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Pennsylvania Traffic Lawyer
Getting ticketed for a traffic violation can be mere nuisance or a frustrating and lengthy legal experience. If convicted, the result will be fines and court costs. If the charge is serious, and you have previous convictions on your record, you may be facing a jail sentence. A Pennsylvania traffic lawyer can help you protect your driving privileges.
Pennsylvania Traffic Lawyers Can Help With These Issues
Whatever the charge, you will penalized by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) with adverse points on your driver’s license. Your insurance premiums are likely to increase and your license could be suspended. For all these reasons, it may be in your best interest to contact a Pennsylvania traffic lawyer who can navigate you through the legal process and minimize the amount of damage done.
Among the more serious traffic charges in Pennsylvania:
- Racing on streets or highways
- Careless driving
- Driving without lights or any other evasive action in order to avoid identification or arrest
- Any form of reckless driving
- Accidents involving damage to another vehicle, property, or serious injury to another
- Driving without a license – additional penalties may await repeat offenders
Also, if your traffic record justifies, your insurance could be canceled. As a result, the only coverage option is through an SR-22 policy. These rates are quite excessive and coverage is the bare minimum the Commonwealth requires. That could produce a gap between your actual coverage and the total value of any accident or claim that might be filed against the SR-22 policy. You are responsible for paying the difference if you are at fault in an accident.
Common Traffic Violations and Penalties in Pennsylvania
The following are common violations and their penalties where you may want to consider contacting a Pennsylvania traffic lawyer:
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license can bring sentences or a fine of $200 and an additional one or two year license suspension/revocation. If the suspension is a condition of the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) pre-trial intervention program for a previous traffic offense – usually DUI – or for a previous refusal to submit to chemical testing, the alleged offender can be sentenced to pay a $500 fine and serve 60 to 90 days in jail.
- Overtaking a school bus occurs when a driver fails to stop at least ten feet before a stopped school bus when the red signal lights are flashing. A conviction can result in a $250 fine.
- Reckless Driving occurs when one drives their vehicle in willful disregard for the safety of other people or property. Conviction on this charge can result in a fine of $200. But when reckless driving causes the death of another person due to gross negligence, they can be charged with vehicular homicide. This offense is a third degree felony. Upon conviction, five years imprisonment will be imposed and even more prison time awaits one who is convicted of DUI vehicular homicide.
- When a driver refuses to stop their vehicle when an officer orders them to,fleeing or attempting to elude officers is charged. Although this is a second degree misdemeanor, a conviction can lead to a fine of $500, in addition to any other punishments in connection with this charge.
Pennsylvania Driving Point System
Pennsylvania has a point system that assigns a numeric value against drivers who are licensed in the Commonwealth when they are convicted of a traffic offense. The point values depend on the seriousness of the offense. (PennDOT) keeps a record of the points accumulated by each driver. If you accumulate six or more points, PennDOT will punish you through a mandatory exam that tests your knowledge of safe driving practices, penalties and safety issues. You have 30 days to take and pass the exam. If you fail to take it or do not pass it, your driver’s license is suspended until you do. Some – not all – of these offenses are listed below:
Traffic offenses in Pennsylvania are assigned the following points:
- Violation of a driver’s license restriction – 2 points
- Speeding 6 to 10 miles over the speed limit – 2 points
- Reckless driving – 3 points
- Exceeding school zone or special speed limits – 3 points
- Failure to yield to pedestrians – 3 points
- Improper passing, except on a hill – 3 points
- Running a red light or flashing red light – 3 points
- Speeding 11 to 15 miles over the speed limit – 3 points
- Leaving the scene of a crash with property damage – 4 points
- Speeding 16 to 25 miles over the speed limit – 4 points
- Speeding 26 miles or more over the speed limit – 5 points
- Passing a stopped school bus – 5 points
Drivers who accumulate their second six points must appear at a PennDOT hearing for a review of their driving record. PennDOT can order a 15 day license suspension during which time the one charged must take and pass an on-road driver’s test. Failure to appear results in an immediate 60 day license suspension.
If any driving record reaches 11 points or more, the driver’s license can be automatically suspended for up to one year.
Hiring a Pennsylvania Traffic Attorney
If this is your first traffic offense or speeding ticket and you will not receive more than two or three PennDOT points if found guilty, and you’re a safe driver, chances are you can probably manage this charge on your own.
But for serious violations, especially if additional charges are pending in the case of an injury related accident or one that caused property damage, or if PennDOT views you as a habitual traffic offender, you need the guidance and representation of an experienced Pennsylvania traffic lawyer.