You’ve gotten a traffic ticket, issued to you by law enforcement in Somerset. You may not be totally clear on why you got the ticket, and you may have no idea what the best way to proceed would be. That is normal, especially if this is your first traffic ticket, but it is very important that you understand how tickets work in Somerset and across the state so that you can make an educated decision on how you would like to handle your traffic ticket. Our Somerset traffic ticket lawyers are here to help and to give advice as you proceed.
One of the most important things you need to know is that if you pay your fine, it will not get rid of your ticket. This is a common mistake that people make, especially on their first ticket. Pennsylvania also uses a points system that puts points on your driving record in addition to the fines you owe. The points system may seem confusing, but it is a system that is shared by many states. The number of points assigned per violation generally corresponds to how serious the violation was. Speeding over twenty-five miles per hour over the limit means that you will have five points added to your driving record, because that can be especially dangerous driving on the highway. Other serious violations worth five points on your record include passing a school bus unloading kids. But even those violations considered less serious will still put points to your record that get added to each other. Failing to yield or running a stop sign or red light, two common traffic violations, are each worth three points on your record. You can see how quickly they will accumulate. Once you reach six points on your record, you will face having to take a safe driving exam. The next time that your record reaches six points, you will have to take the exam and also have your license suspended for fifteen days, as decided by a hearing. The third time you reach six points on your record, your license will be suspended for thirty days. If you have been charged with a DUI, you will not have points added to your record but instead will face probation, hundreds of dollars in fines, and required traffic school and alcohol treatment — and that’s only for your first offense. The penalties increase on a second offense or if your BAC was really high, including more expensive fines and even time in jail.
Now that you know what the penalties look like for your traffic ticket, you may choose like many others to have your case presented before the Magisterial Court for Somerset County. There, a judge will hear your case and also listen to the police officer who wrote your ticket. You need to be aware that if you plead not guilty and take your ticket to court, you absolutely need to have a qualified Somerset traffic ticket attorney there to represent you. It is extremely difficult for people to defend themselves in traffic court, especially against the word of a police officer. But your traffic ticket lawyer can ensure that you have a strong defense ready before going into court. There are a number of different ways your lawyer can prove to the judge that you should have our penalties reduced or your ticket thrown out, everything from showing that there was a malfunctioning red light when you drove into the intersection or that the speed limit sign was hidden just around a sharp downhill curve and that you could not see it. They will also be able to use documents and records that you may not have access to to support these arguments. By doing so, your lawyer can convince your judge to reduce your penalties or even dismiss your ticket so you don’t have to suffer the negative consequences of a few simple traffic mistakes. Call us today to get started.