Pierce County Courthouse
930 Tacoma Ave. S., 2nd Floor
Tacoma, WA 98402
All traffic tickets written by the Washington State Patrol or the Pierce County Sheriff in Pierce County are handled by one Court – the Pierce County District Court – in Tacoma. Although many types of matters are handled at the Pierce County Courthouse, including DUI, Reckless Driving and other misdemeanor and felony criminal matters, all traffic tickets (except for City of Tacoma infractions) are handled on the 2nd floor.
What should I expect?
The judges that handle Pierce County traffic tickets rotate every few months so it can be difficult to predict what might happen on a given matter. That said, most of the judges in that Court try to handle issues consistently with other judges.
How well do the officers write their tickets?
Out of all of the Courts we handle, Pierce County infractions have the most variety. Some deputies/troopers do a very complete job documenting speeding or other violations. Other deputies/troopers put in less effort. Unlike almost any other Court, the outcome in your case largely depends on the law enforcement officer that stopped you.
One unique thing about Pierce County troopers and deputies is that they always document statements from the driver, especially admissions to speeding or not paying attention. This can make an otherwise “winnable” ticket much more difficult because even if the officer did not completely document the offense, a Court will find that you committed the infraction if you confess. IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL THAT YOU NOT ADMIT TO ANYTHING WHEN YOU ARE PULLED OVER. EVEN AN ANSWER TO “DO YOU KNOW HOW FAST YOU WERE GOING” CAN BE USED AGIANST YOU, ESPECIALLY IN PIERCE COUNTY.
Is there a prosecutor in that court?
Generally not, which is both beneficial and tricky. Handling traffic infractions and speeding tickets without an opponent is great when you have good issues with the ticket. On the other hand, if a ticket is particularly well written, there is nobody in Court with whom you can negotiate.
What’s the court’s policy on deferred findings?
If you are eligible (i.e. you have not had a deferred finding in the last 7 years and you are not a CDL holder), the Court will allow deferred findings if you request it prior to arguing your case. Sometimes the Pierce County District Court is even willing to make a deferral period shorter than the 12 months authorized by statute.
Am I required to appear in court?
If you do not have an attorney, yes. If you do retain a lawyer, he or she will almost always be able to handle it without you. The only exception is if you made a statement that the officer wrote down on the infraction and we need to challenge that statement.
What is the likelihood of a favorable resolution?
High. Despite all of these issues, the judges in Pierce County hold troopers and deputies to a fairly high standard in documenting speeding, HOV lane violations and other traffic infractions. We generally get very favorable outcomes for clients on Pierce County traffic tickets.
Washington Traffic Defense is happy to handle your Pierce County speeding ticket or traffic infraction. We have successfully resolved thousands of traffic tickets throughout the State of Washington, including many in Pierce County. Let us save you the time, money and stress of fighting it yourself.