333 S. Meridian, Puyallup, WA 98371 - 253-841-4321

City of Puyallup

Infractions and Deferred Findings

Deferred Findings, Contested and Mitigation Hearings

A traffic infraction is a civil (non criminal) offense that cannot include a jail sentence.  Primarily, there are two types of hearings you may request with regard to an infraction:  a contested or mitigation hearing.

A contested hearing means you wish to contest (or challenge) the infraction.  The judge determines by a preponderence of the evidence if there will be a "committed" or "not committed" finding to the offense.  If there is a committed finding by the judge, the offense is reported to Department of Licensing.  A not committed finding or dismissal is not reported.

A mitigation hearing is a hearing to explain circumstances and is uncontested.  This type of hearing is generally requested when a person wishes to ask for a reduction in the penalty, often times based on circumstances.  A committed disposition from a mitigation hearing is reported to Department of Licensing.

Under certain criteria the law allows for a deferred finding.  A deferral of a traffic infraction is only allowed once every seven (7) years.  The length of a deferral is generally one year during which time the following conditions must be met:

1)  Pay the administrative costs in full of the deferral by your due date;
2)  Not receive any further traffic violations during your deferral period;
3)  And, in some cases, the judge may require completion of a defensive driving school.

If you believe you may be eligible for a deferred finding, you can make this request at your hearing.  The judge will make a determination as to your eligibility.  If after one year all conditions of the deferral are met the violation is dismissed.

By law, you must submit a request for hearing within 15 days of issuance of the infraction.  Failure to appear at your hearing can result in addtional penalties, referral of your infraction to a collection agency, and suspension of your driving priviledges.