Nearly twelve million motor vehicles are registered in the state of Pennsylvania. With so many motorists crowded onto the roadways, accidents and mistakes can happen at any time. Many drivers may not even be aware that they are violating a traffic law until it’s too late.
Unfortunately, traffic offenses can be extremely serious. Depending on the details of the situation, traffic crimes can range in severity from minor violations to felonies. Even a “light” violation, however, can come with harsh consequences. If you accumulate enough points on your license, you could lose your driving privileges for months or even indefinitely. If you are charged with committing a misdemeanor or felony traffic-related offense, you could be forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines, be sentenced to time in jail or prison, and face other penalties. If you’ve been charged with a traffic offense in Quakertown, you need to defend yourself with an attorney.
No matter what sort of traffic charges you’re facing, Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates has the knowledge and experience you need. To schedule your free and confidential consultation, or if you’d like to learn more about how a traffic lawyer can help, call our law offices today at (609) 257-4019 in New Jersey or (215) 372-8667 in Pennsylvania.
Types of Charges Our Quakertown Traffic Violation Attorneys Defend
Many drivers mistakenly think that traffic tickets are simply “no big deal,” and neglect to follow up or contest the issue. This is a serious mistake. Traffic tickets can add up fast, and before you know it, you could be stranded at home without a means to commute to work. You’re at risk of losing your mobility, your income, and in some cases, even your freedom itself.
At the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates, we are dedicated to achieving excellent results for our clients. We have been serving Quakertown and the communities of Pennsylvania for over 30 years, and our attorneys are armed with decades of practical experience to put to work for you. Our firm handles the full spectrum of traffic-related offenses, including:
- DMV Hearings
- Driving with a Suspended License
- DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
- High Speed Violations
- Moving Violations
- Reckless Driving
- Tickets (Speeding, Radar, Red Light Camera)
The ticket you receive will include a fine that you can clearly read. However, the cost of any traffic ticket is more than the amount written on the citation. There are additional costs associated with the violation that have nothing to do with the police or state. For example, if you are found guilty of a traffic or moving violation, your insurance rates will likely increase significantly. If you are issued too many points, your license could be suspended, making it difficult to get to work or run ordinary errands.
If you receive a traffic ticket, the first thing you should do is carefully review it – double-check the fine and violation. You should also ensure that all the information on the ticket is accurate, including your name, address, and vehicle information. You will have ten days to respond to the citation. Ignoring it is not a good idea and could cost you additional fines. It is important to contact one of our experienced Quakertown traffic violation lawyers. Our office can help you fight the ticket. While it might not be able to avoid any consequences, it might be possible to save you hefty fines and valuable points.
DUI Laws in Pennsylvania
Driving Under the Influence can involve alcohol or drugs. DUI with alcohol is measured by BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) and field sobriety tests, while DUI with drugs is measured by chemical testing and DRE (Drug Recognition Expert) observation. Whether a DUI offense involves drugs or alcohol, the penalties can be serious — particularly if the DUI involves property damage or physical harm to another person.
DUI penalties range widely based on factors like:
- Previous Offenses
You could be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars, lose your license for months or years at a time, and be sentenced to months or years behind bars. You may also be required to attend community service and/or substance abuse counseling, and may have to install an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle. An IID acts like a breathalyzer, and will prevent a car from starting if alcohol is detected.
Moving Violations Defense
In Pennsylvania, moving violations add points to your license. If you reach six points, penalties will start to interfere with your life. The first time you hit the six point mark, you will have to take a driving exam. If you fail to pass the exam within 30 days, your license will be suspended. If you accumulate more points in the future, you will be required to attend PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) hearings. You will lose your license for months, or indefinitely until you do appear.
It is surprisingly easy to reach six points. Many basic moving violations, such as making illegal U-turns and running red lights, are worth three points or more.
Reckless Driving Defense
While most people have heard the term “reckless driving,” its specific legal definition is less widely known. What sorts of actions could lead to a reckless driving charge?
Under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3736, a motorist is driving recklessly when he or she “drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Common examples might include:
- Ignoring Traffic Signals
- Excessive Speeding
Reckless driving is a summary offense and can lead to a hefty $200 fine. Your license could also be suspended or revoked.
