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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I am a resident of Vancouver,WA, since Jan 2012 and lived in

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I am a resident of Vancouver,WA, since Jan 2012 and lived in Boise,ID before that.
Over the weekend in Portalnd, OR I was issued a ticket for not stop at a stop sign. (Failure to obey a traffic control device) I was confused with the GPS and the new area.
The fine is $260 and even the officer recognized that I must be a good driver as I have no record at all. Is there anyway to reduce the fine to a warning, as in terms of insurance, it can be quite severe.
Multnomah County traffic staff have guidelines for a limited reduction of your fine. Call (NNN) NNN-NNNN option 1, to speak with a traffic clerk. Citations issued for highway work zone or safety corridor CANNOT be reduced.

There is no way to reduce your citation to a warning. You can plead not guilty, and appear for trial. Frequently, traffic officers are too busy to appear in court. If the officer doesn't show up for trial, you can ask the court to dismiss the case in the interests of justice, and if the court agrees, then you won't owe anything and you won't have a record.

Other than that, you would have to convince the court at trial that you did not commit the violation, and be found not guilty. If the officer did not video your violation, then it's your word against the officer. Theoretically, this should mean you would win -- however, traffic court is "rigged" against the defendant, so unless you have a witness, it's pretty much a formality that you will lose, if the officer shows up. However, after the trial ends, you are entitled to ask the judge for a sentencing reduction, and sometimes if the judge thinks you did a good job defending yourself, the judge will reduce the fine.

Note: Re insurance, I think you will find that if you have not had any other traffic citation during the past 18 months, that your insurance will not be negatively affected. I can't promise this, but that's usually how it works with most insurers.

Hope this helps.

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