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Scott Frederick Leist
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Scott Leist’s Answers

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  • If I get my license reinstated in WA by getting SR 22 insurance and then move to CA, do I still need SR22 insurance?

    I got in a car accident, didn't have insurance, was sued in small claims court and was found to be at fault. I could not afford to pay the judgment so my license was suspended. I am filing for bankruptcy, so the debt will be wiped out. DOL said...

    Scott’s Answer

    The short answer is "yes." Several years ago, all states started sharing licensing information through a nationwide database. If your license STATUS is suspended in one state, even if you don't live there any more, that suspension will fllow you to your home state and that state will generally suspend your status there until you fix it.

    So if you move to CA and let your SR22 in WA lapse, WA will suspend your license status and, eventually, that will get to CA and they will probably suspend your status there. I know, it is a total drag to have to maintain an expensive insurance policy in a state you don't live in any more, but the alternative will cause you to have to backtrack and fix it months or years from now.

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  • If I wasn't given ticket at time of infraction or sent a ticket in the mail am I responsible for paying ticket?

    I was in an accident. I wasn't cited at time. The cop said he'd send a ticket if he thought I was guilty. He didn't. However, he marked on the information that he sent to the court that he cited me at the time of the accident. I found out that I h...

    Scott’s Answer

    The smart strategy would be to contest the ticket and request a contested hearing. If you don't, and the infraction got filed, you will have missed the deadline. If you do request a contested hearing, you are not necessarily agreeing that the officer wrote the ticket, filed it or did anything else correctly.

    You can contest the ticket without the actual ticket, you just need the ticket or case number, which you probably have from your online search.

    Finally, fell free to give me or another traffic lawyer a call if you have questions or want help with the contested hearing.

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  • In Wa State what are the abbreviations NO NR R I F Mean under accident?

    In WA State what are the abbreviations NO N NR R I F Mean under accident for a traffic infraction?

    Scott’s Answer

    NO means there was no accident. NR means there was an accident but it was "not reportable" and the officer didn't complete an accident report because the financial damage threshold was not met. "R" means the accident damage met the reporting threshold and an accident report was (probably) done. "I" means the accident resulted in an injury. "F" means the accident resulted in a fatality.

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  • Should I mitigate or contest my first ticket?

    (Washington State) I got pulled over for speeding 43mph in a 35mph zone and for talking on my cell phone. I got a citation for talking on my cell phone for $124, but I did not get a citation for speeding. This is my first ticket. Should I mitig...

    Scott’s Answer

    With all due respect to my colleague, I disagree with her answer.

    First, a Washington cell phone ticket is not a "moving violation" that will affect your insurance rates. It will go "on your record" but is no different than a seat belt ticket or driving with expired tabs. Neither contesting the ticket nor paying it will result in increased insurance rates.

    If you are hoping to keep the ticket off your record, you need to contest it. That is the only way to make the State prove their case (they have the burden to do so). Contesting the ticket doesn't cost anything -- unless you hire a lawyer. If you lose, the court doesn't penalize you for having the hearing, you would just end up paying the same fine you would have in the beginning.

    If money is more important to you than a clean record, your should mitigate. The ticket will go on your record, but you will probably get the fine reduced.

    I am sorry you got this ticket but it is much less serious than a speeding ticket or other moving violation. Good luck.

    Scott Leist
    Washington Traffic Defense
    scott@washingtontrafficdefense.com

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  • Dui 9 monts ago,no show for court,want to turn myself in,what am i looking atLynnwood

    Did not take breath test didnt punch driver lic or lock me up for the night havent had any trouble

    Scott’s Answer

    If you refused to take the breath test, and have no other DUI convictions in the past seven years, the mandatory minimum sentence is 2 days in jail (or 30 days electronic home detention), a 2 year driver's license revocation and a $1,120 minimum fine. You will also have to get an alcohol evaluation and go to a DUI victims' panel.

    Keep in mind, those are the minimum terms if you are convicted of DUI. If you are convicted, depending on the facts of the case, the judge could sentence you to more jail time or a larger fine. At the same time, if you have a clean driving/criminal record, your attorney might be able to talk the prosecutor into a reduction of the charge that can reduce those consequences.

    It sounds like you have been charged and failed to appear for court. That means that you probably have an arrest warrant. If so, and you come in contact with the police, they will probably run your name, discover that you have a warrant and arrest you. It is MUCH better to voluntarily go to court, with the help of an attorney, and get the warrant quashed and get a new court date.

    In sum, your case is not something that will get better by you ignoring it. You need to hire a lawyer, take care of your warrant and fight your DUI charge. Call me or any number of other DUI/criminal defense lawyers in the Lynnwood area who handle cases like this. Many of us offer free phone consultations and we can help you sort out next steps and answer questions.

    Scott Leist
    Washington Traffic Defense
    (206) 219-5557
    scott@washingtontrafficdefense.com

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  • Can i be pulled over and then cited for dui when they told me they dont need a reason to pull me over?

    please help

    Scott’s Answer

    I mostly agree with my colleague, with the following exceptions.

    First, the police don't need to have reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime. If they have reasonable suspicion that you committed a traffic violation (speeding, driving outside your lane, etc.), they can stop you. If, during that stop, they are able to establish probable cause that you are DUI, they can then arrest you.

