Greensburg Traffic Ticket & Speeding Lawyer
You may consider a speeding or traffic ticket in PA as just a minor annoyance, regardless of whether it was warranted or not. Many people won’t contest the citation because they view it as a hassle, thinking it best to pay it and move on. However, there are some serious implications to treating speeding tickets so casually. As any experienced speeding ticket lawyer will tell you, accepting a citation has consequences that extend far beyond the cost printed on the back.
At Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, our traffic lawyers in Greensburg recognize that it may not immediately seem worth the effort to fight a ticket. However, the implications of blindly accepting responsibility can affect your driving record, your wallet, and everything connected to your ability to drive. Contact us at (724) 834-1275 or via our online form to schedule a free, no-risk consultation regarding your options. We’ll tell you why contesting a traffic violation could be a smart strategy, and how a speeding and traffic ticket attorney can help.
Table of Contents
Overview of Pennsylvania’s Traffic Laws
Pennsylvania has established Rules of the Road intended to protect the safety of motorists and their passengers, as well as the pedestrians, bicyclists, and others who share the state’s roadways.
Traffic laws include provisions on:
- Speed limits;
- Right of way;
- Proper passing and passing zones;
- Reckless driving;
- Texting while driving;
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and,
- Numerous other traffic-related acts intended to ensure safe driving and protect the public.
Violating these laws may result in a traffic stop by police and the issuance of speeding and traffic tickets. These citations could lead to expensive fines, marks against your official driving record, and even criminal charges ranging from summary offenses to misdemeanors. Your potential penalty for a traffic conviction will ultimately vary based upon the facts involved and the severity of the infraction.
For most violations, you will face a fine, which may increase if the offense took place in a work or school zone. The amount may also increase if the traffic violation is linked to an accident that causes injuries or death. Some traffic violations also carry the potential for a driver’s license suspension or jail term if you’re convicted. However, you may be able to draw probation with help from a ticket defense and speeding lawyer.
Pennsylvania’s Points System
The fines and imprisonment are only part of the repercussions that may accompany a traffic violation. Another key reason for contesting a speeding ticket or any other citation is how it affects your driving record. PennDOT maintains a record for every driver in the state, tracking violations. Each conviction results in an accumulation of points, with a goal to raise awareness regarding unsafe habits and encourage safe driving. For purposes of the points system, you’re officially convicted if you do nothing to contest a ticket and simply pay the fine.
Speeding Violations and Points Accumulation: In general, the more excessive the speed, the higher the points. Accumulation starts at two points if you’re traveling 6-10 miles over the posted limit. You’ll accrue one point per 10 miles over the speed limit, up to 31 miles per hour. At that point, you’ll get five points added to your driving record.
Examples of Other Moving Violations That Lead to Points: Like with speeding, the accumulation of points is more serious for certain driving offenses. For instance:
- Failure to stop at a red light or stop sign is three points;
- Leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage is four points; and,
- Five points for failing to stop for a school bus with its red lights flashing.
Accumulations of Points: PennDOT doesn’t take action regarding your driving privileges until you’ve accumulated six points or more. The first time you reach this number, you will receive a letter notifying you to take a written exam on your knowledge of safe driving and practices. If you pass the test within 30 days, two points are removed from your record. But keep in mind that your license may be suspended until you pass the exam.
If your driving points accumulate to six or more a second time, the matter goes to a departmental hearing. You will have a chance to defend yourself during the proceeding, and a traffic lawyer can appear on your behalf in most respects. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge may order a 15-day suspension, an on-road driving test, or take no action. However, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for 60 days if you fail to attend. Different provisions, departmental hearing requirements, and penalties apply to the third accumulation of six points and an accumulation of 11 points.
Additional Consequences for Speeding & Traffic Law Violations
If the matter rises to the level of a summary offense or misdemeanor, a conviction will remain on your criminal record and will show up on background checks. Beyond fines and points, tickets can result in numerous other issues, including:
- Complications when applying for a job that requires driving;
- Keeping your current employment, especially if driving is necessary;
- Maintaining certain professional licenses;
- Increased auto insurance rates.
Additionally, a ticket issued in connection to an accident could have devastating consequences. If the victim seeks compensation for personal injury or property damage, a citation for speeding or a traffic violation could be used as evidence. Your assets may be at risk to satisfy any judgment against you.
Contesting a Speeding Ticket & Other Traffic Violations
A ticket is essentially an allegation of wrongdoing in regards to speeding or some other infraction. Like an arrest, a citation is not the equivalent of guilt. Under the law, you have every right to put forth a to fight a ticket, so it’s usually worth it to actively participate in the proceedings. With the help of a speeding and traffic ticket lawyer, you may contest a ticket by:
Disputing the Officer’s Perspective: Police may issue a ticket based upon what they saw, from their location, and under certain conditions. This subjective point of view can be called into question from multiple angles. Weather, light, positioning, and other factors could skew an officer’s perspective, and used to refute the ticket.
Fighting Speed Detecting Technology: The devices that police use to measure your speed must be carefully calibrated and maintained on a regular basis. It’s possible to dispute your speed, which could lead to lower points and fines.
Contesting the Facts: If signs or pavement markings were obscured, you could not be responsible for failure to comply with them.
Rely on a Greensburg Speeding Ticket and Traffic Ticket Attorney for Legal Help
Though a traffic citation or speeding ticket may not be as serious when compared to other criminal matters, you owe it to yourself and your future interests to review your options. The cumulative effect of points on your driving record could lead to much more than just a fine. For more information on fighting a speeding ticket in Greensburg, contact Worgul, Sarna & Ness, Criminal Defense Attorneys, by calling (724) 834-1275 or via our website.
We can set up a no-cost assessment with a ticket defense and speeding lawyer. We have assisted many drivers in Greensburg and throughout Westmoreland County, and we’re happy to help you too.