How to Fight a Speeding Ticket and Other Traffic Offenses
If you have been stopped for speeding on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, freeways, highways, or country roads, you might be wondering what to expect, how to contest the ticket, and how much you might have to pay. Find out how to fight a speeding ticket or other traffic offense, and when you should hire our speeding ticket lawyers to help you.
How Much Does a Speeding Ticket Cost in PA?
Speeding ticket fines are the same throughout Pennsylvania, and are set based on fast you were going, and what the posted speed limit was:
- 10 over in a 55 mph zone or less: $45
- 10 over in a 65 or 70 mph zone: $52.50
- 35 over in a 55 mph zone or less: $95
- 35 over in a 65 or 70 mph zone: $102.50
If you were in a work zone at the time you were clocked speeding, your fines will be doubled. When you receive a traffic citation for speeding, the amount of the fine will be printed right on the ticket. However, that isn’t the only cost you’ll be assessed. You should also expect to pay:
- Emergency medical service (EMS) surcharge: $10
- Judicial computer program / access to justice account surcharge: $10
- General fund surcharges: $30-300 depending on the traffic offense and your driving history
- Court Costs: $37 or $45 if you request a hearing
At Berman Law, our traffic attorneys can help you review your ticket and add up all the costs associated with your speeding or traffic violation, so you can decide whether you want to contest the ticket.
Understanding the Pennsylvania Point System for Traffic Offenses
In addition to the financial costs of a traffic ticket, you also need to consider the points assessed. Each traffic offense carries 2-5 points. You can receive points for more than one offense at the same traffic stop. Then, those points drop off: 3 points for each 12 months you have a clean driving record. Each time you reach 6 points on your record, there are consequences:
First Time You Hit 6 Points:
You will need to take a written exam about safe driving practices and the penalties for violating them. Passing this class removes 2 points from your record. However, if you don’t pass within 30 days, your license will be suspended until you do.
Second Time You Hit 6 Points:
You will need to attend a mandatory departmental hearing. If you don’t attend the hearing, your license will automatically be suspended for 60 days.
You may also be required to pass an on-road driver’s exam. If you don’t pass that exam, your license will be suspended for 15 days. After you pass, or serve your suspension, two points will be taken off your record.
Third (or Higher) Time You Hit 6 Points:
You will need to attend a mandatory departmental hearing. At the hearing, the examiner will decide whether to implement a 30 day suspension based on the facts in your case. If you don’t attend the hearing, your license will automatically be suspended until you do.
Anytime you hit 11 points or more:
Your license will automatically be suspended. How long the suspension lasts depends on whether your license has been suspended before:
- First suspension = 5 days per point
- Second suspension = 10 days per point
- Third suspension = 15 days per point
- Fourth or higher suspension = 1 year, no matter how many points
At Berman Law, our traffic defense lawyers are able to help you review your driving history and consider the possibility that the moving violation or traffic offense will result in a license suspension. That way you can decide whether to contest the ticket or pay the fine.
How to Fight a Speeding Ticket in PA
When you receive a speeding ticket or traffic citation, you always have the option to pay the fine and accept the points. However, this can increase your insurance rates and put your license at risk, especially if you make money as a commercial driver. There are also certain traffic offenses that carry their own consequences, such as passing a school bus with red lights flashing (which has an automatic 60-day license suspension).
If you are facing a speeding ticket or traffic offense that could threaten your license, you may choose to contest the ticket and force the police and Pennsylvania prosecutor’s office to prove that you committed the traffic offense you were charged with beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, you must send a written request to the court noted on your ticket to request a hearing, and then showing up on the assigned court date. If you decide to contest the ticket, it is a good idea to bring a speeding ticket defense lawyer with you to that hearing.
When Should You Hire a Speeding Ticket Lawyer
Anytime you are considering contesting a speeding ticket or traffic offense, you should talk to an experienced traffic attorney soon after you get the ticket. That lawyer can help you review your driving record, the ticket, and the potential consequences to decide if it is worth your time, money, and effort to contest the ticket. Going to court to contest a speeding ticket or traffic offense may be worthwhile if:
- You are facing a potential suspension because of points
- Your ticket is based off a VASCAR device reading (these devices must be properly calibrated and are often inaccurate)
- Police committed errors in tracking your vehicle, issuing the citation to the right vehicle, or performing the stop
- You believe your officer may not show up to the hearing
Our Pennsylvania traffic attorneys will stand by your side throughout the process of contesting a speeding ticket or traffic violation. We can negotiate on your behalf, reducing or even eliminating the fines and points you will be assessed. Where you have a strong defense, we can present your case to the magistrate or judge and demonstrate that the prosecutor can’t prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We know how to fight a speeding ticket with efficacy and diligence.
When your driving privileges are on the line, it isn’t “just” a speeding ticket. You need an experienced defense attorney on your side to review the ticket, your driving history, and any defenses available to you. At Berman Law, our Media, PA attorneys represent drivers in Chester County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia County. Call 610-565-9696 or contact us online to speak with an attorney today.