Under Pennsylvania traffic law, you can receive a traffic ticket for a number of different offenses, called moving violations. A moving violation is defined as violating a traffic law in a moving vehicle, like a car or a motorcycle. (These differ from parking violations, which occur when the vehicle is stationary.) There are many different kinds of moving violations that could result in traffic tickets, including speeding, failing to yield, and many other kinds. DUIs are also considered moving violations although they do not result in a traditional traffic ticket but instead can result in fines and jail time, among other penalties.
Police officers will write you a traffic ticket when they see you commit certain traffic violations. The tickets for these moving violations will mean that you will have to pay a fine and that you will have points added to your driving record. Different moving violations result in different fine amounts and point values, depending on how serious the moving violation is considered to be. Points on your driving record will accumulate as you get new traffic tickets, and if you have too many points on your record, you may risk having your driver’s license suspended.
If you do not want to face having to the pay the fine and have points added to your driving record, you and your traffic ticket lawyer need to take your case to traffic court, which is held in your local district court. By convincing the judge to reduce the penalties from your ticket, or even to dismiss your ticket altogether, you will not have to face the steep penalties from your moving violation.
Below are some common moving violations in Pennsylvania and the corresponding number of points that will go on your license for each violation.
- Violating a restriction on your license — 2 points
- Failure to stop at a stop sign or red light — 3 points
- Failure to yield at an intersection — 3 points
- Improper passing on roads — 3 points
- Careless driving — 3 points
- Improper backing — 3 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident with only property damage — 4 points
- Failing to stop for a school bus with lights flashing — 5 points
As you can see, most common moving violations come with a fairly high point value that will go on your record and could result in serious consequences, like license suspension, even on top of the fine you have to pay from your ticket. And you should know that by paying your fine, you will not get out of having the points added to your license. The only way to prevent facing all these penalties is to work with your traffic ticket attorney on your case before you go to court.
DUIs, another common moving violation in Central Pennsylvania and across the state, work a little differently than a typical traffic ticket. The penalties for DUIs and DWIs depend on whether this is your first violation or not and how high your blood alcohol level was — the legal limit in Pennsylvania is anything below 0.08%. Below is a summary of penalties for some of the different levels of DUI offenses.
- First offense, BAC between 0.08% and 0.099%: $300 fine, 6 months maximum probation, mandatory safety school
- Second offense, BAC between 0.08% and 0.099%: $300 to $2,500 fine, 12 month license suspension, 5 days to 6 months in jail
- First offense, BAC between 0.10% and 0.159%: $500 to $5000 fine, 12 month license suspension, 2 days to 6 months in jail
- Second offense, BAC between 0.10% and 0.159%: $750 to $5000 fine, 12 month license suspension, 30 days to 6 months in jail
- First offense, BAC of 0.16% or higher: $1000 to $5000 fine, 12 month license suspension, 3 days to 6 months in jail
- Second offense, BAC of 0.16% or higher: $1,500 to $10,000 fine, 18 month license suspension, 90 days to 5 years in jail
Law enforcement and the judicial system are often very harsh on DUI offenders. It can be very difficult to persuade a judge to reduce your penalties or dismiss your DUI charge without the assistance of an experienced lawyer, who can pursue tactics like questioning the accuracy of the breathalyzer test. Read more on how to pass a breathalyzer test for alcohol. Or determine that you were initially pulled over unfairly. Do not let one mistake after a night of drinking cost you hundreds of dollars, make you lose your license, or even land you in jail. If you have gotten a DUI or another moving violation in York, Harrisburg, or elsewhere in Central Pennsylvania, give our offices a call today.