LIVE BLOG: Kitsap County Traffic Court

THE BACKGROUND: A deputy prosecutor will stand in on behalf of the state in Kitsap County’s traffic court for the first time this afternoon.

The move was a part of Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge’s plan to boost revenues during the county’s budget discussions last fall. He told the county commissioners having a prosecutor to help present the case of the police who wrote the ticket could lead to about $148,000 in additional revenue.

Up until now, Hauge told the commissioners that “if you know the magic words to say,” tickets would be dismissed without an argument from prosecutors — because no prosecutor was ever in court.

Another program aimed at relicensing motorists charged with suspended driving — before almost always reduced to a $124 ticket — also begins today. Drivers will now face a $250 fine under a so-called “diversion” program. The good news for defendants, however, is it is a pathway to becoming licensed again, prosecutors argued. That program could bring in more than $356,000, Hauge argued to commissioners.

The programs only affect Ktsap County District Court — not in courts in Poulsbo, Port Orchard, Bremerton or Bainbridge Island.

A story about the first day of the two programs will be posted later today.

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