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Jeffrey Alan Lustick
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Jeffrey Lustick’s Answers

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  • How do you get a speeding ticket deferred

    I was going 52 in a 35 on my way to school because i didn't want to be late l with 5 other cars behind me and a motorcycle cop singled me out when he was hiding in a drive way

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    When you receive an infraction citation (i.e. a "ticket") in Washington State, you have four options. First, pay the ticket at full face value to the clerk of court within 15 days from the date the ticket was issued. This can be a good option if you are busy, or from out of state, or if you have neither the time nor the motivation to fight the ticket in any way.

    Second, you can request a mitigation review. This allows the court to take into consideration your driving record and any information you may have to offer about the situation which tends to lessen your guilt but not excuse it. Most courts require you to appear at a mitigation hearing and at least ask for a reduction of the fine in person. If your driving record is not too good, you can be denied any mitigation. Some courts also allow you to submit a written mitigation letter in lieu of actually appearing in court.

    Third, you can ask for a contested infraction hearing to fight the ticket entirely. This hearing actually forces the state or city to prove the allegation against you. In the courts I work in, the prosecutor are greatly stepping up their efforts to win more and more of these hearings because most have tight budgets and most want money for their court.

    As far as a deferred goes, this is your 4th option, and it's an option only if you request a contested or a mitigation hearing. Under state law, you can petition for a "deferred findings" on one moving violation and one non-moving violation every seven years. If the deferred is granted, you'll have to pay a deferral fee to the court, and you will have to go the next 12 months without receiving any more tickets.

    After the 12 months is up, the court dismisses your ticket, and during the 12-month period, the ticket is NOT reported to your insurance company. But if you mess up and get another ticket, the deferral gets cancelled, and you receive a notice in the mail from the court clerk demanding the full face amount of the fine on the ticket, and if you do not pay it, they will suspend your license.

    Courts can charge a lot of a deferral these days. A few years ago, the fees were typically $50 per ticket, but some court I have dealt with, now want more than the face amount of the ticket! I saw one court the other day that wanted $300 to grant a deferred findings on a $142 ticket!

    Good luck.

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  • Defer a speeding ticket?

    Okay I was going 54 in a 35 late at night and this is my first ticket ever am I able in the city of Lakewood, WA to defer this ticket?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    When you receive an infraction citation (i.e. a "ticket") in Washington State, you have four options. First, pay the ticket at full face value to the clerk of court within 15 days from the date the ticket was issued. This can be a good option if you are busy, or from out of state, or if you have neither the time nor the motivation to fight the ticket in any way.

    Second, you can request a mitigation review. This allows the court to take into consideration your driving record and any information you may have to offer about the situation which tends to lessen your guilt but not excuse it. Most courts require you to appear at a mitigation hearing and at least ask for a reduction of the fine in person. If your driving record is not too good, you can be denied any mitigation. Some courts also allow you to submit a written mitigation letter in lieu of actually appearing in court.

    Third, you can ask for a contested infraction hearing to fight the ticket entirely. This hearing actually forces the state or city to prove the allegation against you. In the courts I work in, the prosecutor are greatly stepping up their efforts to win more and more of these hearings because most have tight budgets and most want money for their court.

    As far as a deferred goes, this is your 4th option, and it's an option only if you request a contested or a mitigation hearing. Under state law, you can petition for a "deferred findings" on one moving violation and one non-moving violation every seven years. If the deferred is granted, you'll have to pay a deferral fee to the court, and you will have to go the next 12 months without receiving any more tickets.

    After the 12 months is up, the court dismisses your ticket, and during the 12-month period, the ticket is NOT reported to your insurance company. But if you mess up and get another ticket, the deferral gets cancelled, and you receive a notice in the mail from the court clerk demanding the full face amount of the fine on the ticket, and if you do not pay it, they will suspend your license.

    Courts can charge a lot of a deferral these days. A few years ago, the fees were typically $50 per ticket, but some court I have dealt with, now want more than the face amount of the ticket! I saw one court the other day that wanted $300 to grant a deferred findings on a $142 ticket! Highway robbery!

    I do not know specifically what the city of Lakewood is doing in its traffic court. That city was one of the first in the region to get red light cameras and is known for being greedy when it comes to tickets.

    Good luck.

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  • I have an intermediate drivers license in WA? Is inattentive driving a good deal?

    Would an amendment of a speeding ticket to inattentive driving still be considered a violation for purposes of my WA intermediate driver's license? I have been told that unlike a non moving violation, inattentive driving may not get coded by the D...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Inattentive driving is a city code violation and is not part of the RCWs or the state's model traffic code. It is also correct that an amendment from speeding to inattentive driving will not go on your drivers abstract because violations of city code are not accepted at DOL for filing purposes. As such, this will also not be reported to your insurance company, so your insurance rates should not increase.

