Receiving a traffic ticket in Pennsylvania can be an unwelcome surprise for many drivers. Knowing the appropriate steps to take after getting a traffic ticket is essential to minimize the potential consequences and ensure a timely resolution.
Follow these guidelines to help you navigate the process of dealing with a traffic ticket in Pennsylvania.
Understand the citation
First, read the traffic ticket carefully to understand the violation and the associated fines and penalties. The citation will include details such as the date, time, location and nature of the offense. Familiarize yourself with the specific charges and the potential consequences to better inform your decision on how to proceed.
Decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty
You have the option to either plead guilty or not guilty to the traffic violation. If you decide to plead guilty, you will need to pay the fine listed on the citation. Paying the fine is an admission of guilt, and the courts will record the violation on your driving record, which could lead to increased insurance rates or other penalties.
If you choose to plead not guilty, you must notify the court listed on the citation before the deadline. This will typically involve sending a written notice or appearing in person at the court. Pleading not guilty will result in a hearing before a judge, during which you can present your case and any supporting evidence.
Understand the potential outcomes
If the judge finds you not guilty, the court will dismiss your charges, and you will not receive any penalties. If the judge finds you guilty, you will be responsible for paying the associated fines and may face additional consequences, such as points on your license or mandatory traffic school.
By understanding the process and carefully considering your options, you can make an informed decision on how to proceed after receiving a traffic ticket in Pennsylvania.