Getting a traffic ticket in Hamburg is similar to getting one in any other part of the state, because they come with the same consequences and usually happen for the same reasons. In fact, almost all drivers have probably committed a traffic offense at some point or another. It can be as simple as entering an intersection as the light just barely turns red, or following the person in front of a little too closely, or speeding a few miles above the speed limit. Unfortunately, if you get caught, your reasons for committing these offenses will not matter at all to the police officer who is writing your ticket.
The only time you can truly have your reasons heard is if you choose to take your traffic ticket to the Hamburg Magisterial Court, plead not guilty to the ticket, and present the case before a judge . As soon as you choose to do so, you need to call a Hamburg traffic ticket lawyer right away. The reason a lawyer is so important when you go to traffic court is because judges do not tend to look favorably upon people who do not have strong legal representation. They are usually instead more likely to listen to the police officer who wrote the ticket (the police officer will be asked to speak in court as well). But with a solid defense that you and your attorney developed, the judge will have to consider your side of the story. Your lawyer can access the documents and other evidence needed to prove that the speed limit sign was put in an unfair place, or that the breathalyzer test you took was inaccurate and showed you as having a higher blood alcohol content than you actually did. With the help of a skilled and experienced attorney, you can convince the judge to dismiss your ticket, or at least to reduce your penalties.
What kind of penalties are you likely to face for traffic violations? They will vary by offense, but the most important thing to know is that your ticket does not just “go away” when you pay the fine. There are other penalties associated with traffic violations in Pennsylvania, and they do not leave your record once you pay the fine. The main penalty that the state traffic law uses is the point system, which is a system that other states use as well. Traffic violations are assigned a certain number of points based on how serious the offense is considered. They usually range from two to five points. Some common examples include: failure to stop at a red light or stop sign (3 points), speeding 6 to 10 miles per hour over the limit (2 points), failure to yield (3 points), or failing to stop at a railroad crossing (4 points). These points add up on your record, and after six total points, you will have to take a safe driving exam. Another six points and you could have your license suspended for fifteen days, and yet another six points and your license will be suspended for thirty days, leaving you unable to drive yourself around freely.
Pennsylvania law treats DUIs and DWIs differently because they do not use the point system. However, their penalties are extremely severe because someone could seriously get hurt when someone else drives drunk. For a first DUI offense, you will have to pay a fine of $300, spend six months on probation, and attend traffic school and mandatory alcohol treatment or rehab. These penalties increase if it’s not your first DUI or if your blood alcohol content level was especially high -- not only will the fine increase, but you will undoubtedly spend some time in jail.
Calling a Hamburg traffic attorney means you can fight these unfair penalties and not suffer for years for one small traffic mistake. Get in touch with our offices soon to begin building your defense.