Out of everyone you know who’s gotten a ticket for a traffic violation, how many of them went to court to contest the charge? Now, how many of them just went ahead and paid the fine so they could “be done with it”? Chances are good that the latter number is higher. But while it may seem easier to get the fine over with, Pennsylvania’s points system makes this anything but easy.
If you’ve accumulated enough points on your driving record, even a minor traffic violation could mean mandatory traffic school or a license suspension. The last thing you need is for that traffic stop to render you unable to drive for a few months. If you need help with a traffic violation, our criminal defense firm is here for you. An Upper Darby traffic crimes lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can fight your charge.
What to Expect When You Receive a Traffic Ticket
The consequences you end up facing will depend entirely on the severity of the violation as well as your existing record. So, as an example, a simple parking ticket on an otherwise unblemished record won’t result in much more than an addition to your total points and a possible fine.
On the other side, a hit and run could entail steep fines, suspension of your license, and even jail time if convicted. Traffic crimes range in severity from ticketing violations to felonies, so it’s imperative you work with a reputable traffic crimes lawyer so you can get a better understanding of what to expect in your case.
Serious Traffic Crimes
Some of the most serious traffic crimes (which typically result in the strictest legal sanctions) include violations like:
- Reckless Driving: Going beyond simple gross negligence, reckless driving involves driving a vehicle with the willful or wanton disregard for personal safety, both for other people and property.
- Suspended License: Drivers who continue to drive after having their driving privileges suspended could face longer suspensions, fines, or even jail time. It’s important to note that this differs greatly from what you might expect by simply driving on an expired license.
- Overtaking a School Bus: School buses use flashing lights and typically even have an extendable stop sign meant to alert drivers to stop when children are exiting the bus. Drivers who overtake a school bus could face more serious consequences than they would in another moving violation.
- Driving Under the Influence: Drivers who operate their vehicle while intoxicated or impaired by the effects of a substance face some of the strictest consequences in Pennsylvania, especially if they cause an accident in the process.
The four charges listed above could result in arrest, but more minor traffic crimes tend to result in little more than a ticket. When you receive a traffic ticket, you’re required by law to respond by the date listed on the ticket itself. Your response can be one of two things: you either pay the ticket outright, or you contest the ticket in court.
How Does Submitting a Plea Work?
It’s very important you follow the date printed on your ticket when deciding on your next course of action. Failing to respond to the ticket by the noted date could result in even more fines or other penalties.
This is also why it’s so important for you to get in touch with an attorney as soon as you receive the ticket. This will give your lawyer time to review the ticket and look for any inconsistencies or inaccuracies they could take advantage of.
Once you do take the traffic violation to court, your attorney will be able to present your defense. Contesting the charge but not showing up to court does little more than kick the can down the road, as the trial will still be held in your absence, and any findings will still be reported on your record.
How Might My Upper Darby Traffic Crimes Lawyer Defend Me in Court?
Depending on the specific violation you’ve been charged with, your attorney could take any number of approaches. One of the most common approaches is to look for instances of human error. This is especially prevalent in speeding cases, where improper or inaccurate readings could be the difference between a lock on the case for the city and a dismissal for you. If the officer didn’t clock your speed for long enough, their reading might be off.
Another opportunity comes with the time of day and weather conditions, either of which could impact a speed reading. If, for example, your car was clocked by aircraft at night, there’s a chance that this is a case of mistaken identity.
For more serious charges like DUI or reckless driving, your attorney could investigate factors like whether probable cause was used when stopping you or whether the breathalyzer equipment was faulty. There is also the possibility you might’ve been avoiding an accident, in the process getting in a different accident. No matter the specifics of your case, your traffic crimes lawyer will do all they can to fight your charges.
What Sets McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. Apart?
Our founder, David McKenzie, has spent the last 20+ years focusing on the legal system, in the process helping clients in Pennsylvania across all aspects of criminal law. He’s worked with and for law firms, state departments, and district attorney’s offices before forming his own practice so he could put his education to use for the good of the community.
McKenzie Law Firm, P.C. can handle your traffic crime charge before it gets out of hand, returning your freedom and ensuring your record stays as clean as possible. Regardless of the specifics of your case, we can help.
Protect Your Rights and Contact Us Today for Your Free Consultation
Don’t be like most drivers and simply accept a traffic charge. The impact on your driving record could affect you for years to come. Protect your rights by getting in touch with an Upper Darby traffic crimes lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C.