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The Economic Reality Behind Washington State Traffic Tickets

When you see a police officer issuing a traffic ticket, it is easy to assume that the  officer's motivation is keeping the roads safe. Perhaps you see a police officer pulling over a vehicle and think: "That driver must deserve a ticket." But the unspoken reality often has little to do with safety and everything to do with governments in need of money.

The budgets of state, county and local governments in Washington State have been hit hard by the recent recession.  All levels of government now rely heavily upon revenue from traffic tickets to pay for public services and to pay their own employees.  Given this economic climate, it is no surprise that police officers from Washington State Patrol and other agencies are issuing more Washington traffic tickets than ever before.

According to its own statistics, Washington State collected more than $142 million dollars from traffic and other infractions in 2010, the last year for which that total is available.  Source: Washington Courts of Limited Jurisdiction 2010 Annual Report.  That is an increase of 75 percent from the year 2000, when Washington State generated only $81 million dollars from infractions.

State, county and local governments in Washington collect revenue when drivers pay the fines associated with traffic tickets.  As a result, governments do not want drivers to fight their Washington traffic tickets in court.  Drivers who successfully fight their traffic tickets do not pay any fines, and governments do not make any money.

Governments know this and are stepping up their efforts to try to win. For instance, King County made the decision last year to send a prosecutor to Contested Hearings to fight drivers in court. Add link: Whereas before, if you contested your Washington traffic ticket in any one of King County's district courts, you merely argued your case before a judge, now you will face a prosecuting attorney who specializes in Contested Hearings


With the State issuing more Washington traffic tickets than ever before, drivers need help fighting Washington traffic tickets now more than ever.  The Law Office of Michael D. Sheehan has been fighting Washington speeding tickets, and other traffic infractions, since 2001.  In the last 12 years, our office challenged more than 10,000 traffic tickets, in more than 50 courts, all over Washington State. We can help you avoid paying the fines and higher insurance premiums that a traffic ticket can create.

Don’t give your hard-earned money to the police and the government without a fight.  Contact the Law Office of Michael D. Sheehan today to fight your Washington traffic ticket.

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