Were you pulled over and issued a traffic ticket in Greensburg, PA or a nearby city? You might think a ticket now and then is no big deal. You may be tempted to pay the fine online and be done with it. But you should think twice about the consequences of just paying a traffic ticket, especially if it was undeserved. This is the same as pleading guilty to a crime. You will have to deal with the automatic, maximum penalties for that offense as well as the collateral costs, like higher auto insurance premiums. Luckily, you still have the right to consult a defense lawyer in Greensburg about your options, like having the ticket dismissed, reduced, or amended to something more manageable. Often, a traffic lawyer is your best bet to fighting an unjustified traffic violation or criminal traffic offense.
Our Greensburg traffic violation lawyers at Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys are highly experienced and ready to help you. We know the importance of keeping your driving record clear, so contact us online or call (724) 834-1275 to schedule your free consultation.
Table of Contents
- Common Traffic Tickets
- Other Common Traffic Violations
- Penalties for Tickets and Violations
- Pennsylvania Driving Record Points
- CDL Traffic Violations
- Possible Traffic Ticket Defenses
Common Greensburg Traffic Tickets
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our lawyers handle traffic tickets for all types of minor traffic violations and more serious criminal traffic offenses. If you are stopped while driving and either ticketed or arrested, you should contact our traffic ticket attorneys as soon as you can. We will explain the law surrounding the alleged violation, protect your rights, and guide you through the legal process of fighting the ticket.
Some of the most common traffic violations we handle include:
- Speeding: Under 75 Pa. Code §3362, driving faster than the posted speed limit is prohibited. Also, 75 Pa. Code §3361 makes it illegal to drive faster than what is safe, given the traffic, road conditions, weather, visibility, and other factors. Based on these laws, you can be ticketed for speeding if you were allegedly driving faster than the speed limit or the speed the conditions called for. Not to mention, 75 Pa. Code §3365 makes it illegal to drive faster than 15 mph in a school zone. If you are facing a speeding ticket, we highly recommend calling a traffic citation attorney to discuss the consequences of paying the ticket (high fines, driving record points, higher auto insurance premiums) and how you can fight it.
- Driving Under a Suspended License: If your driver’s license has been suspended, revoked, or canceled for any reason, whether it is a civil sanction or a criminal penalty, you cannot drive. Under 75 Pa. Code §1543, if you are caught driving while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you face a summary offense, punishable by a $200 fine and an additional suspension. However, if your license was suspended because of a DUI conviction, you may face a higher charge, and you will certainly face a harsher penalty. To avoid a driving under suspension conviction or to mitigate the consequences of this ticket, contact our traffic attorneys.
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident: If you are in an accident in which it appears there was property damage, someone was hurt, or killed, then you are required to stop. You must remain at the scene to provide aid when necessary and to exchange information. If you do not stop after an accident, or you leave the scene before assisting others, providing your information or before the police arrive, then under 75 Pa. Code §3745 and §3742 you can be charged with a crime. The level of the offense depends on the damage the accident caused. Property damage results in a summary offense, however, if someone was hurt, you face a misdemeanor. If someone was seriously hurt or died, you could be charged with a felony. To defend against hit-and-run accusations, call a traffic court attorney right away.
- Reckless Driving: As a driver in Pennsylvania, you are required to operate your vehicle with caution. This means adhering to all traffic laws, as well as acting responsibly to avoid causing an accident. If you drive in a manner that shows a willful or wanton disregard for other people or property’s safety, then you are considered to be driving recklessly, and you can be ticketed under 5 Pa. Code §3736. Reckless driving is a summary offense, which can result in fines, jail time, driving record points, and in some cases, a license suspension. To fight a reckless driving ticket, call a traffic violation lawyer.
- Vehicular Homicide One of the most serious traffic crimes you can be accused of is homicide by vehicle. Under 75 Pa. Code §3732 or 75 Pa. Code §3735, you can be charged with vehicular homicide if you cause a crash and the death of another person due to reckless driving or driving while intoxicated. Depending on the circumstances, you can be charged with a second- or third-degree felony. In these very serious situations, you need to call our traffic offense lawyers as soon as possible. If you plead or are convicted of a felony, you can be sentenced to years in prison. Let us fight for an acquittal or attempt to mitigate the consequences.
