Do You Need a Lawyer for a Traffic Ticket?
The answer is no, at least in many circumstances. For example, driving ten miles an hour over the speed limit in PA results in two points. So, a traffic lawyer may not be worth the investment, especially if you're overall a safe driver.
But there are some instances where it makes sense to seek legal counsel.
If you drive for work or have previous violations, it's wise to consult a traffic offense lawyer. For example, commercial driver's license (CDL) drivers for a living and are subject to stricter rules than other drivers. Under these rules, certain traffic violations can lead to a CDL revocation.
With several traffic tickets, you'll likely wind up with a suspended license. And you'll probably be on the hook for significant fines and an insurance rate increase. If you're in this situation, getting a ticket taken off could make all the difference.
Most importantly, you'll want to consult a traffic ticket lawyer if your traffic violation results in an injury. In that case, you have more at stake than a simple point assessment.
A Best Law Firm in Montgomery County, PA
U.S. News recognizes High Swartz on the Best Law Firm 2024 edition nationally and locally.
Our Montgomery County traffic lawyers have the experience to address any moving or non-moving violation. They also address traffic violations in Bucks County and the greater Philadelphia area.
We can support you with a host of concerns:
- Traffic ticket
- Speeding ticket
- Red light ticket
- Reckless driving charge
- Failure to yield
- DUI offense
Common Traffic Violations
There are two types of traffic violations in Pennsylvania: moving and non-moving.
The most common moving violations include speeding, running a red light, reckless driving, and texting. For example, speeding is one of the most common moving violations. More than 40 million drivers receive speeding tickets annually.
A more serious moving violation involves DUI. Did you know that 37 people in the United States die daily in car crashes with an alcohol-impaired driver. It's highly recommend you contact a traffic or DUI lawyer if you receive a DUI citation. It could have more severe consequences, including jail time.
Non-moving violations are less severe and might include parking infractions or equipment malfunctions (like a broken taillight). These traffic offenses don't add points to your driving record.
Pennsylvania's Point System
If you drive in PA, you're most likely aware of its point system. Six is the not-so magic number, which requires you to take a written safe driving exam. If you fail that exam, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will suspend your driving privileges until you pass.
With more than six points, you face a 15-day license suspension. Once reinstated, you will be on probation for a year. Any additional points during that time result in another suspension.
More than 11 points result in a suspension, the length of which depends on the number of previous suspensions. For example, three previous suspensions cost you your license for one year.
Here's an overview of some violations with associated points and license suspensions. Even if it's a first offense, you may want to check with a traffic lawyer at our firm.
|Speeding 1-5 mph over the limit||0|
|Speeding 6-10 mph over the limit||2|
|Speeding 11-15 mph over the limit||3||15 days if in a work zone|
|Speeding 16-25 mph over the limit||4||15 days if in a work zone|
|Speeding 26-30 mph over the limit||5||15 days if in a work zone|
|Speeding 31+ over the speed limit||5 (appearance required)||15 days if in a work zone|
|Failure to stop for a red light, stop sign, or yield sign||3|
|Failure to stop for a school bus||5||60 days|
Mandatory License Suspensions
The point system aside, some motor vehicle violations lead to an immediate, mandatory license suspension. Some examples include:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): The mandatory suspension's length depends on your number of offenses and blood alcohol content (BAC). It can range from 12 months to 18 months.
- Refusing Blood Alcohol Testing: Pennsylvania has an implied consent law. So, if you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, you face a 12-month license suspension for a first offense.
- Driving without Insurance: You receive a minimum $300 fine for driving uninsured. There's also a three-month suspension of your vehicle registration and your driver's license. You'll also need to pay a restoration fee to restore your vehicle registration.
- Hit and Run: A hit-and-run accident or failure to render aid leading to death results in a one-year suspension.
With any of these examples, you should talk with a traffic violation lawyer to potentially contest the charges. Even if guilty, they may be able to negotiate a reduction in penalty.
Talk to a Traffic Lawyer for Violations with Potential Jail Time
Some serious violations can lead to fines, suspension, and imprisonment. Here are some of those violations:
- DUI: Depending on the number of offenses and blood alcohol content, jail time can be up to seven years.
- Aggressive Driving: You could face significant jail time if it results in injury or death.
- Hit and Run: Leaving the scene, especially if it causes injury or death, can lead to imprisonment.
- Driving on a Suspended License: If the original suspension was DUI-related, driving during suspension could lead to jail time.
Montgomery County Traffic Lawyers
We have law offices in Norristown and Doylestown, PA. Call us if you need legal counsel relating to a traffic offense. Our traffic lawyers and criminal defense attorneys have the experience to help with any number of concerns.