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Why Pennsylvania drivers choose to fight traffic tickets

On Behalf of | May 9, 2023 | Traffic Violations |

The last thing someone on their way to the movies or a morning meeting with their boss wants to see is a police cruiser behind them. Still, many motorists in Pennsylvania received citations each day for minor violations of traffic law. Driving too fast, failing to use a turn signal or choosing not to stop at a red light are all driving choices that could lead to a police officer stopping and citing the motorist.

Traffic stops are often embarrassing and stressful, and people frequently want to pretend that they never occurred in the first place. The fastest way to resolve a recent traffic citation is unquestionably to simply pay the ticket. However, many drivers in Pennsylvania will decide it is a worthwhile choice to fight the ticket instead of paying it.

Paying the fine means pleading guilty

People often don’t realize that a traffic citation is basically a formal accusation that someone has violated the law. The main differences are that the offense is minor and the penalty imposed is a fine rather than the possibility of incarceration. Therefore, court proceedings are not automatic.

People don’t realize that they still have a presumption of innocence and a right to defend themselves when a police officer writes them a ticket. They also may not understand that paying the ticket means pleading guilty and accepting the consequences that may come from the traffic infraction.

Every paid citation will add points to a driver’s license. Once they have a total of six points on their record, the state may send them a warning. If they end up with six points on their license a second time, they may have to attend a hearing and could face the suspension of their license because of their repeat traffic violations.

Those who defend against a traffic citation can protect their driving privileges. They can also potentially reduce the financial impact of their recent traffic stop. The fine someone pays is not the only expense a traffic ticket generates. Any citation that adds points to someone’s license will likely also increase their cost for insurance. The more tickets someone accumulates in a short time period, the more likely it is for the stage to apply licensing penalties to them as a result.

Understanding the value derived from fighting against a traffic ticket might help someone recently pulled over more appropriately respond to the citation the officer issued.