Traffic offenses are most heavily enforced in Philadelphia proper which consists of the Central Business and Center City areas. In these areas hundreds of automobiles are targeted and ticketed for traffic violations on any given day.
In Philadelphia, a traffic ticket is considered a criminal accusation. Many of these tickets can be treated as major criminal offenses and therefore warrant contact with a Philadelphia traffic lawyer. Some examples of traffic offenses treated as criminal offenses are homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle, fleeing or attempting to allude law enforcement, hit and run, and reckless driving.
First, homicide by vehicle may be charged if the driver is accused of causing the death of a person through gross negligence while violating a traffic law other than drunk driving. If the violation is the cause of the death for example, if the person runs a red light striking and killing a pedestrian crossing the street at a crosswalk, he or she could face homicide by vehicle charges.Homicide by vehicle is a third degree felony is punishable up to five years in prison and up to a fine $15,000.
Second, aggravated assault by vehicle. 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 3732.1. If a person causes serious bodily injury through gross negligence while violating a traffic law, he or she may be charged with aggravated assault by vehicle. Like homicide by vehicle, this is third degree felony.
Third, fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement. At 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 3733, this charge involves willfully not stopping for pursuing police officer if the officer is flashing lights or otherwise giving a signal to stop. The charge is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and fine of at least $500.
If a police officer is endangered during the flight or the accused is allegedly drunk, the charges could escalated to a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Leaving the scene of an accident, 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 3742 and 3743 are also treated very seriously.
Fourth, also known as hit and run or failure to stop and render aid. After an accident, a person has a duty to stop and give certain information or alert authorities. If a person fails to do so, it might be a crime. If the accident involves death or injury, it is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
And fifth, reckless driving, 75 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Section 3736. Reckless driving is driving that shows willful and wanton disregard for the safety of others. This, however, is treated as a summary offense and can be punished with a $200 fine.