Speeding tickets—they’re great at making a bad day worse. You’re already running late to work, going ten miles over the speed limit to make up for lost time, when you see the flashing blue lights pull out behind you and hear the sirens blaring.
After the officer hands you the speeding ticket, the clock starts ticking. You’ll have only 15 days from that moment you are handed your traffic citation form to decide how you’d like to proceed. There are three options after receiving a speeding ticket and you must choose one of them.
The one option you do not have is to look the other way and pretend it didn’t happen. If you fail to make a decision in those first two weeks, the Washington State Department of Licensing (DoL) will mail you a suspension notice, giving you 45 days to respond. Ignoring this notice will result in a suspended license.
Since you don’t want to ignore the citation, we’ve laid out your other options after receiving a speeding ticket.
Option 1: Pay the Fine
If you received a notice of infraction form, chances are you can just pay the fine and not make a court appearance, but read your citation for specific instructions! Paying the fine may be the quickest way to resolve the issue. However, paying the fine associated with the speeding ticket acts as an immediate admission of guilt, and there may be long-term consequences.
You may see your vehicle insurance premiums rise as much as 22% from admitting guilty to speeding. And those with a habit of receiving speeding tickets may discover Washington state has suspended their license for 60 days if they receive six violations in under a year.
Option 2: Request a Mitigation Hearing
Requesting a mitigation hearing requires you to make a court appearance, but it also means you may be eligible for a reduction of the fine associated with the infraction. In a mitigation hearing, you admit you committed the infraction, but offer the judge a reason to lower the fine. Judges do have the discretion to reduce traffic fines, but they are not required to do so, even if you present compelling reasons. Different courts approach mitigation differently, and some are more stringent than others. Exercise this option with caution.
Option 3: Request a Contested Hearing
Where paying your fine is an admission of guilt, requesting a contested hearing is, in effect, pleading not guilty to the charge of speeding. If you feel you were unfairly ticketed, this is the option to choose. First, contact the court and notify them of our intention to request a contested hearing before your court date.
Your second phone call should be to Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone at 360-685-4221. Our lawyers have decades of combined experience defending traffic violations in court. We’ll hear your side of the events and prepare a case from all the available evidence to defend you. We have had tremendous success getting traffic tickets dismissed, or having citation amended to something that is not reported. This means that your insurance company will find out that you have received a traffic ticket and your renewal rates should not increase.
Remember: You have only 15 days after your receive a traffic citation to respond.
Everyone is aware of the penalties associated with driving under the influence, but fewer know that boating under the influence (BUI) in Washington can also land you in hot water. Like drivers on the road, boaters are required to stay within the legal limits when consuming intoxicating substances. This means a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) below .08, and under 5.0 nanograms for marijuana.
Boating Under the Influence: What Counts as a Boat?
The Washington BUI law is very broad in its definition of “vessels” that operate on the water. While small inflatable tubes are acceptable, boats of all shapes and sizes, including kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and even inflatable fishing rafts fall under the definition of “vessel.”
Boating Under the Influence: Your Rights If Pulled Over
If an officer has probable cause to believe the boat operator is intoxicated, they can ask the driver to submit to a breath test. Operators may refuse to take the test, but in doing so, they may be subjected to civil penalties of up to $2,050.
Boating Under the Influence: Penalties and Fines
Operating a boat under the influence in Washington is considered a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and up to 364 days in jail. Although a BUI won’t restrict your driver’s license, it will be considered a “prior offense.” If you receive a DUI charge in the future, or are currently on probation for a DUI, a BUI can compound the consequences into something much more serious.
The BUI charge may also be upgraded to a felony if someone was injured during the incident.
Boating Under the Influence: Emphasis Patrols This Summer
Beginning on Memorial Day and running through Aug. 19, state and local law enforcement agencies will join forces for BUI emphasis patrols in Washington’s waterways. Heavy enforcement will occur statewide, including on local lakes and the waters off Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan Counties. Our attorneys at Lustick Kaiman & Madrone are experts at defending Boating Under the Influence charges. If you get stopped on the water this summer, your first call should be to us.
Stay safe this summer, and find someone other than Captain Morgan to steer your ship.
It’s no secret you want the best attorneys on your side when going to court. But what kind of experience does a professional attorney provide? Over the years, we’ve spoken with a number of clients who were disappointed with their previous legal representation. Some met their lawyers just a few minutes before their trial. Others never even met their lawyers at all! Instead, they were defended in court by paralegal assistants.
Unfortunately, many had come to accept this as the standard for attorneys. It shouldn’t be. And this type of behavior is disrespectful of both a client’s time and a client’s situation.
The difference between professional, personal representation and unprepared, phoned-in defense can be thousands of dollars in fines for you or even years served behind bars. The stakes are high. Here’s the experience you should expect from a Bellingham attorney.
A Professional Bellingham Attorney Respects Your Time
A good lawyer is waiting for you at the courthouse, not the other way around. You’ve paid us to represent you—the best lawyers recognize that and treat you as such. In any other business, leaving clients waiting would quickly leave you without any business to speak of. Hold your lawyers to the same standard!
If you’re glancing at your watch outside the court, use the extra time you’ve found yourself with to contact us. It will be the last time you wait.
A Professional Bellingham Attorney Represents You Personally
Once you’re our client, we have a stake in the case. A professional Bellingham attorney represents you personally, because you and your case mean something to them.
Many law firms, ours included, have an amazing team of assistants. But they simply cannot argue for your rights as well as a seasoned attorney can. We have years of experience under our belt and a nuanced understanding of your case.
Make sure your Bellingham attorney is fighting for your future as if it were their own. If they’re not, we will.
A Professional Bellingham Attorney Keeps You Updated
A professional Bellingham attorney keeps you updated on the progress of your case. Too many times, we’ve spoken with people who are completely in the dark on where their case is going. Their lawyer is slow at returning their calls and vague about how the process is working.
Providing our clients with peace of mind is one of the most important things we attorneys can do. In fact, we’re ethically obliged to. You should know where you stand and the steps we’re taking to move your case forward. If your case is ongoing, but you’re not sure where exactly it is that it’s going, find a new lawyer who will tell you.
A Professional Bellingham Attorney Has Experience
There’s simply no substitute for time. The best attorneys have been studying law for years and have a thick catalog of previous cases to draw from. We’re aware of the legal tactics we can use to defend you, what’s worked before with similar trials, and we’ve built a strong network of relationships with other practitioners in the legal community.
The lawyers at Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone are former prosecutors, meaning we can anticipate the arguments that will be used against you and build an effective counter-defense. With 40+ years of experience between us, you’ve got a whole team of professionals by your side.
If you find yourself in legal trouble, hold your Bellingham attorney up to this list and see if they check the boxes. You deserve only the very best legal defense. Anything less isn’t enough for something as important as your rights.
LKM Criminal Defense Lawyer Adrian Madrone recently received an excellent review received from criminal defense client’s parents. His review is posted to Avvo.com, the world’s leading online legal services marketplace. Avvo is a legal marketing website that rates lawyers and allows potential clients to post legal questions and receive replies from participating lawyers. And it also allows clients to locate the highest ranked local criminal defense lawyer to suit their needs.
Here is the client’s high praise about Adrian’s work posted on Avvo.com:
“My son (like many college students), realized the hard way that being free of his parents restrictions, and the added influences of his peers a little to much to manage….and one night found himself in legal trouble. He was charged with shoplifting alcohol and minor in possession, along with a couple of lessor offenses. Well, coming from a mother’s point of view Adrian performed a miracle of sorts by getting my son back his life after a night of very bad choices!! At the end of the day my son was charged with MIP, his sentence was community service and alcohol classes. As long as he has no reoccurring incidents within the next 24 months his record will be free and clear.
I couldn’t be more appreciative! The kid that committed that crime, was NOT the boy we raised, and to see him be able to right this wrong without having it haunt him the rest of his life is something I will forever be grateful to Adrian for. I would never hesitate to put your legal issues into his hands. Thank you Adrian for all your help.”
***** 5 Star Review, Posted March 11, 2017, by Carolyn.
Furthermore, you can view Attorney Adrian Madrone full professional legal profile, including his on-line legal questions and answer on AVVO, linked here.
About Attorney Adrian Madrone
Adrian is a 2007 graduate of University of Washington Law School in Seattle, WA. He began his criminal law career at the Northwest Defender’s Association as a public defender. Later, he worked as a law clerk in King County Superior Court for the Honorable Judge Steven González. Presently, Adrian is share owner and partner in the Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone law firm.
Contact Us Today.
Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone, PLLC is currently accepting new clients with cases criminal defense cases in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan Counties. Please feel free to contact our support team staff at (360) 685-4221 for assistance in criminal cases. You can also receive a free on-line case evaluation from our case review tool, linked here.
