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25 Year Anniversary

Traffic Ticket Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Fight the Ticket?

It is almost always beneficial to plead “not guilty” and go to court. A majority of the thousands of traffic cases that we have handled resulted in a negotiation to a lesser offense which reduced the points assessed to the client’s license. Many of my cases result in a zero-point offense and/or a non-moving violation that does not affect insurance rates. If you have not already done so, you should follow the directions on the citation and enter a plea of “not guilty” and make a collateral payment to the court. You will then receive a notice of the court hearing in the mail where you or your attorney will have to appear before the local District Justice.

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Do I Have to go to Court?

Many local judges will permit us to appear in court on your behalf (depending upon the judge and the severity of the violation), so you might not even have to attend the court hearing to have your points reduced. If you do not have a lawyer and choose to represent yourself, then you will be required to appear in District Court to represent yourself before the local District Judge.

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How Will a Moving Violation Affect my Insurance?

Depending on the type of the citation, points could be assessed to your license and you license can be suspended for certain serious violations. Most insurance companies typically check your driving record each year that you renew, and points on your record could lead to an increase in your premium or perhaps even cancellation of your insurance. Going to court can result in the points being reduced, and if the citation is reduced to zero points, your insurance rates should not increase as a result. Additionally, if points are assessed and you receive another moving violation within one year, the new points get added to your license which could leads to suspension for excessive points. Will Your Insurance Go Up if You are Convicted of a Moving Violation in Pennsylvania?

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How Many Points are Needed Before my License is Suspended?

The law states that the first time a driver accumulates over 6 points, the written driving test must be retaken and passed. Once the test is passed, points are then decreased to 5. If the motorist accumulates more than 6 points a second time in his lifetime, the license will be suspended for a minimum of 15 days, depending on the amount of points. If you accumulate 11 points or more, license suspension can range from 5 days per point over 11 points and up to one year in some instances.

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How can I Reduce the Points That are on my License?

If points are assessed to your license, 3 points are subtracted off your record for every year that you go ticket free. If you have points and receive another ticket, the points are added to your current points which could result in licensing issues with Penndot.

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Moving Violations FAQs
Speeding:I Received a Speeding Ticket but I do not Think I was Going That Fast

I hear this on a daily basis from my traffic clients. The bottom line is, you probably were NOT going that fast. Speed timing devices in Pennsylvania vary in their accuracy when gauging speed. The most common method, Timing a Vehicle, is also the most inaccurate. Most local Police Departments us this method, which involves the police officer sitting out of view and timing the vehicle over 2 fixed points, typically 2 white lines painted perpendicular to the roadway. This speed timing devices for this method is called Accutrak or Vascar and it is susceptible to human error. If the police officer presses the button a split second too late when your tires cross the first line, or a split second early when your tires cross the second line, he is going to get an artificially high speed. I have represented thousands of clients who were issued speeding tickets using this method and 99% of those clients told me “I wasn’t going that fast.” Luckily, when we went to the District Court hearing, an overwhelming majority of those citations were reduced to zero points.

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Safe Speeds:I was Cited for Driving at Safe Speeds, but I was not Speeding

The citation for Driving at Safe Speeds is usually issued when there is a crash, especially when there is a one vehicle crash. This citation was formerly called “Driving Too Fast for Conditions”. Many police officer feel obligated to write a traffic citation when they are called out to an accident scene. While there is no way to prove the actual speed, Driving at Safe Speeds is an assumption that you were driving too fast for conditions and the crash occurred as a result.

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Stop Sign:I was in a Crash and Issued a Stop Sign Citation but I Know That I Stopped

This is a frequent question that I get from clients who were involved in a crash at an intersection. The ticket for “Duties at Stop Sign” or “Stop Signs and Yield Sign”, involve 2 different scenarios. The most common scenario is when a police officer observes a vehicle go through a stop sign without coming to a full stop. This situation frequently involves “rolling stops” or “California stops.” The second situation a Stop Sign ticket is issued is when the motorist does come to a stop, but pulls out into the path of an oncoming vehicle and a crash ensues. The stop sign law states that a motorist who is stopped at a stop sign has a duty of care and caution to proceed in a safe manner. This situation usually occurs when the motorist at a stop sign mistakenly believes that the other vehicle approaching has a stop sign and a crash results.

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Red Light:The Light was Yellow When I Entered the Intersection but I was Given a Red Light Ticket

This is another question I hear on a daily basis. Many motorists incorrectly believe that they cannot be given a Red Light ticket if the enter the intersection while the light is yellow. The way the Red Light law is interpreted is that the vehicle must clear the intersection, meaning the vehicle must be totally through the intersection, before the light turns red. If the vehicle is still in the intersection when the light turns red, it is technically a violation of the Red Light law.

