Traffic Offenses Can Mean More Than Just Fines
You received a speeding ticket or similar citation. What do you do now? Most people would just pay the fine and attempt to move on. But traffic violations are not always a mere slap on the wrist. They add demerit points to your license, which can result in license suspension if you accumulate too many points. You may also face increased insurance rates because you are seen as a dangerous or careless driver (regardless of whether it’s true).
In short, traffic tickets are often worth fighting or negotiating, especially with the help of an experienced attorney. That’s what you’ll find when you contact The Law Office of Geoffrey McInroy, LLC.
What Are Motor Vehicle Violations?
A summary offense is any minor crime, which is initially heard and decided by a district justice. Many violations of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, such as speeding, illegal parking and going through a red light, are summary offenses. However, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not a summary offense; it is a misdemeanor, which is a more serious crime.
What Happens If I Received A Citation?
A citation contains a brief statement of the facts of the incident, how the law was violated and a specific statement of the section of the law that is alleged to have been violated. It also contains instructions on what must be done to respond to the citation.
Most summary crimes are enforced by a citation issued by a police officer to the person who is charged with committing the offense. Normally, the police officer who observed the incident hands the citation to the person charged. If no officer was present, or if, for any valid reason, the officer decides not to issue the citation at the scene, a citation/summons may be sent by mail.
In certain circumstances, a police officer may arrest someone and take them into custody, and then they may be brought before a magisterial district judge. In that case, a hearing can be requested. The hearing may be held immediately or at a later time, for which the magisterial district judge may require security to guarantee that person’s appearance. A citation will still be prepared and given to that person.
What If I Get A Citation As A CDL Driver?
Any traffic citation can be devastating if you’re a person who earns a living with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). As a truck driver, you may be fired or otherwise sanctioned by your employer (and, by law, you must notify your employer). Even if your employer does not take action, many traffic offenses can lead to suspension or revocation of your Pennsylvania CDL.
What if you were off duty and driving your own vehicle? “Civilian” traffic citations may not affect your CDL, but more serious traffic offenses definitely can. Operating a commercial motor vehicle at the lower threshold of .04 blood alcohol content triggers DUI charges and CDL suspension. But a conviction for driving under the influence in your personal vehicle will still cost you your CDL.
In addition to motor vehicle violations, commercial drivers may be cited for PennDOT or federal trucking violations, such as traveling on restricted roads or bridges, driving an overweight vehicle, violating Hours of Service limits or falsifying logbooks. For any traffic or trucking citation, no matter how minor it may seem, CDL holders should contact a lawyer right away. You may have no choice but to fight a ticket when your livelihood is at stake.
The Information On My Citation Is Wrong. What Does This Mean?
If the incorrect information is minor, such as a misspelled name or the wrong color or model year of a car, the mistakes will probably not invalidate the citation. If, however, the mistakes are major, such as listing the wrong section of the law claimed to have been violated, then the citation may be invalid if prejudice can be shown.
Discuss Your Options In A Free Initial Consultation
Talk to attorney Geoffrey McInroy today and avoid unnecessarily risking your motor vehicle operating privileges and an increase in your insurance rates. To take advantage of a free initial consultation, contact our office in Camp Hill by calling 717-540-6833. You can also fill out our online contact form.