Infractions (Tickets) in Olympia
Infractions are what people commonly refer to as tickets. Infractions are not crimes. The penalty normally only includes fines and does not include jail as a possibility. Since infractions are not a crime, you cannot be found “guilty” of violating the law. Instead, you “committed” the infraction.
There are two different types of infractions – traffic and non-traffic. Non-traffic infractions include noise ordinance violations, a littering ticket, and leash law violations. However, you are much more likely to encounter a traffic infraction. Traffic infractions involve your vehicle.
Traffic infractions can be then further broken down into two different categories – moving and non-moving. Non-moving includes parking tickets, expired registration tickets, camera tickets, and seatbelt tickets. The types of tickets that you need to be especially concerned about are moving violations. Moving violations are typically the type of infractions that impact your insurance rates and could possibly impact your commercial driver’s license.
While it is good to know that infractions are not crimes, the drawback is they are a lot easier to get on your record. While the government has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury that you committed a crime, they only have to prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence (50.01%) to a judge that you committed a crime. They also can have the officer simply submit a written report as evidence against you instead of showing up to testify against you, unless you specifically subpoena the officer to appear. All of this makes the government’s job of winning a lot easier.
If you have questions about an infraction you were cited with or wish to fight one, do not hesitate to give our office a call. You only have a limited amount of time to respond to a ticket. It is important that you address them in a timely manner so you will have a chance to make your argument to keep it off of your record. We are here to help you with your goals.