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How long does a police officer have to send you a ticket after a traffic infraction?

Castle Rock, WA |

I did a burn out on Sept 26th, and the officer said he would let me know whether or not I'd be cited. I received a ticket in the mail on 10/18/12. I live in Washington state.

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Attorney answers 4


This answer assumes you are receiving an Infraction Citation, not a summons for a Criminal charge (like Reckless). In that case the answer would be different.

For an Infraction, the question is not when you recieved it in the mail, but when the Officer/Deputy/Trooper filed it with the Court. From IRLJ 2.2(d), the notice must be filed by the Officer within five days of issuance, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. In the absence of good cause shown, if the notice is not filed within this time period, then the Infraction shall be dismissed with prejudice. The Court clerk can tell you that info with a phone call. Then you need to know how to make that motion with the Court. You may want to call an attorney in the area where you received the infraction.


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In addition to the 5 day filing rule mentioned by the other answer, you also have the right to have a contested hearing withing 120 days of the date of the notice of infraction under IRLJ 2.6. However, if your hearing is scheduled outside of the 120 day period you must object within 10 days or else you waive the objection.


The ticket was sent to you in time, so you need to request a Contested Hearing immediately. The court must grant you a hearing within 120 days and the offcier has five business days to file the ticket with the court.

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