For Delawareans visiting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, traffic can be a living nightmare. In the blink of an eye, you're caught up on congested roadways with confusing traffic signs, and overeager law enforcement on every corner - a recipe for disaster. This environment makes acquiring a traffic ticket incredibly easily.
I know what you're thinking, “I'm in another state, a ticket won't affect my ability to drive at home, right?” Wrong. It's a common misconception among drivers that traffic offenses that are cited outside of your home state are to be dealt with in the visiting state, and can't follow you home. But this couldn't be further from the truth.
If you are from Delaware and have been issued a traffic citation in Philadelphia, there are a few important things you should know. For one, you absolutely need legal representation. Depending on your driving record and the laws in each state, a traffic ticket can carry pretty harsh penalties that can empty your pockets, ruin your trip, and even inconvenience you in your home state. An attorney can help you solve your issues and make sure you avoid making your situation worse and ensure that most of the problems you encounter don't haunt you back in Delaware.
Specifically, it's imperative you get a basic understanding of what's going on and the gravity of your situation.
Driver's License Compact (DLC)
A ticket can follow you state to state because of an agreement known as the Driver's License Compact (DLC). When a person receives a driver's license in Delaware, they accept the conditions affiliated with it; of these conditions is Delaware's involvement in this agreement. In compliance with the DLC, the majority of states in the United States, including Pennsylvania and Delaware, exchange information concerning traffic convictions. Look at the DLC as a uniform way to keep drivers accountable while visiting other states.
Since Pennsylvania is a part of the DLC, a violation will invoke the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to notify Delaware's authorities of the violation. This violation will be based on Pennsylvania's Point System and will show up in the form of points on your driving record. If the traffic violation is major, serious penalties such as license suspension or revocation, or the installation of an ignition interlock device may be imposed in Delaware for a violation you received in Pennsylvania. To see details about your suspension and other possible repercussions, you can visit a database known as the National Driving Register.
The Exclusion of Minor Violations in Delaware
The good news is that in Delaware, minor moving violations may not cross over from state to state. For example, if you are caught speeding and cited in Pennsylvania, you, as a Delaware driver, will not accumulate points on your driving record based on this minor moving violation. But major violations, like a hit and run or driving under the influence, will be transferable. Regardless, being charged or cited with a traffic violation will be recorded onto your driving record, even if the points aren't added.
Are You An Out-of-State Driver? The Lento Law Firm Can Help
Motorists rob themselves of a favorable outcome when they refuse to take advantage of their right to an attorney. What may seem like a minor traffic ticket can lead to major consequences. As a Delaware driver in a foreign city and state, you'll be forced to navigate a system that is unfamiliar to you. An attorney can help you gain an understanding of how traffic violations are managed in Pennsylvania, and possibly identify defenses, like if your citation was lawful or if any of your rights were violated.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento is devoted to helping his clients successfully overcome traffic infractions and the consequences they carry. For more information, contact him online or by phone at 215-535-5353.