Washington State Patrol, County Deputies and Local Police Agencies may patrol and pull over individuals when in unmarked cars.


Undercover cars may pull you over


This is contrary to what a lot of people believe in Counties such as Kitsap, Pierce, Mason and Jefferson.


Over the last year, we have heard this statement more than a dozen times. "He can't pull me over, he was in an unmarked car! You can get that ticket thrown out!" People hear that claim so often that they start to believe it is true. It is even portrayed as true in social media. The rumor's origins are from RCW 46.08.065 which does in part say that "[i]t is unlawful for any public officer having charge of any vehicle ... to operate the same ... unless and until there shall be displayed upon such automobile ...the name of such county, city, town ... together with the name of the department or office ... of which the said vehicle is used." I understand that this is tempting to bite on, especially in Counties like Kitsap and Pierce where unmarked cars are pulling everyone over.


Don’t bite on conspiracy theories


For the purpose of laying the conspiracy theories to rest - yes they can patrol and pull you over in unmarked cars. The Statute gives them specific authority.
As much as I would like this theory to be true, the theory is deflated by verbiage in sections (1) & (3). Buried in the long paragraph of section (1), it states that "[t]his section shall not apply to vehicles of a sheriff's office, local police department, or any vehicles used by local peace officers under public authority for special undercover or confidential investigative purposes." Section (3) also states that vehicles used by the Washington State Patrol are exempted for general undercover, confidential investigative purposes or traffic control purposes. For undercover use for traffic control purposes, there just must be approval by the WSP Chief.
Lastly, there is a provision in the WAC that allows for nearly all state agencies to obtain undercover and confidential license plates for their official vehicles.
While we love to hear a good defense theory, we just had to let the air out of this one. So the last thing you want to do is take the smug approach with the officer and ridicule him and yell about how you will expose the whole scam in Court! You will lose, and you will probably look like a jerk.


There are better ways for us to defend you on your ticket


While the "unmarked car" defense may be a losing theory, there are many actual ways to challenge and win if you are given an infraction. Ryan Witt of the Witt Law Group has been representing infraction clients for more than 15 years with a very high success rate. If you wish to hear what your real defenses are (and not just on-line conspiracy theories) give our offices a call. With offices in Poulsbo, Bremerton and Gig Harbor, we handle infractions in Kitsap County and all the municipalities therein. We look forward to assisting with your infraction defense!

Published in Witt Law Group Blog

 

Tickets, or speeding tickets are handed out like candy.  If you have recently received a ticket (also known as an infraction), you have a limited amount of time to decide what you can do. There is a 15 day window in which to respond. If you hire Witt Law Group to represent you on the infraction, we will file a Notice of Appearance and handle the response for you. However, it is very critical that you pay close attention to the 15 day time limit. The time limit applies regardless of whether you are represented by counsel or handle it yourself.

 

"Ryan has come through for me more times than I care to admit and thanks to him (certainly no

thanks to me) my driving record is as spotless as the day I got my license!"— A.G

 

What are the impacts of a ticket?

Should you choose to defend your own ticket, one of the impacts is time away from work. Typically, an infraction calendar can mean that you sit in a courtroom for hours before it’s your turn. It is not unusual to miss most or all of a work day. If it is unpaid leave, you are missing out on that income as well as potentially paying the ticket.

If you contest the ticket and are found “committed” (meaning the court finds you guilty of the cited offense), you will have to pay the full amount of the fine. If you do not contest the ticket but ask the court to reduce the amount of the fine (mitigate), you will pay less but do not get a chance to defend yourself—you’re agreeing that you committed the offense. In either case, the ticket will appear on your history and it is very likely that your insurance rates will go up.

If you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), the tickets have a much greater impact and you can lose your license. For teens, an infraction will count as a “warning” and, after two warnings, your license is suspended.

Finally, be aware that your ticket may also lead to further serious consequences such as license suspension as a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). Additionally, If you were cited for leaving the scene of an accident, it is possible that the initial ticket is an infraction but, if a person was later found to be injured at the scene, that can become a criminal charge. Furthermore, if you were arrested for DUI (alcohol or marijuana-related) and also cited for an infraction, it is important for your attorney to review both of those cases. Occasionally, the infraction citation is used a pretextual stop for your DUI and greatly impacts the evidence collected on your DUI stop. Your criminal defense attorney will certainly want to analyze the infraction ticket in conjunction with the discovery on your criminal charge.

How can an attorney make any difference?

Often people want to contest their ticket but they don’t understand how to present their side of the case. Furthermore, they don’t know how to seek discovery, subpoena the officer, or properly cross examine the officer. It becomes overwhelming and extremely time-consuming. And, in most cases, non-attorneys focus on the wrong aspects of the case. It isn’t really about what the officer or you think about the ticket, it’s whether the State can prove you violated the relevant statute. There are many facets to analyzing the strength of the State’s case and most non-attorneys would have no reason to know how to do that. It really just comes down to experience.

As prosecutors and defense counsel, our attorneys have handled thousands of infractions. We certainly have experience on our side. When you hire an attorney at Witt Law Group, all of the stress and guess work disappears. In fact, in most cases, you only need to make a single phone call to our office and everything else is taken care of. No time off of work. No worries about discovery. No worries about your defense.

Whether it’s speeding, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, no tabs, improper lane usage, speeding too fast for conditions, negligent driving in the second degree, failure to abide by a traffic control signal, equipment violations (no mud flaps, broken taillights), skateboarding, defective exhaust, tinted windows, violation of restricted license, no seat belt, noise violation (speakers too loud), talking on a cell phone or use of an electronic device, littering, or failure to secure load—we handle them all!

If you would like further information about how a defense attorney can help you with your ticket, attorney Ryan Witt has a video with further explanation.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

When a person hires us to handle their infraction, we want them to be familiar with our "infraction protocol."  It will help you understand what we do and what to expect in the following weeks and months. 

CLICK HERE FOR OUR INFRACTION PROTOCOL  

We look forward to assisting you with you infraction!  Witt Law Group is a personal injury and criminal defense law firm with offices in Bremerton and Gig Harbor, Washington. 

 

Published in Criminal Defense

In Washington State you MAY temporarily exceed the posted speed limit if the vehicle in front of you is impeding the normal and reasonable flow of traffic (going too damn slow).
RCW 46.61.425 states:


(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable flow of traffic [and] a person following a vehicle driving at less than the legal maximum speed and desiring to pass such vehicle may exceed the speed limit…at only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety.

This defense is not a myth.

Most people have heard this statement and believe that it is a myth. This is a legitimate defense to a speeding ticket that is rarely used in traffic court. This only applies on a two lane road, one in each direction. Often police will cite a driver and they don’t care when the driver explains that he was just completing a pass. The Officer will just typically tell he driver to take it up with the Judge. It is a hassle, but you need to contest these infractions in Court.
At Witt Law Group, our attorneys have been handling infractions and speeding tickets in Kitsap, Pierce and Jefferson Counties for 14 years. We have Offices in Bremerton and Gig Harbor for your convenience. We can be reached afterhours or on the weekends, and we always offer free consultations. Click HERE to fill out our online contact form. We handle traffic defense, criminal defense and personal injury cases. Ryan Witt has handled thousands of infractions over his career and would be glad to assist you with your case. Good luck with your infraction!

Published in Witt Law Group Blog