Infraction - Mitigation Hearing
Issuance of Infraction
The issuance of a Notice of Infraction is a determination by a law enforcement officer that you violated a traffic/non-traffic law. You must respond to the Court within 15 days of receiving an infraction.
You may request a Mitigation hearing when you agree that you have committed the infraction but wish to explain the circumstances. Information is available on the Washington State Courts and the Infraction Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction websites.
No Proof of Insurance Infractions
If you had valid insurance coverage when the infraction was issued, the violation can be dismissed by the Court Clerk upon presentation of proof of insurance and payment of a $25 administrative fee.
What to Expect
Before the Hearing
A Mitigation hearing is an informal proceeding. You may bring a lawyer at your own expense. You may ask witnesses to attend the Mitigation hearing, but they cannot be subpoenaed and required to appear.
Upon receipt of your request for a Mitigation hearing, the Court Clerk will schedule your court date and send you a Notice of Hearing. If you have a conflict with the hearing date, contact the Court. Your hearing date will only be rescheduled once.
During the Hearing
During your Mitigation hearing you may request a deferred finding. If the Judge grants you a deferred finding, you will be required to pay an administrative fee of $150. You can pay the full amount on your court date or set up a monthly time pay agreement with a $40 minimum payment each month. If you have the fine and fee paid in full by the end of the deferral period (usually 6 months), the infraction will not be reported to the Department of Licensing and therefore will not appear on your driving record.
You may not appeal the Court’s determination or order. You can be required to pay a monetary penalty. Suspension, revocation, or denial of your driver’s license may also result from your having committed this infraction.
Failure to respond, failure to appear at any hearing, or failure to pay will automatically increase the monetary penalty, and your driving privilege may be suspended until you have paid all the penalties required by law.