Although a speeding ticket or other traffic violation may seem harmless, they can result in costly fines, points on your driving record, higher insurance premiums and suspension or loss of your driver’s license. A criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in Pennsylvania traffic laws can advise you on the best course of action to take, and may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed.
What can you Expect when you Receive a Traffic Ticket
The severity of your violation determines the dollar amount of fines and the number of points that will be added to your driving record. If you accumulate six or more points, your insurance rates will most likely increase, and you may even risk having your license suspended or revoked. Serious traffic violations may include:
- Reckless driving
- Failure to stop for a school bus with flashing lights
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license
If you receive a traffic ticket for violating state motor vehicle laws, you must resolve the issue by the date displayed on the citation. You can resolve it one of two ways: either pay the ticket and admit guilt, or submit a “not guilty” plea to the court processing your traffic ticket.
The process of submitting a plea varies by jurisdiction. A criminal defense lawyer can help you avoid further fines and penalties by submitting your plea in a timely manner in the proper jurisdiction. Your attorney will closely examine your ticket to check for any inaccuracies and analyze every aspect of the evidence against you.
On the day of your traffic violation trial, you will have the opportunity to present your defense. If you fail to appear in court on the scheduled date, the judge will hold the trial in your absence. If you are found guilty, the conviction will be reported on your driving record.
Your attorney may use the following defense strategies to get charges reduced or dismissed:
Human error–There are many different scenarios in which human error plays a part when calculating the speed of a vehicle. A police officer who is following you to determine your speed could be distracted or may not have followed you for a long enough distance to get an accurate reading.
Other factors such as darkness at night and curves in the road can also call into question the accuracy of determining your speed. If your car was being tracked by aircraft, a police officer looking down at the controls could easily lose sight of your car or confuse it with another that is similar in color and style.
Faulty calibration of equipment—Automated systems such as VASCAR measure speed by dividing distance traveled by the time it took to travel the distance. In Pennsylvania, VASCAR equipment must be calibrated every 60 days, and radar guns and police car speedometers must be calibrated at least once a year. If these devices were not calibrated within the proper time period, they will not produce reliable results that will stand up in court.
Motor vehicle laws are complex, and an attorney who is familiar with handling traffic cases in the municipality where you received your ticket will have a better understanding of how to proceed with your case. Carosella & Associates’ skilled defense attorneys are knowledgeable about state and local traffic law, and will fight to protect your rights and help you win your case.