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Meeting/Overtaking a School Bus:I was Cited for Overtaking a School Bus but I Didn’t see That the School Bus had its Lights on

Most of my client do not intentionally pass a school bus, but instead did not notice that a school bus was there and had its lights on. Frequently, this occurs on a multi-lane roadway and the bus is located on the other side of the roadway in the lane of travel farthest away from the client. Overtaking a School Bus This is one of the most serious offenses in Pennsylvania and carries with it a mandatory 60 day license suspension if you are found guilty of this offense. Unfortunately, not seeing the bus is usually not a defense as this law does not need “intent” to pass the bus. However, a majority of the Overtaking School Bus cases that my firm has handled has resulted in a reduction of the ticket to a lesser offense and the client did not ultimately lose his license.

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Out of State Drivers:I am From out of State and Received a Citation in Pennsylvania

Depending on your state, a citation in Pennsylvania could transfer to your home state. In some states, points do not transfer, but the citation is reported to your state and it appears on your driving record. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, out of state citations DO NOT transfer to PA. Every state is different and you should be aware of the consequences in your state before deciding to plead guilty to any moving violation received in Pennsylvania. Additionally, many local District Justices will allow us to appear in court for our out of state clients, so you may not have to attend the hearing to get your points reduced.

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I Already Paid the Fine not Knowing the Consequences of a Guilty Plea

A lot of my clients “just pay the fine to get it over with” or just paid it without knowing about points or suspension of their licenses. If you already paid the fine, there is still a chance that the case can be resolved to a lesser offense by filing a Summary Appeal within 30 days of the day you were found guilty by the District Justice. Filing a Summary Appeal will get you a court date in the County Court where an Assistant District Attorney will be assigned to the case. If more than 30 days have elapsed since the finding of guilt, you may be able to file a “Nunc Pro Tunc” motion in the county court, where you are asking the judge to reopen the case and allow you to file an appeal.

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Why Should I Hire a Lawyer to Defend me in Traffic Court?

There are many reasons to retain an attorney to represent you in traffic court. Many times, we are able to save our clients a trip to court if the District Justice will permit us to appear in our clients’ place. An experienced attorney knows what to say when speaking with the police officer. I have spoken with many clients over the years who went into court alone looking to reduce their points, but talked their way into a finding of guilty because they said the wrong things to the police officer. I have also had clients who lived out of state who plead guilty to a citation where points transferred, even though the officer told them it would be no points. No matter what legal matter you are facing, it is always best to speak with an experienced attorney to guide you in the right direction.

The highly experienced attorneys at Ellis B. Klein & Associates have handled thousands of traffic citations over the past 25+ years in practice. We have an outstanding relationship with police officers and we have appeared before the local District Justices on countless occasions. We on the only firm to offer a money-back guarantee if we cannot reduce your points and on many occasions we can go to court for you. We have over 200 five-star reviews from former clients which you can read HERE.

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Call one of the experienced traffic defense attorneys at Ellis B. Klein & Associates at (800) 536-0501 BEFORE you pay the fine for a free consultation. We would be happy to discuss your situation with you at No Charge and guide you in the right direction.

Client Reviews
Ellis Klein is a terrific attorney who represented my son in a DUI case. Ellis was understanding and sympathetic yet very forthright regarding the seriousness of the issue. He was extremely knowledgeable of the process and kept us informed at every step. He had a very professional presence, was confident (but not arrogant) and kept us calm throughout a very traumatic situation. He was a critical factor in my son receiving the best possible outcome from this DUI event. John Doe
Recently Mr. Klein helped me out with a criminal charge in which the outcome was the best possible situation for me. Ellis worked with me as far as a payment plan, knew the judge and officer and I couldn't ask for anything more out of a lawyer. I'm very happy with his performance and would recommend him to anyone. Jane Doe
Ellis literally gave me a new lease on life. I was facing a DUI, which would have affected my livelihood, my freedom and would have left me with a criminal record. Mr. Klein was able to have all the evidence suppressed by challenging the officer's cause for pulling me over. He was very thorough, leaving no stone unturned. His demeanor in court was confident and knowledgeable. He saved my reputation and my family from facing serious economic hardship. Thank You Anonymous
Ellis Klein served as my lawyer in a very difficult case that I was facing and with his help, the outcome of my case turned out wonderful. Mr. Klein helped me very much with his knowledge of my case. Thanks Ellis! Anonymous
Like many young adults, I made a bad decision that resulted in very serious consequences. I was afraid and nervous. Ellis was very straight-forward when he explained things to me, telling what the best outcome could be as well as the worst. Through his knowledge, professionalism, and legal reputation, my case was resolved with the best possible outcome. I advise my friends not to make the same mistake that I did, but if they do I will highly recommend Ellis. I feel like I have been given a second chance. Anonymous