If you have been cited for a traffic violation in West Chester, PA, and want to fight your ticket, a lawyer from McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can review your situation and advise you on your next steps. Traffic infractions can add points to your Pennsylvania driver’s license if you are found guilty of any moving violations.
If you get six or more points on your license, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will take action against you, which could lead to losing your driving privileges or your license altogether. We offer a free consultation to evaluate your case and explain further how a traffic ticket lawyer in West Chester, PA, can help you protect your future.
Why You May Want to Fight a Traffic Ticket in West Chester, PA
Instead of paying your traffic citation right away, you can challenge law enforcement’s observation or account of your driving behavior. If you pay the ticket, it is akin to admitting you are guilty of what you have been cited for. Traffic tickets can be more than just mere inconveniences. They can also result in:
- Steep fines and fees and more serious problems down the road
- Points on your Pennsylvania driver’s license, which can range from two to five per violation
- Higher car insurance premiums
- Loss of your license, temporarily or permanently
You also face the possibility of losing your insurance altogether. It could be challenging to get car insurance with points on your license. Insurance providers can opt to reject you after viewing your license points and driving history. By challenging a traffic ticket, you can protect your driving record and your pocketbook.
If you are issued a traffic ticket or citation in West Chester, PA, we will review it during your free consultation. Our legal team will explain your rights under the law and what it means if you plead guilty to a traffic violation versus pleading not guilty.
How Our Lawyer Can Help with Your West Chester, PA, Traffic Ticket
Working with a traffic ticket lawyer from our firm will ensure your side of the story is heard. We will represent you in a hearing and work to get the penalty of your citation reduced or dismissed. We will also work to get the points on your license reduced. It is important to understand the penalties you could face in your situation. If you hire a traffic ticket lawyer from our firm to fight your West Chester, PA, ticket, we will:
- Represent you during an administrative hearing to challenge your citation, saving you time
- Obtain evidence that shows how you were not at fault, such as witness statements, surveillance camera footage, or vehicle tracking data
- Show that you were issued a citation that was not issued on legal grounds
- Update you on the case’s progress
- Explain how the law applies to your case and answer your questions
If you have been cited for violations that allege certain actions on your part, such as texting while driving, drinking and driving, or driving recklessly, we will build a case showing that you did not break the law(s) you were cited for.
Traffic Citations Are Issued for Major and Minor Violations
In Pennsylvania, it is state law for all drivers to have current auto liability insurance and vehicle registration at all times. Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code contains information on state driving requirements, rules for operating a vehicle, fines, penalties, and other important information. Drivers in the Borough of West Chester, Chester County, PA, must also follow all traffic laws in the jurisdiction where they operate a vehicle.
If you receive a citation in West Chester, you have 14 days to contest it from the date you received the citation. Per the borough, there are more than 20 infractions that drivers are commonly cited for. These citations include being double-parked, parked in an intersection or crosswalk, or blocking a driveway or traffic. Motorists can also be cited for parking on private property.
Penalties Vary for Minor-to-Serious Traffic Offenses in Pennsylvania
You can get a traffic ticket for various violations categorized as minor, serious, and major. The more severe an offense is, the higher the penalty. For example, a person who holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) will be held to higher penalties than someone with a state-issued non-commercial driver’s license.
Not all traffic tickets are the same. Offenses that are considered minor or serious come with different consequences than those in the major offense category. Minor offenses include:
- Not obeying a stop sign or running a red light
- Failing to slow down before crossing the railroad tracks
- Not wearing a seat belt
- Driving under the speed limit
- Parking illegally, such as in the wrong place or the wrong direction
Traffic Misdemeanors Regarded As Serious Offenses in Pennsylvania Include:
- Driving over the maximum speed limit at least 15 mph or more
- Driving recklessly, as state or local laws define
- Changing lanes improperly
- Tailgating a vehicle (following behind too closely)
- Texting while driving (using a handheld mobile telephone)
- Driving without a state-issued driver’s license
If you are cited for a traffic misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, your penalties will fall in one of three categories:
- First-degree misdemeanor: Three to five years in prison and a possible fine up to $10,000
- Second-degree misdemeanor: 12 to 24 months imprisonment or a fine up to $5,000
- Third-degree misdemeanor: Six to 12 months imprisonment or a maximum fine of $2,500
Major Traffic Offenses in Pennsylvania Include but Are not Limited to:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance (DUI)
- Refusing to take a chemical test
- Leaving an accident scene
- Using a vehicle to commit a felony crime
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a proper, state-issued driver’s license
- Reckless driving, including speeding
- Causing a person’s death while negligently operating a vehicle
All of the above are considered felony traffic violations that can result in fines and other penalties, including criminal charges and jail time. If you are facing any of these, you could receive the following penalties:
- First-degree felony: Up to 20 years in prison or $25,000 in fines, or both
- Second-degree felony: Up to 10 years imprisonment or $25,000 in fines, or both
- Third-degree felony: A maximum of seven years in prison or $15,000 in fines, or both
Call Us Today to Discuss Your Traffic Citation in West Chester, PA
Many people ignore or put off paying a traffic ticket, especially if the fine is small or they think they didn’t do anything wrong. However, Pennsylvania drivers who don’t pay their tickets are taking a risk they may learn later they cannot afford.
Our legal team with McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., can speak with you to learn more about your citation. We will discuss if our traffic ticket lawyer in West Chester, PA, can defend you against the charges in your case. We may be able to get them lowered or dismissed altogether, preserving your driving record and giving you peace of mind when you get back on the road. Call us today at (610) 991-7219 for your free case evaluation.