What is a Mitigation Hearing?
A mitigation hearing is where you admit you committed the violation, but wish to explain the circumstances to the judge. According to Chapter 384, laws of 1995, and city ordinances, the penalty cannot be reduced.
This law became effective July 23, 1995. According to Moses Lake Municipal Code 1.08.020, civil penalties for violations of any section or sections of this code, such minimum penalty shall not be reduced, suspended, deferred, or forgiven by the court nor shall the court defer or continue a determination the defendant shall have committed the infraction under any condition that allows the suspending, deferring, or forgiving of any minimum penalty.
What is a Contested Hearing?
If you believe you did not commit the violation then you should have a contested hearing. The officer may or may not be present. If the officer is not present, the procedure at the hearing will be for the judge to read the sworn statement of the officer.
Then you may testify or present any evidence or witnesses that you wish. The officer may subpoena any other officer to be at the hearing. As a result of a contested hearing, the penalty may stay the same, it may be increased, or the ticket dismissed.
In the event you have subpoenaed witnesses you may be required to pay court costs. A contested infraction hearing is a civil case and the judge will decide the case based on the preponderance of the evidence.