Central PA Premier Family Law Firm
Traffic Offenses Equipped to Handle Your Defense

Pennsylvania Traffic Offenses Lawyer

Strong advocacy when you’ve been charged with speeding or any other traffic violation

Most everyone exceeds the speed limit at some point in their life. Traffic violations are one of the most common violations of the law in Pennsylvania. While it may be tempting to just pay the fine and move on, there are severe consequences to being convicted of a traffic offense. Drivers should understand that there are often viable defenses. In many cases, experienced Harrisburg defense lawyers can obtain a dismissal of the charges or a reduction so that you earn fewer points and pay a lower fine.

At the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter, our skilled criminal defense lawyers represent clients charged with traffic violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Often, the strategies that are used in misdemeanors and felonies are used in traffic violation cases too.

Common defenses to traffic violation charges include:

  • Asserting your Constitutional rights
  • Challenging the police officer’s version of what happened
  • Contesting the admissibility of equipment such as radar devices
  • Finding a flaw in one part of the statute

Why are traffic offenses serious?

In some serious cases such as leaving the scene of an accident, vehicular homicide, a DUI, or aggravated assault by vehicle, you can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted, you could be imprisoned.

Most moving violations such as speeding or running through a red light have the following consequences:

  • You’ll have to pay a substantial fine which could be hundreds of dollars.
  • You’ll have points on your driving record. If you acquire too many points, your license could be suspended or revoked.
  • Your insurance premiums will rise. This is often the most expensive consequence. Just a small monthly increase in your premium can cost you thousands of dollars – during the time the violation stays on your driving record.

These consequences don’t even include the additional expenses you’ll have to pay if the violation caused an accident. It can be harder to defend a liability claim if you were found guilty of a traffic violation.

How does the point system work in Pennsylvania?

Most moving violations will result in an assignment of points on your driving record. The number of points varies depending on the specific traffic violation.

  • If you accumulate 6 or more points, there will be a hearing to determine if your license should be suspended. You may be required to take another driver’s test.
  • If you accumulate 11 or more points, your license will be automatically suspended. If your license is suspended, you normally can’t drive for any reason. In rare cases, you may be eligible for a probationary driver’s license.
  • Pennsylvania subtracts 3 points from your record for each year that you have a safe driving record – no more points on your driving record.

How are points assigned for traffic violations?

Some of the offenses that will result in points being added to your driving record are set forth in the following sections of the Pennsylvania traffic code:

Moving violations

Exceeding the maximum speed limit.

  • 6-10 mph over the speed limit. 2 points.
  • 11-15 mph over the speed limit. 3 points.
  • 16-25 mph over the speed limit. 4 points.
  • 25-30 mph over the speed limit. 5 points.
  • 31 mph over the speed limit (or more). 6 points

Some speeding violations may result in additional suspension periods.

Other moving violations that will result in points include:

  • Failure to stop for a red light 3 points
  • Failure to stop for a flashing red light 3 points
  • Improper passing on the right 3 points
  • Improper passing on the left, clear distance ahead 3 points
  • Improper passing at a railroad crossing or intersection 3 points
  • Following too closely 3 points
  • Failure to yield to a driver on the right at intersection 3 points
  • Failure to yield to an oncoming driver when making left turn 3 points
  • Failure to stop for a stop sign 3 points
  • Failure to yield at a yield sign 3 points
  • Failure to stop at railroad crossings 4 points
  • Failure to stop for school bus with flashing red lights 5 points
  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian in crosswalk 2 points
  • Careless driving 3 points

Non-moving violations

You can also be assessed points for not wearing glasses when you’re required to do so, your vehicle wasn’t inspected, or you violate other license and operating conditions. You can also be assessed points if you fail to comply with directions from someone who is authorized to direct traffic.

What happens if you leave the scene of the accident?

In Pennsylvania, drivers must notify authorities (the police), provide aid, and provide assistance if an accident occurs - especially if someone suffers serious bodily injury or death-

What happens if you drive while your license is suspended or revoked?

If you drive while your license is suspended, you can be charged with a criminal offense which can result in jail time. Your license will likely be revoked and you will have to pay a fine and court costs. Points will also be added to your driving record.

At the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter, our Central PA traffic offense lawyers have a strong track record of success in contesting traffic tickets and in negotiating plea reductions to less serious offenses. We’ll help you prepare your case and contest the police officer’s account. To schedule an appointment with an experienced trial lawyer, call us at: (717) 537-0928 or complete our contact form.

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