Living in a smaller sized town does not mean that it is any easier to avoid traffic tickets — you encounter some of the same issues you do driving in Everett that you would driving in Philadelphia, and sometimes it is even easier to run into traffic issues. It is so much more tempting to roll through a stop sign when no one is coming at the intersection, and passing on one lane roads can be very complicated if the road lines are blurry or worn. And, of course, it only makes matters worse when an Everett police officer catches you and writes you a traffic ticket.
Everett is also not immune to using funds from traffic tickets as a source of revenue, which can be bad news for drivers in the area. Police officers will be much less likely to overlook a minor offense where no one could have gotten hurt, so you could get a ticket for something as simple as not coming to a total and complete stop at a stop sign. And unfortunately, in Pennsylvania, it is not easy to make the ticket go away. Paying the basic fine does not get rid of the ticket. You will still have to face having points put on your driving record.
Pennsylvania traffic law uses a point system as a penalty for committing traffic violations. Different violations are given a different point value based on how serious they are and the chances of hurting someone else by committing them. So if you speed, but it’s only speeding 10 miles per hour or less over the limit, you will have two points added to your license and your record. But failing to stop when a school bus is unloading will get you five points on your record because of the likelihood that you could hurt a child. And when those points add up, it has some serious consequences. The first time your record accumulates six points, you will have to take an exam that reviews basic traffic safety. The second time you hit six points, you will not only have to take the exam but could have your license suspended for fifteen days. The suspension goes up to thirty days the third time you hit six points. DUIs do not follow the point system but still have harsh penalties attached to them. For a first offense with a BAC between 0.08% and 0.099%, you face six months’ probation, mandatory alcohol treatment and traffic school, and a $300 fine. With a higher BAC or with multiple offenses, you can expect higher fines and some time behind bars.
Luckily, you do not have to simply accept your guilt and face paying the fine and the points or other penalties. You have the option of taking your case to the Bedford County Magisterial Court and presenting it before the judge that handles Everett traffic cases in order to see if you can have the penalties reduced or the ticket dismissed (https://www.bedfordcountypa.org/District_Magistrates.html). The police officer who wrote your ticket will also be there, though, and judges tend to listen to their side of the story unless the defendant has a skilled Everett traffic ticket lawyer on their side. Your attorney can formulate a defense that will show that maybe the police officer who wrote your ticket was not trained to use the speed gun, or maybe that you had to run that red light because someone was about to hit you from behind. Your lawyer will have access to the records and documents to prove these circumstances and to convince the judge to reduce your penalties or eliminate your ticket.
If you do not think it is worth facing these negative consequences on top of the fine you owe, don’t wait to call an Everett traffic attorney right away. Our skilled lawyers will help you build a solid defense and fight your ticket in court.