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  • Out-dated tags, yeah another, but wait it's different.

    All right, so here's the story:

    I was coming back from a weekly therapy session, when an officer pulled in behind me. I usually tend to notice a big black and white car with big lights, so I just happened to notice it following me for four miles until I got up to my house. That's beside the point, but I just felt I'd comment to ask... Do you think he was running my plates, or was he "waiting" for me to do something wrong? I really dislike it when police officers pull behind me; they tend to get extremely close, and even seem as if they want me to speed, as if they're coercing me to break the law.


    Anyway, back to the point, as I turned into my apartment complex, the cop lit up his lights. I pulled over, and was issued a ticket for expired tags, simple as that. Wished the officer well, and went on my now ruined day. Never had a worse day from someone just doing their job, actually.


    My tags were over two months out of date, so I don't blame the officer at all, he was doing his job; however, the people at my DOL did not do their job informing me that I would not be automatically notified of my tag expiration that year due to a title change. I originally thought that the notification was lost in the mail due to a change of address, however we had moved in soon enough that if it was mailed, it should have got to my old house, though there was about only a week of wiggle room for that to happen, and I recall changing our address a few weeks before we actually moved to the new place; however I'm still confident it was the DOL's mistake. I only learned this was the case recently, as my family had to sell our car and move out because of financial issues. The unfortunate aspect of this, is that my mother had not had the time to mention to me my tags might be out of date until it was too late.

    I'm not sure at all what the laws are in Washington state concerning tags. Am I legally within my rights to expect notification in the mail, and how can I prove that the DOL employee failed to inform me? I do not feel that I deserve this ticket. I have been extremely involved in family crisis, mental issues, and moving into a new home. I'm not aware of what obligation I have to continually check whether my tags are up-to-date, because I have always received notification in the mail of this.

    I have chosen to contest the ticket in court and explain the circumstances to the judge, but I am wondering if any officers, especially those from Washington state, can give me their opinions on the likelihood of the infraction being over-turned.

    edit:
    D'oh, sorry for not seeing that "Traffic Violations" sub-forum before posting this guys. Hopefully a mod will move it soon.
    Last edited by sagaciouskjb; 06-07-2007, 12:52 PM. Reason: Wrong forum

  • #2
    Like most states that send out the letter they don't have to. It's basically a helpful reminder but its still up to you to make sure your vehicle is legal to drive. I hear the letter thing all the time but can you honestly say you never looked at your tag for the entire year to know when it expires?
    Where'd you learn that, Cheech? Drug school?

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    • #3
      Outdated Tags

      Whether or not the state notifies you to renew your plates, you are responsible for keeping your registration current. It's possible that a Judge will cut you a little slack, if it's Washington policy to notify you by mail.

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      • #4
        There is no state law (that I know of) that requires the DMV or DOL to notify you that your tags are about to expire. They do that as a form of courtesy. Normally, in Miami (FL) if you go to court with a renewed vehicle registration, then the officer doesn't proceed with the charges, since people forget quite frequently.

        A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

        It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sagaciouskjb View Post
          A Am I legally within my rights to expect notification in the mail, and how can I prove that the DOL employee failed to inform me?
          No, you're responsible. The notice is just a courtesy.

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          • #6
            @JDCOP, this year has been extremely turbulent time for me. Can you honestly say that you consistently check your plates? Don't answer that, you're a cop, I already know you do--why else would you have asked the question, right? The fact of the matter is that I'm a law-abiding citizen; I go 35 in a 35 zone, despite the other drivers speeding by; I don't take free-right turns if there is someone in front of me, and I do my utmost to make sure that I'm following the law. This is a great dis-service to me; after all, I highly doubt that many people check their plates often, and I doubt even more that many people expect them to. This is beside the point, though...

            In your experience (and other police officer's) how likely is it for a case like this to be over-turned? In Washington, I believe the issuing officer is required to appear at the court hearing; if this is the case in your state, how often do you see these cases over-turned?

            Assuming that it is not state policy to send these letters (I didn't figure it was), how likely is the judge to grant leniency in this case?

            Heh, maybe I should have went to Judge.com.

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            • #7
              Hon, here you'd just get it taken care of, go to court, show them you got it fixed, and viola, you're done. It's a mistake. But it's a mistake YOU made. Just handle business and keep going.
              sigpic

              I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sagaciouskjb View Post
                In your experience (and other police officer's) how likely is it for a case like this to be over-turned? In Washington, I believe the issuing officer is required to appear at the court hearing; if this is the case in your state, how often do you see these cases over-turned?.
                This is getting somewhat close to legal advice (for which you need to hire a lawyer), but the gist of expired tags is the officer simply has to prove your tags were expired and you drove. There's not much wiggle room.

                Unless things have changed since I left Washington, you can go to a mitigation hearing to plead extenuating circumstances. It's not technically 'fighting' the ticket; in a mitigation hearing you're basically saying "yes, I'm guilty but...." They normally cut the fine in half.

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                • #9
                  Maybe its just Ohio, but don't your tags expire on your birthday???

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jakflak View Post
                    This is getting somewhat close to legal advice (for which you need to hire a lawyer), but the gist of expired tags is the officer simply has to prove your tags were expired and you drove. There's not much wiggle room.

                    Unless things have changed since I left Washington, you can go to a mitigation hearing to plead extenuating circumstances. It's not technically 'fighting' the ticket; in a mitigation hearing you're basically saying "yes, I'm guilty but...." They normally cut the fine in half.
                    Hmm, well that kind of worries me, because I already checked the "contest" part of the ticket instead of the "explain" portion, which is how you just described. I guess I will just have to find out then whether or not I can explain myself, even though I now know there's not much to contest.

                    Or should I attempt to have the court-date changed to a mitigation hearing? I've no idea how I would go about doing that.

                    Anyway, I think I'm bordering on legal advice again. :/ I think i've got all the info I really can here.

                    Thanks, everyone.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JKralC104 View Post
                      Maybe its just Ohio, but don't your tags expire on your birthday???
                      In Indiana it's based on the alphabetical order of your last name. Your driver's license will expire on your birthday, however.



                      Originally posted by sagaciouskjb
                      Can you honestly say that you consistently check your plates
                      You don't have to consistenly check your plate. They expire annually on the date that your sticker and registration says. I'm not trying to be funny, but plates aren't milk where you have to check on them consistently to be sure they are still good.
                      I miss you, Dave.
                      http://www.odmp.org/officer/20669-of...david-s.-moore

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                      • #12
                        Renew your tags. Come to court with proof. The judge will most likely cut you a break.
                        John 3:16

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                        • #13
                          CA always sends the renewal bill for tags a few weeks or month before they expire. Officers here don't usually stop someone with expired tags over a month old. I think that is more than enough time to get your registration current. So next year when the bill comes in, write a check and put it in the mail. I got this years tag about a month before it acutally expired. You can even pay online with your ATM, tag comes in the mail within a week.

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