What do traffic citation points really mean?

What do traffic citation points really mean?

You have ran a red light or blown through a stop sign. The police pulled you over and issued you a traffic citation. They tell you there is going to be a fine and points assessed to your license. What options do you have? Do you just pay the ticket and accept the points? Do you hire an attorney to fight the citation? And what effect do the points even have on your driving privileges?

In Pennsylvania, Penn DOT is the organization that sets the rules and regulations for traffic violations. Obtain too many points and you will find yourself subject to special points exams and possible license suspension. But how many points are too many?

Below you will find Penn DOT’S Point System Fact Sheet, which sets forth the potential penalties you will face:

First Accumulation of 6 Points:

When any driving record reaches 6 or more points for the first time, the driver will receive a written notice to take a special written point examination. The examination will address:

  1. Knowledge of Safe Driving Practices,
  2. Knowledge of Departmental Sanctions, and
  3. Knowledge of Related Safety Issues.

The driver has 30 days to successfully pass the exam or else the license will be suspended until the exam is passed. If the exam is passed within the 30 day period, 2 points will be removed from the driving record.

Second Accumulation of 6 Points:

When any driving record is reduced below 6 points and then for a second time reaches 6 or more points, the driver will have to attend a Departmental Hearing. The driver will receive a written notice of the specific time and location of the required hearing. At the hearing, a hearing examiner will review the driver’s record. After the hearing, the Department may recommend one or more:

  1. Order a 15 Day License Suspension,
  2. Order the Driver to Take a Special On-Road Driver’s Examination, or
  3. Take No Action.

If a person’s driving privilege is suspended or a special driver’s exam is recommended, 2 points will be removed from the driving record if the driver passes the exam within 30 days or 2 points will be removed once the 15 day suspension has been served. No points are removed from the driving record if the Department does not initiate a sanction.

Failure to attend this Departmental Hearing will result in a 60 day license suspension.

Third or More Accumulation of 6 Points:

When any driving record is reduced below 6 points and for the third or subsequent time reaches 6 or more points, the driver will have to attend a Departmental hearing. The hearing examiner will review the driving record. The Department will then determine if a 30 day license suspension will be initiated. Failure to attend this Departmental hearing will result in the suspension of the driver’s license until the driver attends the hearing.

Excessive Speeding:

When a driver is convicted for speeding 31 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit, the driver will have to attend a Departmental Hearing. The driver will receive a written notice of the specific time and location of the required hearing. The hearing examiner will review the driving record. Upon the Department’s review of the hearing file, one or both of the following will be initiated:

  1. 15 Day License Suspension
  2. Special On-Road Driver’s Examination,

If a 15 day suspension is initiated, the driving record will show 5 points upon restoration. No points are removed if a special driver’s examination is initiated and completed.

Failure to attend this Departmental Hearing will result in a 60 day license suspension.

If you or someone you love find yourself charged with a traffic violation, take the time to consult with an attorney. In many jurisdictions even if you are truly guilty of the offense, a lawyer can negotiate the charge with the officer to lower your exposure to potential fine and points. At the Law Office of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., P.L.L.C. our attorneys have been handling traffic violations for more than 30 years. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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