Although many people perceive traffic tickets as minor inconveniences, they have the potential to lead to dire penalties. Being ticketed multiple times could lead to a license suspension, and failing to attend a court session for your ticket can lead to a warrant for their arrest.
With the assistance of a Chester County attorney, you will understand how to respond to a traffic ticket to prevent a disastrous outcome.
Pennsylvania's Point System
The state's Department of Transportation, PennDOT, keeps tabs on the driving record of every licensed motorist in the state. When a person is found guilty of a traffic infraction, this violation is documented as points on their individual driving record. In essence, the point system is a function that is intended to ensure safe driving, by warning motorists of their bad driving habits and giving them a chance to correct them.
- Tailgating or following too closely is 3 points
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is 2 points
- Failing to stop for a red light is 3 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damages is 4 points
- Failing to stop at a stop sign is 3 points
- Failure to stop for a school bus is 5 points
- Failure to stop for a yield sign is 3 points
- Careless driving is 3 points
- An illegal U-turn is 3 points
Pennsylvania's point system is also used to determine when a driver will be subject to corrective action. Once a motorist acquires six points or more, the department will impose penalties to deter bad driving habits.
The first time a driver gets six points on their record they will have to take an exam. Drivers will receive a written notification asserting that this exam will be completed in the next 30 days. If it is passed in the given timeframe, two points will be taken off of a motorist's driving record.
The second accumulation of six points will require a motorist to attend a hearing conducted by the DMV. A driver will receive a written notice specifying the time and location of the hearing, where an examiner will assess a person's driving record and impose a penalty. People who attend this hearing typically either get their license suspended for 15 days or are ordered to attend a driver's education course.
Any subsequent accumulation of six points will result in another DMV hearing. However, there is only one outcome, a 30-day license suspension. Some offenses, like driving 31 miles per hour over the speed limit or failing to stop when a school bus has its flashing lights on, will result in an automatic license suspension, even for a first-time offense.
Although a license suspension is an inconvenience, it is not the stiffest penalty that a motorist can receive for a traffic violation. Motorists who are caught driving with a suspended license due to a DUI are penalized with a minimal penalty of 90 days in prison.
Chester County Traffic Attorney
An attorney can help you understand the possible consequences you can face after receiving a citation and the options you have to avoid them. If you have been cited for a traffic infraction that compromises your driving privileges, contact skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento for help.