You’ve just been issued a traffic citation… what do you do now? Answer – don’t ignore it! Whether it’s for speeding, running a red light, or something else, all traffic citations in Pennsylvania require a response.
In making your decision to either just pay the fine associated with the citation or to fight it out in court please see the guide below to assist you in your decision.
- Review the citation. First and foremost READ through each section of the citation to make sure you understand the violation you are being accused of committing as well as any fines, associated court costs and additional comments. It may seem obvious, but many people do not take the time to read and understand what violation they are accused of committing and what potential penalties they may face.
- Ensure that your contact and vehicle information are listed correctly. Contrary to common belief, just because a part of a citation is incorrect does not mean it will be automatically thrown out in court. However, it is still important to check all of these fields on the citation, if for example you have recently moved and your license does not have your current address on it you need to make sure that you provide the court with your updated information.
- Acknowledge your options. Pennsylvania allows individuals to either plead guilty and pay the fine with additional costs or to plead not guilty and request a preliminary hearing with the magistrate court where the citation was issued. However you only have TEN (10) calendar days to respond to the magisterial district court with your decision! If you do not respond within ten days, you could open yourself up to additional penalties which may include suspension of your driver’s license and additional fines. Additionally, a traffic warrant could be issued for your arrest for failing to respond!
- Make your decision and contact the magistrate court.
- If you choose to plead guilty, either mail in the citation with the associated fine enclosed, or take the citation in person to the designated magistrate court to make your payment.
- If you choose to plead not guilty and request a preliminary hearing, you will receive a date and time for your hearing from the magistrate court. At the end of your hearing, you will be told whether you were found guilty or not guilty and any associated penalties will be imposed.
If you or someone you love find yourself facing a traffic citation this summer don’t ignore it…contact the Law Office of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., P.L.L.C., for a free consultation! Our experienced attorney’s are ready to help you understand what you are being cited for, what potential penalties you face and assist you with resolving your citation in the best possible way. Traffic citations can be confusing, don’t face them alone, contact our office today!