Other Common Greensburg Traffic Violations
You should also call our traffic lawyers if you were pulled over and ticketed for:
- Driving Without a License
- Drag Racing
- Eluding or Fleeing the Police
- Aggravated Vehicular Assault
- Running a Red Light
- Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign
- Failure to Stop for a School Bus
- Failure to Signal a Lane Change
- Not Wearing a Seat Belt
- Cell Phone Use While Driving
Penalties for a Greensburg Traffic Offenses
One of the many reasons to contact a traffic ticket lawyer is to make sure you understand the full scope of the potential consequences for your alleged infraction. If you simply pay a ticket, which is the same as pleading guilty, or you are found guilty of a traffic violation, you face:
- Fines and court fees
- Driving record points
- Community service
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation
The type and severity of these traffic penalties depend on the specific violation or charge against you.
- Summary offenses are punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail and fines reaching $300.
- Third-degree misdemeanors are punished by up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,000.
- Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to two years in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
- First-degree misdemeanors are punished with at most five years in jail and fines up to $10,000.
- Third-degree felonies are penalized with up to seven years’ incarceration and a maximum fine of $15,000.
- Second-degree felonies can result in up to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $25,000.
- First-degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison and $25,000 of fines.
To avoid the maximum penalty for a traffic violation or crime, you need traffic ticket help from an experienced attorney. Do not hesitate to contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys to speak with a lawyer who knows what it takes.
Pennsylvania Driving Record Points
If you are found guilty or plead guilty to certain traffic violations or crimes in Greensburg and nearby, you will have points placed on your driving record in accordance with Pennsylvania law. Each of these traffic violations is worth a certain number of points, typically between two and five points. For example, speeding by an excess of six to 10 MPH is two points. Failure to stop at a red light is three points. Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage is four points. Exceeding the speed limit by 31 mph or more is five points.
If you are at least 18 years old, you will face consequences when you accumulate six points on your driving record. You may be required to pass the written driving exam within 30 days of receiving notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). If you fail to pass the test, your license may be suspended.
If you accrue six points a second time, then you will receive notice of a mandatory PennDOT administrative hearing. The hearing officer will decide whether to let you retake a driving test to keep your license or suspend your license for 15 days.
You can get points removed from your record. For every 12 months you go without a traffic violation conviction, three points are removed from your record.
CDL Traffic Violations
If you have a commercial driver’s license, you should always take a traffic violation seriously, whether or not you were in a commercial vehicle at the time of the ticket. Call our CDL traffic lawyers immediately. When your CDL is involved, it is even more important to work with an experienced, skilled, and aggressive defense attorney. If you plead or are convicted of a traffic offense, you could face expensive fines or even lose your credentials, and be unable to work. Even if you keep your license, you could be disqualified from driving commercial vehicles for a period of time. By avoiding a traffic violation on your record, you are protecting your livelihood.
Possible Traffic Ticket Defenses
You may wonder if fighting a traffic ticket is really worth it or how you would even go about fighting a ticket. The truth is that fighting a traffic violation or offense is often worth it. By hiring a ticket lawyer right away, you can avoid inconvenient and harsh consequences, like potential jail time and fines. By working with a lawyer, you increase the possibility that you will walk away without a traffic violation on your record. If avoiding a violation is not possible, you at least improve your chance of mitigating the consequences of the offense, such as reducing the fines and avoiding license suspensions.
Potential traffic violation or crime defenses that may apply to your case include:
- Another person was driving your vehicle and violated the law.
- You violated a traffic law during an emergency, like taking someone to the ER.
- There was no reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop.
- Your ticket was issued based on faulty radar or other improperly maintained equipment.
- There is insufficient evidence to prove you committed the offense.
To learn more about these and other potential defenses, contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys to schedule a free consultation with an experienced and skilled ticket lawyer.
Call Us to Fight a Traffic Ticket in Greensburg
If you are facing a traffic ticket or a criminal traffic offense, we recommend speaking with an experienced traffic lawyer about all your options. We will carefully review the case, and if we believe it is weak, we may pursue having the charges dropped or reduced. If the prosecution moves forward with the charges, then we will determine the best next steps. Depending on the circumstances, we will appear on your behalf in traffic court and fight to secure the best possible resolution to your ticket.