    Second, although officers can lie to you about the reasons they stopped you or whether they had a reason to stop you, they can't be anything but truthful in their police reports. Even though they said they had "no reason" to stop you, I would expect that they carefully documented why they stopped you and for what in their police reports.

    Good luck.

    Scott Leist
    Washington Traffic Defense
    (206) 219-5557
    scott@washingtontrafficdefense.com

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  • RE wa speeding ticket--radar "case report" has computer generated signature - no authentic signature from officer. Is it signed?

    Request for Discovery -- provided a Radar Case Report that is very difficult to read as it is a photocopied form with a computer genererated officer signature. There is no other signature on this form (boxes check with a much darker pen) AND the ...

    Scott’s Answer

    I am sorry about this ticket.

    You ask a lot of questions. I will try to answer them one by one.

    First, there is a fairly new state law that authorizes officers to "electronically" sign e-tickets. There should be language on the back that talks about the officer logging on, completing the ticket and using his password. That works as an electronic "signature."

    To answer the rest of your questions, I would need to look at the back of the ticket. There are LOTS of procedural and legal requirements for radar tickets and it is impossible to say whether the officer did the ticket right or not without seeing it. You should also know that each judge has individual issues that they like, or don't. What gets a ticket dismissed in one courtroom might have no effect in the courtroom next door. So, I would also need to know a bit more about what department wrote the ticket, what court it will be heard in, etc.

    It sounds like this is a ticket worth fighting (most are). Officers routinely forget to include necessary information in their haste (I know, I was a Seattle Police officer for 7 years).

    I, and many of my colleagues, offer free phone consultations. I would be happy to chat with you about the ticket and your options.

    Good luck.

    Scott Leist
    Washington Traffic Defense
    (206) 219-5557
    scott@washingtontrafficdefense.com

    See question 
  • I have a previous DUI which I defered in 2006, I have an unpaid ticket and was Pulled over for Driving while Suspended. Jail?

    I am curious as to what the punishment could be. I have had my license suspended before for my DUI, I'm sure this will affect the Judges decision. The ticket that is unpaid is a speeding ticket and will be paid before my courtdate. Should I expect...

    Scott’s Answer

    I am sorry that this happened to you. It looks like you successfully kept your nose clean for quite a while after your deferral.

    I need to know a bit more information before I can give a certain answer. I assume when you say your DUI was "deferred" it means you elected for a Deferred Prosecution (there is also such a thing as a deferred sentence for DUI, but it is pretty rare). In either case, you probably have a condition of sentence that says something like "no criminal law violations" for the duration of the deferral period.

    If you were driving w/o a license and that allegation is proven by a preponderance of the evidence, the original sentencing court could revoke your deferred prosecution OR impose some sanction fr the violation (jail, community service) but stop short of revoking the deferred.

    I recommend that you pay your traffic ticket and get your license reinstated, if possible. It sounds like the license suspension was due to the unpaid ticket. A judge isn't going to like that, but taking steps to fix the problem BEFORE you go to court will help. A lot.

    When it comes time to go to court, you want an attorney there with you. I and many of my colleagues offer free consultations and would be happy to tallk you through what to expect.

    Good luck. Let me know if I can help in any way.

    Scott Leist
    Washington Traffic Defense
    (206) 219-5557
    scott@washingtontrafficdefense.com

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  • I had a ticket about 7 months ago but got it deferred. Then I got another one a few days ago. What should I do?

    I don't mind paying for it, but I don't want it to go on my record.

    Scott’s Answer

    If you pay it, it wil go on your record, as will the first ticket (assuming you are on a year deferral).

    You need to fight this ticket. Check the "contested" box on the back of the ticket, fill the rest of the ticket information in and send it in within 15 days of the date of infraction.

    I, and a number of other Washington traffic lawyers, offer free consultations. Any of us would be happy to discuss your options and chances of prevailing on this ticket. As a former police officer and prosecutor, I have seen firsthand how tickets can snowball, mess up your driving record, and even result in a license suspension.

    Don't wait. Talk to an attorney and get some help.

    Scott Leist
    (206) 219-5557
    scott@washingtontrafficdefense.com

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  • Fighting Traffic Ticket Issued "RCW 46.61.150" *ticket spacificly states wrong way on freeway, NEVER WENT WRONG WAY*

    My husband was on an unfamiliar freeway; he missed his exit & decided to use an emergency turnaround instead of driving 60 miles to the next exit. It was not the best choice but it was early in the morning w/little to no cars on the road. The offi...

    Scott’s Answer

    I am sorry this happened to you and your husband. That is an incredibly expensive ticket.

    RCW 46.61.150 prohibits drivers from leaving one side of a divided highway and driving through the median. The fact that the officer wrote down the wrong title ("wrong way on freeway"), but cited the right section might help you at a contested hearing, but may not be enough to cause the ticket to be dismissed.

    Even if the officer wrote down the right RCW however, this ticket is worth fighting. There are a lot of legal and procedural rules that officers and the courts have to follow in writing and prosecuting tickets and they often mess them up. In addition, we have no idea whether the officer wrote a sufficient report that will withstand scrutiny by the court.

    I would suggest hiring an attorney to help you with this case. Attorneys fees will probably be around the same cost as the ticket, not to mention the huge increases in insurance premiums that will probably happen if you are convicted.

    I and many Washington traffic lawyers offer free consultations. Feel free to call any one of us to chat about the ticket and your options.

    Good luck

    Scott Leist
    Washington Traffic Defense
    (206) 219-5557

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