Getting cited for a traffic violation is an annoyance at an absolute minimum. Points and increased insurance rates are all but guaranteed if a favorable outcome is not achieved. In addition, being ticketed too many times could result in serious consequences that could ultimately strip your driving privileges, justify a warrant for your arrest or even send you to prison. With the assistance of Delaware County attorney, you will be able to respond appropriately to an infraction to reduce the chances of dire legal repercussions.
Pennsylvania's Point System
The state's Department of Transportation, commonly referred to as PENNDOT, maintains driving records for every licensed state resident. Each time you are found guilty for a traffic offense, “points” are marked on your driving record. The more points that you have on your record, the harsher the penalty. Here are a few examples of traffic violations that will lead to points on your record according to PENNDOT:
- Tailgating or following too closely is 3 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident after inflicting property damage is 4 points
- Failure to stop for a yield sign is 3 points
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk is 2 points
- Failing to stop at a stop sign is 3 points
- Running a red light is 3 points etc.
- Failure to stop for a school bus is 5 points
- Careless driving is 3 points
- An illegal U-turn is 3 points
The point system was created to promote safe driving in the state. It is intended to keep motorists accountable for their driving habits and give them chances to improve. But not many chances are provided to drivers. Once six points have accrued onto a person's driving record - which isn't hard to obtain - corrective actions will be imposed.
The first time that you receive six points, you will be required to take a test. You will receive a written examination that must be taken within the next 30 days. If this test is passed in the allocated timeframe, two points will be taken off of your record.
In the event that you accumulate six points a second time, you must attend a hearing held by the DMV. You will be sent another written notification detailing the location and specific time of a hearing. When in attendance of this hearing, an examiner will assess your driving record in order to determine the appropriate corrective action. Either a 15-day suspension or a driver's education course will be ordered.
A subsequent accumulation of six points will warrant another DMV hearing. However, this hearing will only result in one outcome: a 30-day license suspension. It's important to note that some offenses, like excessive speeding or failing to stop for a school bus when its lights are flashing, will lead to an automatic license suspension, even for a first offense. In these cases, you especially need the help of an attorney to ensure you are not stripped of your driving privileges.
However, losing your driving privileges for a short period of time isn't the harshest penalty that could be imposed due to a traffic violation. In Pennsylvania, being ticketed in the midst of a DUI license suspension could lead to a penalty of at least 90 days spent in prison.
Delaware County Traffic Attorney
A legal professional will be able to help you understand the potential consequences you face after receiving a citation and will help you alleviate them. If you have been issued an infraction that could possibly compromise your license or your freedom, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento for help.