Ticketed drivers are issuing their own subpoenas to officers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ticketed drivers are issuing their own subpoenas to officers

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A lot of drivers get speeding tickets but one loophole drivers use to get out of paying the fine can costs police agencies big bucks.

A subpoena is usually used by law enforcement to bring witnesses to court.  However, drivers who want to get out of paying a fine are issuing the document to police. 

If a driver wants to fight their citation they can get a subpoena from the district court clerk's office and can issue it to the officer that wrote the ticket.  If the officer fails to show up, the ticket is usually dismissed.

For police agencies, it can be costly for their officers to respond to every subpoena because they have to be paid overtime to testify in court.

"We only have a certain amount of money in the overtime budget each year... obviously if they're getting subpoenaed for traffic tickets it will put a dent in the budget," said Benton County Sheriff Lt. Steve Keane. 

Benton County Sheriff's Deputies said they don't see subpoenas abused.  While Washington State Patrol Troopers said they make it their priority to show up to court to make sure tickets are upheld.

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