• City of Tacoma QA
  • City of Tacoma Data




Traffic & Parking Infractions

Many common traffic offenses (speeding, failure to stop, failure to have liability insurance, etc.) and all parking offenses are non-criminal violations of law as defined by statute, and are called infractions.

 

Read the Back of the Ticket

The information on the back of the ticket explains your options. The important thing to remember is that you must respond within 15 days of the date the ticket was issued. This means you must either pay the penalty or request a court date.

 

Types of Infraction Hearings

A Mitigation Hearing is where you admit you committed the violation, but wish to explain the circumstances of the infraction. The Judge will not dismiss the ticket but may, depending on the explanation given and your driving record, adjust the penalty you pay. The offense will appear on your driving record.A Contested Hearing is where you believe you did not commit the violation or that you have a valid defense to the violation. Unless you request that the officer be subpoenaed, the Judge will read the sworn statement of the officer. You may testify, present evidence, and call witnesses on your own behalf. If you desire the officer or radar technician to be present, please advise the clerk at the time you schedule the hearing.

As a result of a contested hearing, the penalty may stay the same, be reduced, or the ticket dismissed. If you are found to have committed the offense, the offense will appear on your driving record. You may, at your own expense, have an attorney appear to represent you at your hearing. A public defender is not provided for traffic and parking infraction cases.

Court Dates

Court dates cannot be made over the telephone. You must either sign the back of your ticket and mail it to the court, or bring it to the court in person. If you bring the ticket to the court, please go to the cashier windows (Room 841) on the 8th floor of the County-City Building. Mitigation hearings and contested hearings without the officer are held in the mornings, Monday through Friday. Contested hearings with the officer are held on Thursday mornings or afternoons depending on the officer's schedule. Please write your correct mailing address on the back of your ticket, or make that information known to the court.

 

Failure to Respond/Appear/Pay (FTR) (FTA)

If you fail to respond within 15 days, fail to appear at your scheduled hearing, or fail to pay the penalty, a late fee is added to the original penalty, and you are declared to have committed the offense. These offenses will appear on your driving record, and your driver's license will be suspended. Parking tickets may result in your inability to renew your vehicle registration. All delinquent cases will be referred to a collection agency.