Criminal Defense Attorney

Bucks County Traffic Infractions

Bucks Country traffic infractions are simply citations given by police and/or other authorities to an individual that was operating a motor vehicle in an inconsistent way and manner that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has laid out. These terms are all specified when an individual applies for and is granted the privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Motor vehicle laws and guidelines are in the Pennsylvania Department of Motor Vehicle Guide.

Generally speaking, all traffic infractions exist and the points and fines are easily accessible by such manuals. In most cases, police will specify the exact statute number that is being violated and must indicate the costs of the violation, as well as any fines or costs also imposed by a specific district court in Bucks County. Police must specify with certainty what the violation is, the probable cause for the initial stop, and all the relevant information such as plate number, driver’s license ID, all that is mandatory in order to comply with the Regulation set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Should the police officer fail to meet any of these requirements, in most cases the ticket or citation can be dismissed for failing to comply with the statutes. If an individual wants to know more about traffic infractions, they should consult a capable traffic attorney that could answer their questions.

How is an Infraction Different from a Misdemeanor?

A traffic infraction, simply stated, is a citation offense that is governed by the Pennsylvania Traffic Laws for the jurisdiction where a particular matter occurred. A Misdemeanor charge is a criminal action with the appropriate mens rea (knowledge of wrongdoing) in which to make it a misdemeanor. In dealing with misdemeanor crimes, the Pennsylvania Criminal Code comes into effect.

In most cases, when dealing with traffic infractions and misdemeanors, the arrest for a DUI is amongst the most common. An individual may be charged criminally for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and at the same time be given traffic citations for reckless driving, careless driving, speeding or any other infraction such as going through a stop sign without stopping or a red light, and those charges will stay together and independent when determining what the final consequence is. Individuals can be charged both as a misdemeanor criminal act and given traffic citations for the first set of offenses.

In Bucks County, when individuals are charged with misdemeanors (which can carry up to five years’ incarceration and $5,000 to $10,000) and traffic citations in the same manner, both are consolidated and tried together. Thus, all consequences are both traffic violations and possible misdemeanor convictions.

Examples of Speeding-Related Infractions

Most common speeding-related Bucks County traffic infractions are infractions for traveling above the speed limit. In most cases, police charge individuals when they are traveling in excess of five miles over the posted speed limit. In more severe infractions, reckless driving or careless driving can also be charged. That is when the person is operating in excess of the speed limit and operating their vehicle in a manner which puts others at risk of harm, serious bodily injury, or death. In cases of speeding coupled with actions such as driving on a sidewalk, speeding past a school bus on a stop, passing public transportation that is stopped, not yielding to a train/railway area, or any other serious speed infraction; a charge of careless driving and the speeding can yield up to a three year license suspension and up to $3,000 in fines and costs.

Where Traffic Infraction Cases are Heard

All traffic infraction cases are heard in Bucks County at the Magisterial District Court level, where the incident took place, which will determine guilt or innocence at that level. Should an individual wish to appeal a district court determination, the individual would take an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas in Doylestown before a Court of Common Plea. Otherwise, all traffic infractions will be resolved at the Magisterial District Court level.

Potential Penalties for Traffic Infractions

The penalties for very minimal Bucks County traffic infractions usually entail points on a license, infractions that carry up to incarceration for 90 days, and up to $5,000 per infraction fine and cost. Any infraction, and fines that are associated with them are stated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation under the Traffic Laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. These are determined by which charge a person is found guilty or pleads guilty to. The Traffic Codes are very complicated and it is essential for anyone to retain an experienced Bucks County traffic attorney to understand their court process and to mitigate the person’s exposure.

Appealing Traffic Infraction Convictions

In Bucks County, after an infraction is disposed of at the Magisterial District Court level, e.g., the person is found guilty, and they disagree with such verdict, the individual may file an appeal to the Court of Common Pleas in Doylestown. At that level, the individual can have another hearing, call witnesses, and cross-examine the witnesses either against them or on their behalf. In either case, all traffic appeals in Bucks County are delegated to the Court of Common Pleas in Doylestown. If an individual is interested in appealing their conviction, they should speak with a knowledgeable traffic attorney that has experience contesting Bucks County traffic infractions and could represent them in court.