Defective tail lamps

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Defective tail lamps

I live in Washington state and recently got pulled over. I was written a ticket by the officer for having defective tail lamps. I have a total of seven lights in the rear of my vehicle 2 license plate lights, 1 third brake light, and 4 tail lights. 2 of my tail lights are on the outer corners of my vehicle and the other 2 are on my lift gate. Every lamp on my vehicle are operating and functioning the way they should except the 2 tail lamps on my lift gate, which are running lights. The outer tail lights that were operating are running lamps and brake lamps, so my

car is perfectly visible at night. I was written for defective tail lamps even though by state law you need at least 2 functioning tail lamps and license plate lights. Do I fight this ticket?

Asked on December 20, 2018 under General Practice, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It's a cost benefit decision: even if could win, fighting a ticket in traffic/municipal court generally involves at least two court appearances (the first one, where you appear and plead not guilty; and the second one, usually a few weeks later, where they actually try the case). Is 2 - 5 hours of your time each day, on at least 2 days, worth more to you than the cost of the ticket? If not, then you may reasonbly choose to fight with a reasonable expectation of winning (no case is ever guaranteed, so you can't count on winning) based on what you write. But if your time is worth more than the ticket, just pay it.


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