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What to do when you get a
Traffic Ticket.

By Lana Elliott
Elliott Law Group, PLLC

Traffic tickets may not seem like a significant matter, but a single ticket
can end up costing you a lot of money. Traffic tickets can be for a wide
variety of infractions, everything from speeding to negligent driving. A
single ticket can lead to you having higher insurance rates, make it
difficult to get certain jobs, and if you get multiple tickets you can lose
your driver’s license. Traffic infractions include everything from speeding
and improper lane use to speed too fast for conditions and negligent
driving, fines can range from $100.00 to almost $1,000.00.

As of July 23, 2017, a new law is in effect that makes cell phone use, or
driving dangerously distracted an infraction. It is stricter than the previous
laws and makes holding or using your cell phone or doing any activity not
related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that
interferes with the safe operation of such vehicle on any road. These
activities include eating, drinking, grooming, or any other distracting
activity. The only exception to this is that you can use minimal figure use
to activate or deactivate a function of your phone, such as a single swipe
to answer or end a call, while using a handsfree device.

If you are unfortunate enough to receive a traffic ticket, you must respond
quickly. It is critical that you timely respond to your traffic ticket by
selecting one of the options discussed below. If you do not respond within
deadline, judgment will be entered against you and you will have to pay
the full amount of the ticket. When responding to your ticket you have the
following three options. First, pay the ticket, this is the worst option; it
does you no good, and leads to multiple negative impacts. Second,
request a mitigation hearing, which means that you admit that you
committed the infraction, but want to explain to the judge the
circumstances of why you committed the infraction and request a reduced
fine. This is also a bad option that will have all of the same negative
effects as just paying the ticket. Third, you have the option to request a
contested hearing. This is the best option, it gives you the option to fight
the infraction and the opportunity to take advantage all other options
such as a deferral, traffic school, reduce the ticket to a non-moving
violation that won’t negatively impact your insurance, or possibly even get
the ticket dismissed.

After responding by requesting a contested hearing, you will be given a
court date. At the court date, you can have several different options
depending on your traffic history, it can be overwhelming to know what
option is right for you. One of the options can be traffic school or the
Alive at 25 class, depending on your age and where you received your
citation. This option can cost you some money and a significant amount
of time having to attend the class. The Alive at 25 class is only available
one time, and depending on the jurisdiction you can only do traffic school
one time every 18 months to 2 years, and your infraction has to be
eligible. A second possible option to resolve your case is the deferral
program. The deferral program puts your ticket on hold for up to a year,
and if you meet certain conditions, leads to your ticket being dismissed.
However, you can only use this option one time every 7 years.

Another possible option is to reduce your ticket, depending on what the
prosecutor is offering this can be a good option. The results of this option
can vary widely and depends on the specific of your case and what traffic
history you have. If none of these options work for you, you can take it to
your ticket to a contested hearing and try to prove that you did not
commit the infraction that you were cited for.

It is important to note that if you hold a commercial driver’s license you
are ineligible for the deferral program and you cannot do traffic school.
Commercial driver’s licenses are treated differently than standard
licenses and infractions in your personal vehicle or in your commercial
vehicle can significantly raise your insurance and multiple tickets may
suspend your commercial driver’s license.

It can be daunting to try to deal with a ticket yourself. It takes time, can be
inconvenient, and can be overwhelming to know which option is right for
you. That is where Elliott Law Group, PLLC comes in. We can represent
you throughout the entire process or dealing with your traffic ticket. We
handle everything from responding to your ticket to appearing in court on
your behalf. We help you understand all of your options in dealing with
your ticket and advise you on what option can be best for you. It is worth
it to fight a traffic ticket and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Contact Elliott Law Group, PLLC today for assistance with your traffic
USCIS Updates Policy Guidance for
Certain Requests for Evidence and
Notices of Intent to Deny

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) posted a
policy memorandum that provides guidance to USCIS adjudicators regarding
their discretion to deny an application, petition, or request without first issuing a
Request for Evidence (RFE) or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) when required
initial evidence was not submitted or the evidence of record fails to establish
eligibility    This updated guidance is effective September 11, 2018 and applies
to all applications, petitions, and requests, except for Deferred Action for
Childhood Arrivals (DACA) adjudications, received after that date. Due to
preliminary injunctions issued by courts in California and New York, this new PM
does not change the RFE and NOID policies and practices that apply to the
adjudication of DACA requests.
   “For too long, our immigration system has been bogged down with frivolous
or meritless claims that slow down processing for everyone, including legitimate
petitioners. Through this long overdue policy change, USCIS is restoring full
discretion to our immigration officers to deny incomplete and ineligible
applications and petitions submitted for immigration benefits,” said USCIS
Director L. Francis Cissna. “Doing so will discourage frivolous filings and
skeletal applications used to game the system, ensure our resources are not
wasted, and ultimately improve our agency’s ability to efficiently and fairly
adjudicate requests for immigration benefits in full accordance with our laws.”  
    The 2013 PM addressed policies for the issuance of RFEs and NOIDs when
the evidence submitted at the time of filing did not establish eligibility. In
practice, the 2013 PM limited denials without RFEs or NOIDs to statutory denials
by providing that RFEs should be issued unless there was “no possibility” of
approval. This “no possibility” policy limited the application of an adjudicator’s
   The policy implemented in this guidance restores to the adjudicator full
discretion to deny applications, petitions, and requests without first issuing an
RFE or a NOID, when appropriate. This policy is intended to discourage
frivolous or substantially incomplete filings used as “placeholder” filings and
encourage applicants, petitioners, and requestors to be diligent in collecting
and submitting required evidence.  
   USCIS will continue issuing statutory denials when appropriate without first
issuing an RFE or NOID when the applicant, petitioner, or requestor has no
legal basis for the benefit/request sought, or submits a request for a benefit or
relief under a program that has been terminated.
   If all required initial evidence is not submitted with the benefit request, USCIS,
in its discretion, may deny the benefit request for failure to establish eligibility
based on lack of required initial evidence. Examples of filings that may be
denied without sending an RFE or NOID include, but are not limited to:     
•        Waiver applications submitted with  little to no supporting evidence; or
•        Cases where the regulations, the statute, or form instructions require the
submission of an official document or other form of evidence establishing
eligibility at the time of filing and there is no such submission. For example, an
Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), if required, was not submitted with an     
Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485).
This PM updates Chapters 10.5(a) and 10.5(b) of the USCIS Adjudicator’s Field
Manual and contains an “additional considerations” section. The policy in this
“additional considerations” section is not new, and is nearly identical to the
policy contained in the superseded 2013 PM.
   For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit