Getting a traffic ticket in West Chester, Pennsylvania can be more than a minor annoyance. When you are found guilty of committing a moving violation, you will receive points on your record from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The point system that is used in the state keeps track of your behavior while you drive. If you accumulate too many points, your insurance rates will increase. You can also have your driver’s license suspended when you have too many points or immediately for certain offenses. Getting help from an experienced traffic lawyer at DiCindio Law may help you to avoid accumulating too many points and getting a license suspension. If you depend on your ability to drive to get to work, to run errands, or to go to school, getting too many points on your driving record can cause major disruptions in your life.
Points and license suspensions in Pennsylvania
When you reach six points or more on your Pennsylvania driving record, you will be in danger of having your driving privileges suspended. The number of points that can cause you to lose your license will depend on your age and on the type of license that you have. If you have a commercial driver’s license, you may receive higher points and face an immediate suspension of your license for certain types of traffic citations.
Points for young drivers
If you are under the age of 18, PennDOT will issue a license suspension if you accumulate six points on your record or if you are ticketed for and convicted of driving more than 26 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. If it is your first license suspension, it will last for 90 days. If it is a second or subsequent suspension, it will last for 120 days.
Points for adult drivers
If you are an adult driver, your license will not necessarily be suspended when you accumulate six points on your driving record. Instead, you may have some alternatives available to you that depend on the number of times that you have accumulated six points on your record.
If it is the first time that you have accumulated six or more points, you will have the option of taking a written exam. As long as you take it and pass it within 30 days, your license will not be suspended, and two points will be removed from your record. If you fail to take the test and to pass it within 30 days of receiving the notice from PennDOT, your license will be suspended.
If you accumulate six or more points on your record for the second time, you will have to attend a hearing. A PennDOT hearing officer will decide whether your license should be suspended for 15 days or whether you will be allowed to take an on-the-road test to remove two points. If your license is suspended for 15 days, two points will be subtracted from your record after it is completed. Finally, the hearing officer can also choose not to take any action against you.
If you accumulate six or more points for the third time, you will have to go to a hearing at the department. The examiner will decide whether your license should be suspended for 30 days.
Several traffic tickets may result in an immediate suspension of your license, including the following:
- DUI – Can result in a license suspension of up to 18 months
- Driving 31 miles per hour over the speed limit – Can result in a 15-day suspension of your license
- Accumulating 11 or more points on your driving record
If you accumulate 11 or more points, the length of your suspension will be determined by the number of times you have previously been suspended. If it is your first suspension, you will receive a suspension of five days per point. If it is your second suspension, it will last for 10 days per point. If it is your third suspension, it will last for 15 days per point. For all subsequent license suspensions, they will last for one year.
If you have received tickets in the past, you need to know how many points you have on your driving record. You can check with PennDOT to find out.
The point schedule
Traffic offenses have point penalties that depend on their seriousness. We have included some common types of moving violations and their point penalties below. To see a complete schedule, you can look at the Pennsylvania point system fact sheet.
Low-point violations add fewer points to your record. Some examples of low-point violations include the following:
- Not yielding to a pedestrian at a crosswalk – two points
- Driving too fast for the conditions – two points
- Failing to stop at a red light – three points
- Failing to stop at a stop sign – three points
- Tailgating – three points
- Careless driving – three points
- Speeding by six to 10 miles per hour above the speed limit – two points
- Illegal u-turn – three points
- Speeding by 11 to 15 miles per hour above the speed limit – three points
high-point traffic violations
Some violations are considered to be serious and add higher point penalties to your record. Some examples of high-point traffic violations include the following:
- Not stopping at a railroad crossing – four points
- Hit-and-run accident that causes property damage – four points
- Speeding 16 to 25 miles per hour above the speed limit – four points
- Speeding 26 to 30 miles per hour above the speed limit – five points
- Speeding 31 miles per hour or more above the speed limit – five points
- Not stopping for a school bus with flashing red lights – five points
If you receive a citation for a serious traffic offense, you will likely need to go to court to fight it.
Good drivers enjoy lower auto insurance rates
Accumulating points on your driving record can cause your insurance rates to go up. You can drop points from your record. If you drive for 12 consecutive months without having your license suspended and without committing another moving violation, three points will be removed from your driving record. If you can keep zero points on your record for 12 or more months, you will be treated as if you have never accumulated points.
Contact the DiCindio Law Firm
Most moving violations in Pennsylvania add points to your record if you plead guilty to them. Getting help from an experienced traffic law attorney at the DiCindio Law Firm might help you to secure a plea offer for a non-moving violation so that you do not add points to your record. An attorney may also help you to fight serious traffic offense charges to protect your driving privileges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.