Seattle Traffic Lawyer | IRLJ 6.6 Explained

If you have ever been in court for a contested Seattle speeding ticket hearing, you have probably heard a Seattle traffic attorney get up for his client and utter these words, "Your honor, I move to dismiss this infraction pursuant to IRLJ 6.6 for failure to properly certify the SMD device." Usually after this the judge asks a couple of questions, maybe looks in a book, and says, "Motion granted, infraction dismissed." End of story.

But what is this mysterious IRLJ 6.6, and why do Seattle speeding ticket lawyers utilize it so much? Today is your lucky day, because I, a Seattle speeding ticket attorney myself, am about to tell you.

Before you can understand IRLJ 6.6, it might probably help to know what the text of it is. First, IRLJ stands for Infraction Rules of Limited Jurisdiction. These are the traffic infraction rules the City of Seattle and the State of Washington must follow when adjudicating traffic infraction cases. This is where the rules on what the prosecutor must provide to you for your speeding ticket defense, and numerous other rules dealing with Seattle speeding ticket cases.

IRLJ 6.6 holds a special place in the heart of the speeding ticket lawyer in Seattle because it is the easiest way to get a speeding ticket dismissed in court. The title of IRLJ 6.6 is "Speed Measuring Device: Design and Construction Certification." You see, when the cops try to bust you for going to fast out on the highway, and they determine that speed by using a radar, before they can admit the reading the radar gun spit out, they have to first convince the court that the radar gun they were using was accurate.

The State of Washington and the City of Seattle police officers can't do the maintenance and calibration checks on their own - they aren't experts in the field. So, they have a guy or guys that checks out all the guns and certifies that the maintenance of the guns has been kept up. To get around having the maintenance guys show up to testify for every speeding ticket in the state, a convenient form was put together that can be submitted in lieu of the experts testimony (unless you specifically request them). This report must be filed with the court and must show the radar is up to date. Here is the text of the rule (in part):
(a) In General. This rule applies only to contested hearings in traffic infraction cases.

(b) Speed Measuring Device Certificate; Form. In the absence of proof of a request on a separate pleading to produce an electronic or laser speed measuring device (SMD) expert served on the prosecuting authority and filed with the clerk of the court at least 30 days prior to trial or such lesser time as the court deems proper, a certificate in substantially the following form is admissible in lieu of an expert witness in any court proceeding in which the design and construction of an electronic or laser speed measuring device (SMD) is an issue (not included here):

(c) Continuance. The court at the time of the formal hearing shall hear testimony concerning the infraction and, if necessary, may continue the proceedings for the purpose of obtaining evidence concerning an electronic speed measuring device and the certification thereof. If, at the time it is supplied, the evidence is insufficient, a motion to suppress the readings of such device shall be granted.

(d) Maintaining Certificates as Public Records. Any certificate, affidavit or foundational evidentiary document allowed or required by this rule can be filed with the court and maintained by the court as a public record. The records will be available for inspection by the public. Copies will be provided on request. The court may charge any allowable copying fees. The records are available without a formal request for discovery. The court is entitled to take judicial notice of the fact that the document has been filed with the court. Evidence will not be suppressed merely because there is not a representative of the prosecuting authority present who actually offers the document. Evidence shall be suppressed pursuant to subsection (c) of this rule if the evidence in the certificate, affidavit or document is insufficient, or if it has not been filed as required.
So, the next time you hear a Seattle traffic lawyer spouting off about how the speeding ticket should be dismissed pursuant to IRLJ 6.6, this is why.

Related Posts:
Seattle Traffic Lawyer | False Imprisonment

Seattle Traffic Lawyer | Contested Hearing


Seattle Traffic Lawyer | Contested Hearing Explained

If you've received a Seattle traffic infraction, whether speeding, running a red light, running a stop sign, failing to yield, HOV violations, school zone violations, or any of the other myriad of traffic infractions and told anyone, you've probably heard a story about someone that got their traffic infraction dismissed by a Seattle traffic lawyer. And you may have even heard numerous stories of dismissed traffic infractions. There is a reason for this - Seattle traffic tickets can be beaten in many circumstances.

But, you can't win if you don't contest the hearing. And you can't contest the hearing unless you check the third little box on the back of your traffic infraction. Once you do that you'll get a hearing date and you can go in there and try to beat your Seattle traffic ticket.

"What happens when you get in there?," you ask. Good question. It is helpful to know what is going to happen at your contested hearing before you actually go in there, huh? And the good news is, there are rules governing the procedure of Seattle contested hearings. They are located in IRLJ 3.3, which is the book of rules for traffic infractions (IRLJ stands for Infraction rules of limited jurisdiction, roughly).

If you go there you will see there are five basic rules: (1) general rules; (2) representation by Seattle traffic lawyer; (3) rules of evidence; (4) factual determination; and (5) disposition.

To sum these rules up very quickly (that's why the Traffic Attorney Seattle Blog is here), when you get to court you are entitled to a hearing on your contested ticket. You may have a Seattle traffic lawyer represent you, but one won't be appointed to you because you are not facing any jail time. This means your Constitutional right to an attorney does not kick in and you have to foot the bill no matter what.

