Infractions & Deferred Findings

Deferred Findings, Contested and Mitigation Hearings

If you received a traffic ticket, you have been charged with a traffic infraction. Before you call the court, please carefully read the entire front and back (if applicable) of the infraction for instructions. You must respond within 15 days of the date of the infraction by doing one of the following:

  1. Pay the fine in full.
  2. Set up a payment plan as outlined in Payment Options.
  3. Submit a contested or mitigation hearing by mail or email, click here. A contested hearing is to challenge the infraction; a mitigation hearing is to explain the circumstances and/or request a reduction in the fine. Infractions for speeding in a school/construction/emergency zone, failing to yield to emergency vehicle or passing a stopped school bus cannot be mitigated or reduced. 
  4. Some charges may be eligible for reductions.  You may submit a mitigation hearing to make your request, to include any supporting documentation such as, proof of insurance.  
 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.

Failure to respond within 15 days from the date issued may result in
  • Committed finding
  • Penalty being accessed
  • Loss of driver's license/privilege and/or
  • Case being referred to a collection agency. 

Contested Hearing

A contested hearing means you wish to contest (or challenge) the infraction. The judge determines by a preponderance 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.

Mitigation Hearing

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.

Failure to Appear

Failure to appear at any hearing can result in additional penalties, referral of your infraction to a collection agency, and suspension of your driving privileges.  NSF check will be accessed a $20 fee and will be treated as a failure to respond.  

Deferred Finding

A deferred finding is available once every seven (7) years in Washington for both a moving an a non-moving violation.  If you have a commercial driver license (CDL) or were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the violation you are not eligible.  If you are eligible, you must comply with the following to have the violation dismissed:

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

If the conditions of a deferral are not met, the finding is reported to Department of Licensing as committed and appears on your driving record. In addition to any costs of the deferral, you will also be required to pay the original amount of the penalty on your ticket.

Submit a request for a mitigation hearing by mail or appear in person at the Puyallup Municipal Court front counter if believe you are eligible and would like the court to consider granting a deferred finding. 

Photo Tickets

Red Light Violation: These can be contested or mitigated. 

Issuing: A photo infraction is issued to the owner(s) on the vehicle registration. You can view the photo online by going to and entering the PIN number on your Notice of Infraction.  Photo infractions do not go on your driving record. 

Responding: An owner may overcome presumption of liability by completing a Declaration of Non-Responsibility 

Failure to respond within 18 days
will result in the infraction being assigned to a collection agency. A vehicle with two or more unpaid violations will result in a hold on the vehicle registration tabs.