Criminal Offenses that May Start as Traffic Violations
If you were in an accident while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could be charged with aggravated assault by vehicle. Negligently causing serious bodily injury to another person as a result of driving under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol could result in a second-degree felony charge. Any felony on your record could adversely impact other aspects of your life, including your employment, ability to rent an apartment, or obtain a personal loan.
TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS AND POINTS
Pennsylvania uses a points system to track driver’s behavior. Nearly every moving violation carries a specific number of points that will accumulate on your driving record. As your points increase, you will be subject to various penalties and fines, including having your license suspended. Points will also cause your insurance rates to increase. In some cases, our skilled Quakertown lawyers will be able to have your points reduced or eliminated even if we cannot have the violation dismissed. Sometimes, walking away with a fine is a win if you are not given any points. Listed below are some violations and their related points.
- Not stopping at a red light – 3 points
- Tailgating -3 points
- Ignoring a stop sign – 3 points
- Illegal U-turn – 3 points
- Careless driving – 3 points
- Leaving the scene of an accident – 4 points
- Speed limit violation (6 -10 mph) – 2 points
- Speed limit violation (11- 15 mph) – 3 points
- Speed limit violation (16 -25 mph) – 4 points
- Speed limit violation (26 -30 mph) – 5 points
- Speed limit violation (31 mph or more) – 5 points
Defenses For Quakertown Traffic Violations
Every case is a bit different. The options you have available will depend upon the circumstances surrounding your violation. However, there are some common defenses available that could apply to your situation. Do not assume you do not have a defense, contact our experienced Quakertown traffic violation lawyers.
You Are Innocent
Sometimes, someone is issued a ticket for a violation they did not commit. Perhaps the police made an error and they ticketed your vehicle by mistake. For example, when a police officer is tracking a vehicle with a radar, a shadowing error could occur. This type of error happens when a moving radar is interpreting the speed of a car moving in the same direction as the patrol car. When it occurs, the tracking car will register a higher speed. While this mistake should be obvious to the operator, it is not also caught when it occurs. If you are stopped, you should never admit to committing a violation without talking to a lawyer first.
Equipment Not Calibrated Correctly
In Quakertown, the automation tracking equipment used to monitor the speed of vehicles must be calibrated once every sixty days. A radar gun must be calibrated every year. Furthermore, the speedometers in patrol cars must be calibrated at least once a year. If the police failed to comply with the required maintenance or if the calibration was inaccurate, the evidence presented would likely not stand up in court.
VASCAR Not Reliable
Police in Quakertown sometimes use automation equipment such as VASCAR. This stopwatch-like device is used to calculate speed. However, it has been shown to be inaccurate, especially if the police were tracking your speed over a short distance. Our Quakertown driving violation defense lawyers could challenge the accuracy of the VASCAR equipment if it was used to verify your speed.
Police make mistakes. Human error often offers individuals potential defenses to traffic tickets and violations. For example, a police officer who was tracking your speed might not have followed you for long enough to obtain an accurate reading. Other factors that could cause a police officer to make an inaccurate reading include darkness, winding roads, and other obstacles such as trees or buildings that interfere with the line of sight.
Automatic Red-Light Camera Errors
More and more intersections are equipped with automatic red-light cameras. These devices are designed to take photographs of vehicles that run the light. Offending drivers will receive a ticket in the mail. In some cases, these cameras malfunction or the license plate resembles yours but belongs to another driver. Our office will examine the cameras to determine if they were functioning properly.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Most people are familiar with the phrase “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.” This standard applies to traffic violations. Our Quakertown traffic violation attorneys will thoroughly examine your case to determine if there is any evidence that would raise a reasonable doubt of your guilt.
Call Our Quakertown, PA Traffic + Ticket Lawyers Today
If you or someone you love has been charged with a traffic offense, it is absolutely critical that you defend your freedom and protect your rights with a skilled attorney. To speak privately with our experienced Quakertown, Pennsylvania traffic and ticket lawyers, call the law offices of Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (609) 257-4019 in New Jersey or (215) 372-8667 in Pennsylvania, or contact us online. Your first consultation is free of charge, so call right away to get started.