The following article covers some of the important points to think about when hiring a criminal defense lawyer. Have you or has someone you know been arrested or charged with a criminal offense? If so, you or the person will need the help of a qualified and experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. A good defense lawyer will provide you with support and will guide you through the important preliminary stages of your case. And ultimately who you choose as your criminal defense lawyer can have a profound impact on the way your case ultimately gets resolved.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer.
Any criminal charge, whether it appears to be major or minor, is a very serious matter. Any person who is facing a criminal charge has the possibility of receiving severe penalties and consequences, including time in jail, receiving a public a criminal record, and the loss of friends and future employment, among other things. While a few legal matters can be handled alone, a criminal case of any nature requires legal advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney who will preserve your rights and secure the best possible result in your case.
At the start of your criminal case, a criminal defense attorney take time to meet with you in person and will explain (1) the name, severity, and the factual basis of the charges filed against you; (2) will explain any available legal defenses available; as well as (3) what plea arrangements are possible; and (4) what is expected after a plea, a trial, or a criminal conviction. Your lawyer will go through any police reports and take time to allow you to read all the case materials. You lawyer will also listen to your side of the story, and your lawyer may personally contact people who can act as witnesses on your behalf.
What to Look for in a Criminal Defense Lawyer.
Criminal defense is a specific branch of the legal field. Qualified criminal defense attorneys regularly handle a variety of criminal charges, including felony charges, misdemeanor charges, drug cases, assault crimes, driving under the influence (DUI) offenses, among others. Criminal charges can be filed against you in a State Superior, District, or Municipal Court, or they may arise under federal law and be filed in the Federal District Court.
When searching for a high quality criminal defense lawyer, you’ll want to find the best one for your case. As such, you should concentrate on the lawyer’s expertise, skill level, and knowledge. You should meet face to face with lawyers and ask about their past cases and the outcomes. You should ask them how many years of experience that have in criminal law. Lawyers who have served as a prosecutor or judge previously in their careers can sometimes provide you a huge advantage in your case. For instance, you may need someone familiar with crime scene investigations; witness, victim, or police interviewing, and extensive knowledge of evidence, polygraphs, sketches, photographs, and video.
Your criminal defense lawyer should be eager and willing help you develop a sound defense strategy. In cases where you have a legal defense, this means the lawyer and his staff should work to prepare your case for a trial. In cases, where there maybe is no applicable defense, your lawyer will help to reduce your criminal charge to a lesser offense. For example, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to get the prosecutor to agree to reduce a felony to a misdemeanor or to lessen the severity of the punishment for the crime. Your lawyer can also work to reduce or eliminate jail time, or work to get you probation in lieu of jail.
How to Find a Criminal Defense Lawyer
There are numerous ways to find a criminal defense lawyer. Asking your friends and family for a referral can be be a good start. Your friends and family may already know a criminal defense attorney who has a strong reputation for good work and honesty. Another good way to proceed is to conduct some online research The website AVVO is an excellent place to start your search. Most law firms have easy to find a read website to help you contact their law firms.
Questions to Ask a Criminal Defense Lawyer.
You should feel totally comfortable speaking with your criminal defense attorney concerning all aspects of your criminal charge. During your initial meeting, the attorney should provide information on his background and provide ample time for you to ask questions. Below are some of the questions you should ask:
- Do you have any experience handling cases like mine?
- On an average month, how much of my criminal case will you handle?
- In your career recently, how many jury trials have you litigated?
- How often do you work out plea agreements or ask for a lesser charge?
- What are your attorney’s fees, and how are they calculated?
- Does your office you offer a payment plan?
Criminal Defense Lawyer Fees.
The cost of hiring a criminal defense lawyer will vary depending on a number of factors in your case. Your fee will depend on the attorney’s experience, reputation, and track record. The geographical location of the court and the distance from the lawyer’s office can also be a factor. Most criminal defense attorneys charge for their services using a flat fee arrangement. Some law firms may also give you a payment plan to pay off your fees. Some firms may require an upfront fee payment before working on the case. In all cases, it is wise to consult with a variety of criminal defense lawyers. You need to find one you feel comfortable with in representing you.
Lastly, if you cannot afford to hire an attorney, you may be able to receive a court-appointed attorney. If this applies to you, speak to a public defender in your area for more information.
Contact Us Now.
Mark A. Kaiman is a private defense attorney with the law firm Lustick, Kaiman & Madrone in Bellingham, WA. Our attorneys have defended thousands of American and Canadian clients in DUI, felony, and misdemeanor cases. If you would like to meet with Mark, please feel free to contact our support team staff. Our phone number is (360) 685-4221. You can also access our free on-line case evaluation form here.