, you lose automatically. Thankfully, though, if you hire the right traffic attorney, you can probably get the case reopened and heard, even if you missed the deadline.

The Show Cause Hearing and You

We handle your case by asking the judge to set a motion to show cause. What that motion does is lay out the reason you missed the deadline (hopefully you have a good excuse – in most courts it doesn’t matter if you have a good excuse, they’ll still open it up) and ask the court to set a hearing to decide the matter.

In most cases, they don’t even set a hearing, they just reopen the case and set it back on a contested court calendar.

Once the case is set on a contested hearing calendar, the department of license is notified, your license comes out of potential suspended status, and then we go and do our thing to try to beat the ticket for you.

A Traffic Attorney Can Help You Fight Old Tickets (most of the time)

There is one scenario when we can’t help you. Sometimes people call us after they’ve had their contested hearing. They didn’t want to hire a traffic attorney because they thought they could beat the ticket on their own. Then, like most other people, they go into court and lose (here’s more on why representing yourself is a bad idea in traffic court).

After they’ve lost they call us up and want our help.

All I can tell them is sorry, you called us too late. You lost your chance to beat your speeding ticket.

What Should You do if You Get a Notice From the Department of Licensing?

That’s an easy answer. Call us at 206.651.4245. We’ll answer any other questions you have, get your case reopened, and do what we do to make sure the ticket never shows up on your driving record.