When a driver is accused of violating traffic laws, they may be issued a ticket on a piece of paper. This traffic citation is referred to as a uniform traffic ticket. The traffic citation could be for civil infractions that are not noncriminal unless it is otherwise stated.
Even if the uniform ticket was given for what is a seemingly minor offense, they could still carry large fines and a license suspension. The uniform tickets, more commonly called traffic tickets, can cause insurance premiums to go up as well.
Different Types of Uniform Traffic Tickets
Pennsylvania traffic laws are listed here. Depending on the traffic violation you commit, you could be issued one of the uniform traffic tickets listed below:
- Strict liability offenses include things like speeding, illegal U-turns, burned-out headlights or brake lights, or parking in a handicapped spot without permission.
- Moving violations involves conduct that occurs when the car is moving, like speeding, running red lights, rolling through stop signs, drinking while driving, failure to yield, or switching lanes inappropriately.
- Non-moving violations are violations that occur when the car is not moving. They can include things like parking where you block access to a fire hydrant, expired parking meters, or modifications to your vehicle like window tint that is too dark.
What to do After Being Issued a Uniform Traffic Ticket
While being ticketed may not seem like a big deal, it is important to understand your options and the actual consequences that come along with them. If you are issued a uniform traffic ticket, there are three ways that it can be handled.
Pay Your Fine
Often, paying your fine seems like the most simple option. Depending on your situation, it may be. However, there are things to know before making the decision.
By paying the fine, you are accepting the penalties.
By accepting the penalties, you will have a blight on your driving record, which can lead to skyrocketing insurance premiums. You may also be required to attend a traffic course in lieu of or in addition to paying a fine. Getting another ticket within the next three years can increase the problems it causes for you exponentially.
Challenge the Charges Against You
If you choose not to pay your fine, you may choose to contest the uniform traffic ticket. You will need to construct a strategy to convince the court that you should have been prevented from being ticketed, to begin with. Usually, you would compose a Letter of Dispute to the court and then receive a Letter of Hearing telling you when your traffic court appearance would take place.
It is crucial, if you choose this route, that you investigate the case, gather evidence to back up your story, research factors related to your traffic ticket, be prepared to cross-examine the law enforcement officer who issued your ticket, and bring in witnesses to attest to your side of the story.
Employ a Criminal Defense Attorney
Suppose you are considering representing yourself but need help with how to do that or are uncomfortable with the procedures. In that case, you may hire a criminal defense attorney specializing in traffic law to use their knowledge of the subject to help you defeat the charges or, often, dismiss them.
Because an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer understands the law, the terminology, and the procedures, they can easily dispute your uniform traffic ticket. While your lack of knowledge can jeopardize your case because often judges and prosecutors are unimpressed defendants who they feel are wasting their time by representing themselves.
Let Us Fight Your Uniform Traffic Ticket for You
If you have been charged with a strict liability offense, or a moving or non-moving violation, an experienced criminal defense attorney with Ciccarelli Law Offices can use their know-how to help you gain the best outcome for your case. Reach out today so that we can start constructing a compelling strategy for you.