You do not have to just accept a traffic ticket in Pennsylvania. If you simply pay the fine, this is the same as pleading guilty. The traffic ticket will go on your driving record, and driver’s license points could lead to unexpected consequences and increased insurance premiums. It’s always best to at least consult a traffic ticket lawyer about the ticket, your driving record, and any mitigating or aggravating factors that could save you time, money, and inconvenience.
So, before you blindly pay a ticket in West Chester, Phoenixville, Exton Kennett Square, Oxford, Coatesville, or anywhere in Chester County, consider fighting it with help from an experienced West Chester defense lawyer. At Skinner Law Firm, we are can evaluate your ticket, review the possibility of having the citation reduced or dismissed, and how you can achieve the best possible result.
At Skinner Law Firm, we have extensive experience with traffic ticket defense, from basic speeding tickets to serious traffic offenses.
Do not hesitate to call us to defend against:
(75 PA Cons Stat §3732.1): A prosecutor can charge you with a third-degree felony if you drive while impaired due to drugs or alcohol, and as a result, recklessly or with gross negligence cause another person serious bodily injury. The statute also provides several aggravating factors that will result in harsh penalties, including additional years of imprisonment.
(75 PA Cons Stat §3733): This offense refers to willfully failing or refusing to stop your vehicle, fleeing, or attempting to elude the police when officers give you visual and audible signals to stop. Depending on the circumstances, you will face a second-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony.
(75 PA Cons Stat §373675 and §3714): An officer can cite you for reckless driving if you operate a vehicle in a willful and wanton disregard for the safety of other people and property. This is a summary offense with a $200. If you drive with a careless disregard for people and property’s safety, you will also face a summary offense.
(75 PA Cons Stat §§3742—3745): Pennsylvania traffic law requires you to stop following accidents that cause property or vehicle damage, injury, or death. Several statutes create this duty to stop. If you fail to stop at the scene of an accident, provide your information, and offer necessary aid, a prosecutor can charge you with a summary offense, misdemeanor, or felony. The level of the offense and penalties depends on the specific facts.
(75 PA Cons Stat §§3742—3745): Leaving the scene of an accident before the police arrive is a similar offense to failing to stop. These offenses are also called hit and runs or hit-skips. Depending on whether you only caused property damage, injuries, or fatalities, you will face a summary offense, misdemeanor, or felony.
Our traffic ticket lawyers can also help with:
You never have to handle a traffic ticket or serious offense alone—and you shouldn’t. The best strategy is to call a traffic lawyer right away to discuss the facts of your case.
Traffic tickets in Pennsylvania can range from summary offenses, which are non-criminal citations, to felonies. Whatever the level, it is best to work with experienced lawyers that handle traffic tickets, who can explain the law and mitigate the possible penalties.
Punishable by up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $300. (Fines may be greater based on specific traffic statutes and various court fees).
Punishable by up to one year of incarceration and fines up to $2,000.
Punishable by up to two years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
Punishable by up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Punishable by up to seven years in prison and fines up to $15,000.
Punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $25,000.
Another potentially significant consequence of a traffic violation is receiving driver’s license points. For every moving violation on your record, points will be assessed to your driving record. Some tickets are as few as two points, but others can result in up to five. For example, speeding can be two, three, four, or five points depending on how fast you are going over the speed limit. Careless driving is three points, leaving an accident scene is four points, and failing to stop for a school bus with flashing red lights is five points.
If you accumulate six or more points, there are consequences:
Fortunately, points do not remain on your license forever. Every 12 consecutive months that you are not under a license suspension or revocation, and you do not commit another violation, PennDOT removes three points. Once all the points are gone, and you hit zero points on your record, any new points are regarded as the first accumulation of points. In other words, your old points are no longer held against you.
In addition to driver’s license points, fines, license suspension, and possibly incarceration, you can expect your auto insurance rates to increase. The more citations and points on your record, the more expensive your insurance coverage will be.
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If PennDOT sends you a letter regarding a driver’s license suspension or revocation, call a traffic lawyer as soon as possible. You can face a suspension for various reasons, including a suspected DUI, refusal to submit to a chemical test, or an accumulation of too many points. You can appeal a suspension in your Court of Common Pleas, but you must do so within 30 days of the mailing date of the notice.
A traffic ticket attorney can represent you at the administrative hearing. Attorney Michael J. Skinner will advocate for you to keep your license or to obtain an occupational limited license (OLL). An OLL allows you to drive for certain reasons, such as work or medical care.
If you complete your term of suspension or revocation, you have other steps to take to get your license back. You must pay a restoration fee. After this, your driving record will show five points.
When you receive a traffic citation, you must respond to the magisterial district judge (this information is on the front of the citation) as either guilty or not guilty. When you plead not guilty, you must send in the signed citation and the collateral fee and court costs.
Then, you will receive a hearing notification by mail. You must attend the hearing, and it is best if you have a traffic lawyer to represent you by this date.
The magisterial district court your case goes to depends on where you are ticketed. There are 15 different magisterial districts in Chester County, PA. If you are ticketed in another county, your traffic case will go through one of that county’s district courts.
If you are ticketed in West Chester, your case goes to District Court 15-1-01 or District Court 15-1-04.
You and your attorney may be prepared to present your defense on the day of the hearing. However, your lawyer may need more time to gather information and prepare a thorough defense. In which case, your lawyer will ask the judge for a new hearing date.
Although you can represent yourself, we don’t recommend this. Traffic court follows strict protocols and without experience, a procedural mistake could harm your case.
There are several ways to defend against traffic tickets and serious moving violations. These strategies can either get you out of the ticket entirely or enable you to mitigate the consequences, like reducing the fine, limiting the points, or saving your license.
Your traffic court attorney may argue:
When an officer hands you a traffic citation or arrests you for a criminal traffic offense, you have options. You might be worried about being found guilty no matter what you do, but this is far from the truth. By working with a knowledgeable and aggressive traffic lawyer from Skinner Law Firm, you can determine what is best for you and your driving record. We handle traffic citations in and around Chester, County, PA and are committed to offering you the most effective defense strategy possible.