Pennsylvania’s capital city of Harrisburg may not be the most populated city in the state, but it is still teeming with people who live and work in the city. Most people get around Harrisburg in their vehicles, especially in their cars, as they travel on main roads, residential streets, or even Interstates 81 or 83 to get to and from their jobs, to run their daily errands, or to travel.
Unfortunately, any time you get behind the wheel of your car, you could make a mistake while driving, even without meaning to. But some mistakes are considered traffic violations under Pennsylvania law, and if you are caught making one of those mistakes, you could end up getting slapped with a traffic ticket.
If this has happened to you, try to stay calm. A traffic ticket is certainly serious and needs to be dealt with, but you have options when it comes to dealing with your traffic ticket. By working with a Harrisburg traffic ticket attorney, you can easily identify what your options are and how to best handle your ticket.
The penalties that come from traffic tickets can be confusing, even if this is not your first traffic ticket. Pennsylvania assigns several different penalties to certain traffic violations, so it is important to know what your particular violation means in terms of fines, points on your record, and other fees. Some penalties, like increased insurance premiums, are not mandated by Pennsylvania traffic law but can still happen to you if you do not have your ticket dismissed.
As soon as you get a copy of your traffic ticket, read it carefully. It will tell you a lot of important information, including what violation you are charged with, what your court date for your ticket is, and what penalties result from being convicted of that traffic violation. This will help you make sure that you understand your ticket and will assist you when you go to court.
Most Pennsylvania traffic tickets result in fines and points being added to your record as penalties. The fines can often seem like the most upsetting part of getting a traffic ticket, because no one wants to spend any of their hard earned money on a traffic ticket. The amount that you have to pay depends on the offense. Going 55 in a 45 mile per hour speed limit zone will result in a fine of $45, whereas not using an appropriate child car seat or restraint will result in a fine of $100. Generally, the amount of the fine increases if the violation is considered to be more dangerous.
The same can usually be said of the points added to your driving record — the more serious the violation, the more points on your record.The faster you were speeding, for example, results in more points (ranging from 2 to 5 points). Other common offenses are running a stop sign (3 points) and failure to yield (3 points). Once these points add up on your record, you could face even more consequences than those on your latest traffic ticket alone. Reaching six points on your license will result in you having to take a test about safe driving. The second time you reach a total of six points on your license, you might even have your license suspended for fifteen days. The third time, or any time thereafter, that you get six points on your license results in a thirty day license suspension. And these penalties do not even include the fact that your insurance premiums could go up (depending on your insurance provider) and additional surcharges in certain circumstances.
Luckily, you have the option of pleading not guilty to your traffic ticket by attending the court date on your ticket and by presenting your case before your local district judge in the Harrisburg magisterial courts . You will tell the judge your side of the story and explain why you do not deserve to have to experience the penalties of your traffic ticket, or even that you did not deserve your ticket in the first place.
Unfortunately, the Harrisburg police officer who wrote your ticket will also be in court on your court date. And generally speaking, judges tend to believe the police officer more than they will believe you. In order to make sure that you do not appear like you are simply trying to get out of a fine you don’t want to pay, talk to a Harrisburg traffic ticket lawyer about your case.
Our attorneys can help you develop a solid case, complete with evidence and convincing arguments, to show the judge that you should not have to face the penalties from your traffic ticket. We will help you prepare for court and rehearse your part. Do not wait to call us so that you have plenty of time to prepare — contact us today