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  • I am a Canadian. Do i have to pay my Traffic Ticket which i got when i travel to USA/WHATCOM COUNTY? What happen if i don't pay?

    If i hire an Attorney, is that mean he can represent me in court and i DO NOT need to go to court in person.

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Answer 1: If you don't reply to your ticket in 15-days from the day it was issued, the court will send paperwork to the Washington Department of Licensing indicating you failed to respond. Even though you do not have a license in Washington, your privileges to drive in Washington could be suspended. If that happens, and you a caught driving in the state, you can be arrested for driving on a suspended license, which is a criminal offense. You make a reply by either paying the ticket in-full or requesting a mitigation hearing or a contested hearing.

    Answer 2: Yes, under the rules for traffic court, if you hire a lawyer to handle your ticket, your lawyer attends court and you do not have to. Your lawyer can examine the ticket and see if there are any defense to the alleged violation and either get the ticket dismissed or reduced to a less expensive violation. If you plan to hire counsel to assist you, do so before the 15-day reply period is up so your lawyer can reply to the court on your behalf.

    My firm handles Whatcom traffic tickets all the time. Feel free to give my office a call.

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  • If an officer has written the wrong information on a speeding ticket, is it valid?

    The wrong date was put in for the tab expiration and the year of the vehicle. And these were two items he specifically talked to me about, that is what made me check on them. This might be coincidence, but I find it a very odd one. The fine th...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Usually minor factual discrepancies written into a traffic infraction form are unimportant. Rarely does the front of the traffic citation come into play because in Washington, the officer normally also writes a narrative explaining why he or she issued the driver the citation.

    You should be able to go to the courthouse and look at that narrative. If the mistake is repeated in the narrative and when read, the mistake makes it look like you did not commit infraction, you may have a winning issue. However, if you contest the ticket and the officer shows up and corrects the facts, the issue will evaporate. Thus, if you do contest the ticket, do not request the officer's presence.

    As far as the $113 being the same as the officer's badge number, that's just a coincidence. (Luckily his badge number wasn't 995.)

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  • WA license, Oregon implied consent hearing

    Received implied consent suspension (90 days) for duii in Oregon. My license is in WA which calls for 1 yr suspension for over .15. Is it worth paying the lawyer to attend hearing for OR suspension or will WA still have their own hearing? And can ...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    If Oregon suspends your privileges to drive in that sate, under Washington law, the Washington DOL can issue you a reciprocal suspension for your Washington license. There is a nation-wide Driver's Compact under which 45 of the 50 states have agreed in advance to follow the driver suspension actions taken in any of the states which follow the compact. Washington and Oregon are both members of the Driver's Compact.

    I don;t know if you can win the Oregon DMV hearing on your own; that is for you to decide. An experienced lawyer may be able to find a way to win and that could result in no loss of license in Oregon and Washington.

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  • My boyfriend is in jail with a vehicular assault, 4th dui, and driving without a license. How long could he be facing?

    He has already been in jail for 9 months and is about to plea for 33 months, we are wondering if going to trial could have a better outcome?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    It's hard to say if this is a good deal or not, because so much depends on the specific facts of the case; the criminal history of the defendant; and the mood of the prosecutor involved. Without this information, there is very little way to know if 33 months in prison is really a good deal or not.

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  • Jury Consultants

    How does this work and is it a good idea to have jury consultants?

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    Jury consultants are allowed in virtually every jurisdiction. These typically high-paid individuals usually possess advanced degrees and vast experience in behavioral psychology, and many have backgrounds in the legal field. Jury Consultants create profiles for the best fitting juror, so that the attorneys handling the case will know the most desirable characteristics to search for - or to avoid - when picking a jury in high stakes cases. According to the National Law Journal, a typical jury research assistant’s salary starts at around $5,000 per case, and a well-qualified jury consultant can often garner $10,000 per case, while more experienced consultants with Ph.D.’s may earn over $25,000 per case.

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  • Should i fight this ticket? Is this a traffic violation?

    Recently a street that I sometimes use (Ohio) had a median placed in the middle. Before you could either make a left turn onto a thru street (King) or stay right for highway. With the addition of median you can only get onto highway now. I was out...

    Jeffrey’s Answer

    I am really familiar with this intersection and drive by there daily. I think that yes, you should totally fight this ticket. What you describe is not "corner cutting". It's only a violation when you use the corner to go around traffic control devices to avoid stopping or slowing down or to cut in front of other traffic. When you used this corner to avoid going in the direction which you were being forced to go because of a major traffic revision, that is not corner cutting. Feel free to call my office as we do handle these infractions in the Bellingham Court.

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