Third, the rules of evidence apply, so you have to enter evidence into the record, make your objections known, and things of that nature. Fourth, the judge will make a factual determination as to whether the prosecution met its burden of proving the infraction occurred by a preponderance of the evidence (more than 50% roughly). And, finally, if he finds the prosecution did meet its burden, it will impose a fine on you (which you can ask to have reduced), and if the court finds you win, the case will be dismissed.

That all sounds, great, but what will really happen at the hearing? Here is the inside scoop from a Seattle traffic lawyer. Although, you must remember that every court is different, so some things might not be precise.

When you get to court go check in with the clerk to let them know you are present. That will get you on the list. After that you wait for the judge to come in. Sometimes its a long wait, sometimes its a short wait. No matter what, there will almost always be a wait.

When the judge does come in he may provide a short introduction of himself, give a broad overview of the proceedings, and take a roll. If you are there, make sure you speak up. After this sometimes the judge will ask if anyone wants to do a deferred ticket and he'll take those first, sometimes he won't. It just depends on the court that you are in. Oh, and some courts don't even have a prosecutor. The judge runs the entire court on his own. That make for a pretty interesting time when questioning witnesses.

Once your case is called you will go up and sit at one of the tables. The judge will ask if there are any procedural motions (any reason why your Seattle traffic ticket case should be dismissed because of procedural errors) or any substantive motions that get rid of the case. After he decides those he'll hear the evidence. If you subpoenaed the officer you'll get a chance to question the officer and the officer will get a chance to speak. After that you get a chance to speak. If you don't subpoena the officer, the court will review the ticket to see if sufficient evidence exists to find you committed the infraction.

If you couldn't tell, during the entire process it helps to have a Seattle traffic lawyer on your side. First, we know the procedural rules and substantive rules that can get your case dismissed. Second, we know how to question officers to get the information we need to determine if he acted properly. And third, we know how to address the court in a way that is persuasive to the court. In short, Seattle traffic lawyers give you the best chance of beating your Seattle speeding ticket.

If you are cited for speeding in Seattle, you have made the right decision by contesting your Seattle traffic ticket. If you think you know what you are doing, good luck. There is a lot of information here that should be helpful. If you find that you don't know what you are doing or don't want to waste the time it takes to learn, then give a Seattle DUI lawyer a call. We can help.

Related Posts:
Seattle Traffic Lawyer | Beating Traffic Tickets

Seattle Traffic Lawyer | False Imprisonment


Seattle Traffic Lawyer | Is 10 mph Speeding Rule True?

We have all heard it and talked about it before (and many of my clients want to know if I, the Seattle traffic lawyer, know about it). That unspoken rule that the police just won't pull you over for going anything less than 10 mph over the speed limit. And further, that any speeding ticket for less than 10 mph won't affect your insurance. But is there any truth to these rumors? And what can you do to limit the effects of receiving a speeding ticket?

First, the idea that a police officer will not pull you over unless you are going over ten miles per hour over the speed limit is wrong. However, it is true that in most cases you are safe if you stay under that ten mile per hour barrier. But that does not mean there aren't cops out there who pull people over for speeding but staying under that ten mile per hour barrier.

Most often the reason for pulling someone over is not for speeding, but for some other reason (even though police are constitutionally prohibited from doing this, we know it happens all the time - it's what I like to call legal profiling). So you will find people that have been pulled over for going even 1 mph over the speed limit if the cops wanted to search the vehicle or otherwise make contact with the driver or passenger (just getting pulled over doesn't entitle the police to a search, but many people will consent when asked).

As Seattle traffic lawyers we often tell people whether or not they choose to speed is up to them, and I can help them no matter how much over the speed limit they are accused of going. But I must admit that a large majority of the tickets I defend are over 10 mph. I think at that point the cops think you may be reaching speeds that are unsafe for the roadway, and that is why you will often receive tickets for going that fast.

The insurance side of a Seattle speeding ticket is another story. Each company treats traffic infractions differently, and because Washington State doesn't have a points system, but simply reports infractions with the Department of Licensing as they occur, it is difficult to truly know exactly how an insurance company deals with a specific traffic infraction. What is pretty well known and understood, however, is that speeding tickets for going under 10 mph are generally not counted against you for insurance premium purposes.

This is not to say, however, that an insurance company won't increase your premiums just because you were found to have been speeding under 10 mph over the speed limit, particularly if you have a bunch of them. But, generally speaking, you usually won't see a hit on your insurance for a traffic infraction like that.

Something you can do to give you the best shot of the traffic infraction not showing up at all is to hire a Seattle traffic attorney to help. Not only do they know the ins and outs of traffic law and procedure, but they can recognize when you need to bite the bullet and ask for a deferral and when you have a legitimate chance to beat the speeding ticket. So, give us a call today.

Related Posts:
Seattle Traffic Lawyer | False Imprisonment

Seattle Traffic Lawyer | Cops Get Pass for DUI