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Red light traffic ticket arguments

Puyallup, WA |

I'm in Washington State and according to the ticket I recieved in the mail, it said I ran a red light while turning right. It was my wife driving the car. What are reasonable arguments to fight this ticket in court?

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Attorney answers 3


There are a couple of attorneys who are doing red light tickets. The argument that you were not driving, your wife was, will result in them sending a summons to your wife. If you argue that you were not driving, they will ask you to state who was driving, but it is not your job as a defendant to make the City's case for them.

And finally, the City of Puyallup has delegated the responsibility to issue tickets to one of those AZ companies, and arguably, that AZ company is not the court and is not authorized anywhere by state law to be sending Notices of Infraction. Sounds lame, but it is a pretty good argument.

Elizabeth Powell

Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.


Although it may depend on the judge sitting a very common statement of "Your honor this was not me driving that car at this time," may cause the judge to dismiss. Do not implicate your wife, but if pressed on who is driving you may want to assert that you are disqualified from testifying against your spouse according to RCW 5.60.060(1).

You may want to examine the photograph (or request one) to see where you were when the light turned red, and if the photograph demonstrates that you were legally making a right turn on red (assuming not marked "no right on red"). Furthermore, if the photograph isn't clear that itself is something to argue.

Under no circumstances make a dishonest statement to the judge either directly or indirectly. Without knowing more all I can make are these statements which are just general statements of law that may or may not apply to your particular case.

Any opinions, remarks, statements, or implications thereof made by me do not constitute legal advice. Such opinions, remarks, statements, or implications thereof are meant only as general statements of the law. Laws and regulations are in constant flux. The giving of legal advice requires a careful examination of the specific facts of an individual case beyond what is possible on Previous results do not guarantee future results will be similar. No attorney-client relationship is formed by my use of

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Rankin Powell


The disqualification based on marital privlege is very good! But in WA they get video, and it is *much* easier to see if the car did not stop than when it is just photos. Elizabeth Powell


Under Washington law, the presumption that you were the driver may be overcome if you state "under oath, in a written statement to the court or in testimony before the court" that your vehicle was stolen or driven by someone other than yourself at the time of the incident. It's that simply. There is nothing in the law that requires you to identify the driver. Most courts have a standard written statement you can fill out and submit to the court. The form asks you to identify the driver. You may do this if you like but you are not required to do so by statute.

DISCLAIMER: To all reading this. A false statement under oath is perjury. Please don't submit a false statement to the court, ESPECIALLY to avoid a ticket that doesn't get reported to DOL or your insurance company.

The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

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