Just a quick update on a new way courts are taking advantage of technology. One of the first and most widely used is online payment of traffic and parking tickets, which we covered here, here, and here. Next up were the ubiquitous red light camera tickets, which can also be paid online.
Since some people don’t want to pay their tickets without a fight, some courts allow tickets to be contested online without having to show up in court. We’ve even seen examples of courts allowing some hearings to be held by telephone or online instead … Read More
Just a little over two years ago, we reported on a new trend in some courts: allowing people to fight their traffic tickets by mail. That was a departure from the traditional choices of paying your ticket, or having to go to court in person to fight it. Yet only two months later, we reported on a newer trend in some courts: allowing people go fight their parking tickets online. Tellingly, we closed that post with the observation that “[a]s with any innovation that makes life easier, more are sure to follow. ”
In the last two years, … Read More
Court systems continue to develop new ways of streamlining their procedures to reduce their expenses and backlog, and to improve customer service. Last year we noted the rise of telephonic court appearances for self-represented parties in some types of hearings. But “phoning it in” isn’t the only way to avoid a trip to the courthouse. In some areas, it is now possible to contest your traffic ticket by mail.
While telephone hearings are limited to routine motions that don’t require presentation of evidence or sworn testimony, traffic ticket mail contests are the real thing: the determination of guilt or innocence. … Read More
Recognizing that the most influential people in a teenager’s life are often peers, Seattle is adding its first Youth Traffic Court, set to convene for the first time this month. The court will be staffed entirely by Garfield High School students, who will serve as judge, jury, attorneys, bailiffs and court clerks. The students have all received training in these positions from Seattle University law students.
Any Seattle driver younger than 18 who admits to the traffic violation he or she is accused of may appear in Seattle Youth Traffic Court. Following the philosophy of restorative justice, the teen … Read More
We’ve all heard various tips and tricks for “getting out of” a traffic ticket. For instance, many people believe that if the police officer makes a single mistake in writing up the ticket, no matter how trivial, that the judge will be forced to dismiss the citation. Another oft-repeated story is that if a person goes to court to fight the traffic ticket and the police officer who issued the citation does not show up, the ticket will automatically be thrown out. How true are these stories? Is it really so simple to get out of a ticket, even if … Read More
The fine and court costs for a traffic offense are not the only expenses. Most drivers are aware that a traffic ticket can affect auto insurance rates. More tickets can mean even higher rates, and too many tickets can even lead to cancellation of a policy. Depending on where the ticket was issued, it might be possible to keep it off your record by attending traffic school. You’ll still have to pay the fine and court costs, plus the additional costs of the school, but you may still come out ahead in the long run if your insurance rates stay … Read More