Traffic offenses can range from simple misdemeanors to extremely serious felonies. Even at the “lighter” end of the spectrum, traffic offenses may lead to license suspensions, costly fines, and dramatically increased insurance payments. At the other end of the spectrum, felony traffic offenses such as hit and run can be penalized with years of incarceration and thousands of dollars in fines. No matter what sort of traffic offense you have been charged with, an experienced Philadelphia traffic lawyer can help to reduce your sentencing, or even see your case dismissed altogether.
At the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, our dedicated legal team is supported by more than 30 years of experience handling a wide variety of traffic offenses. Our attorneys have defended clients in cases involving but not limited to:
- Automated Red Light Tickets
- Driving with a Suspended License
- Hit and Run
- Moving Violations
- Reckless Driving
- Speeding Tickets
The Pennsylvania Point System for Moving Violations
The following is an excerpt from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) November 2013 Point System Fact Sheet:
“PennDOT maintains a driving record for every licensed driver in Pennsylvania. Points are added to a driving record when a driver is found guilty of certain driving (moving) violations. The purpose of the point system is to help to improve driving habits and to ensure safe driving. PennDOT begins to take corrective action when a driving record reaches 6 or more points.”
These “corrective actions” may include mandatory license suspensions, and mandatory safety and driving exams. Needless to say, these penalties can wreak havoc on a motorist’s everyday life, particularly if he or she is employed and relies on personal transportation to commute to and from work.
Different moving violations are assigned different point values. Again, it takes only six points to start seeing serious consequences. Some common examples of point values by violation include:
- Violation Concerning License: 3 points
- Failure to Stop for a Red Light: 3 points
- Failure to Stop at Railroad Crossings: 4 points
- Careless Driving: 3 points
- Illegal U-Turns: 3 points
The worst driving violations are graded with five points, while lesser violations are given a minimum of two points.
If you accumulate six points, you will be required to take a written exam about road rules and motor safety. If you cannot pass the exam within 30 days, your license will be suspended, and you will be left without personal transportation.
If you accumulate six points a second time, you must attend a hearing with PennDOT officials. If you fail to appear at your hearing, your license will be suspended for 60 days.
If you accumulate six points a third time, again you must attend a PennDOT hearing. If you do not appear at your hearing, your license will be suspended until you do attend a hearing. The suspension comes into effect immediately.
Penalties for Leaving an Accident Scene
Philadelphia motorists are not permitted to leave the scene of an auto accident before information can be gathered. Under Pennsylvania’s traffic laws, “leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage only” is a four-point violation. As stated in the Pennsylvania Driver’s Manual, if a driver does attempt to flee or evade law enforcement, the penalties could include:
- License Suspension: 1 year
- Fine: $500 plus court fees and surcharges
The evading motorist can also be penalized with jail time at the discretion of the courts.
Penalties for Accidents Causing Injury
If your traffic violation causes injury or death to another person, you could receive extremely serious felony charges. Under §3742 of Chapter 37 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, “accidents involving death or personal injury” can range from 1st Degree Misdemeanor to 2nd Degree Felony. The Pennsylvania penalties for a 2nd Degree Felony include:
- Sentence: Up to 10 years in prison
- Fine: Up to $25,000
If you or someone you love has been charged with a traffic offense, the consequences could include jail time, heavy fees, license suspension, mandatory driving courses, mandatory hearings, and other penalties. You could lose your mobility, your employment, and even your liberty. To schedule a free, private case evaluation with a highly experienced Philadelphia traffic attorney, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 755-3115 in New Jersey or (215) 701-6519 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online today.