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Traffic violations in Pennsylvania can range from moving violations with minimal penalties to misdemeanors and felonies that can incur fines and imprisonment. Common criminal traffic offenses prosecuted in Chester County, Delaware County and surrounding counties in Pennsylvania include:
If you have been charged with a traffic violation in Chester County, or the surrounding areas in Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Montgomery County or Lancaster County, then contact an experienced attorney at the Skinner Law Firm. Michael J. Skinner will help you find out what you need to do today to protect yourself against a criminal prosecution and to protect your driving privileges. Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation today.
Some of the most common traffic violations in Pennsylvania that can result in fines or even imprisonment include, but are not limited to:
Driving with a suspended or revoked license is considered a summary offense with a fine of $200 and an additional one-year or two-year license suspension. However, if the suspension is based on a DUI conviction, admission to ARD program or refusal to submit to chemical testing, it is a summary offense with a $500-$1000 fine and a mandatory 60 to 90 days in jail. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes 75 § 1543).
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 of this offense includes a $250 fine and 30-day license suspension. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes 75 § 3345)
Reckless Driving occurs when a person drives their vehicle in willful disregard for the safety of other people or property. A conviction for this charge is a summary offense with a fine of $200 and a 6-month license suspension. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes 75 § 3736)
A person can be charged with vehicular homicide when he or she causes the death of another person while recklessly driving or driving with gross negligence. This offense is a felony of the third degree and can incur up to 5 years imprisonment. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes 75 § 3732)
Fleeing or attempting to elude officers occurs when a driver willfully fails to stop or refuses to stop their vehicle when an officer orders them to stop. This offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree. A conviction can lead to a fine of $500 and a one-year license suspension. (Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes 75 § 3733).
Pennsylvania has created a point system that assigns a number of points to drivers in the state for every conviction of a traffic offense. The number of points assigned depends on the seriousness of the offense. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) keeps a record of the points accrued by each driver in the state. If someone accrues six or more points, PennDOT will punish them through a mandatory exam and driver’s license suspension.
Traffic offenses in Pennsylvania are assigned the following points:
If someone accumulates their first six points for any violation, they will be required to a take a written exam over knowledge of safe driving practices, knowledge of penalties and knowledge of safety issues. They will have 30 days after the accrual of their points to take and pass the exam. If they do not take it within this designated time period, their driver’s license will be suspended until the exam is passed.
Drivers who accrue their second six points will have to attend a departmental hearing. PennDOT will review the driver’s record at the hearing, and recommend either a 15-day license suspension, an order to take an on-road driver’s exam or no action at all. Failure to attend the hearing will result in an immediate 60-day suspension.
Anyone who accumulates six points for the third time will have to attend a departmental hearing where PennDOT will determine if the person’s license should be suspended for 30 days. Failure to attend this hearing will result in a license suspension until the person attends the hearing.
If any driving record reaches 11 points or more, the driver’s license will be automatically suspended depending on how many times the license has been suspended in the past, up to a one-year suspension.
If someone excessively speeds 31 miles or more over the speed limit, they will be required to attend a department hearing, where they can be ordered to take an on-road driver’s exam and/or a 15-day license suspension. Failure to attend the hearing will result in a 60-day license suspension.
Under the Age of 18:
If someone is under the age of 18 and accrues six points or more, or is charged with driving over 26 miles per hour, their driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days in addition to any other penalties listed above. Any subsequent convictions will lead to a 120-day suspension.
Three points can be removed for every 12 consecutive months a driver goes without a violation that results in points. Additionally, passing the written exam or the on-road exam will result in a removal of points.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Driver and Vehicle Services - This Pennsylvania state agency has information about driver’s licenses and vehicle registration, including suspensions, reinstatements, renewals, commercial driver’s licenses, automobile insurance, and driving safety course.
Pennsylvania State Police - This governmental department serves the public in Pennsylvania by seeking justice, preserving the peace and improving the quality of law for all. The site has information on traffic initiatives and safety tips, in addition to services provided by the department. A Chester County office is located at:Pennsylvania State Police
Contact the Skinner Law Firm today for a consultation about your traffic violation in West Chester and the surrounding areas of Delaware County. Michael J. Skinner will listen to the facts of your particular situation and help you identify any possible defenses or mitigating circumstances that will reduce your charge, or even have it dismissed. An attorney can also help you appeal a driver's license suspension. Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about your alleged traffic offense in Pennsylvania.