What to do if you Receive a Traffic Ticket
- First, you must decide if you are going to plead guilty or not guilty.
For some people, pleading guilty and paying the fines is more appealing than pleading not guilty and having to prove their innocence in front of a judge. However, by taking the easy way out, you could be faced with increases to your driving record points and automobile insurance rates. The help of an experienced attorney can assure that you make the best decision.
- How many driving points can I accumulate before my driver’s license is suspended?
In New Jersey, the state can suspend your license for 30 days if you accumulate 12 points. However, in most situations, the MVC or judge usually offers drivers the opportunity to enroll in the Driver Improvement Program (DIP) in lieu of suspension.
In Pennsylvania, if you accumulate 11 or more points on your record, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a period of time that is determined by the number of accumulated points and the number of suspensions on your record. Your license may also be suspended if you accumulate only 6 points and if 1) it is the first time you have accumulated six points and you do not pass the written exam ordered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation within 30 days of receiving notice of the exam, or 2) it is the second or third time that you have accumulated 6 points on your record. If you have accumulated 6 points, suspension of your license is subject to a hearing.
- What is the typical fine for a traffic ticket?
Traffic ticket fines vary depending on the specific violation or offense. In addition, along with the fine itself, a variety of additional fees may affect your total cost. These additional costs may include court costs and other related surcharges.
In both New Jersey and Pennsylvania, each violation cost is the same throughout the state.
- Can I take a defensive driving course to reduce the number of driver’s license points on my driving record?
In New Jersey, yes, two (2) points can be deducted from your driving record if you successfully complete a state-approved defensive driving course. However, enrollment in such a course is limited to only once every five years. Another option for drivers who have accumulated close to their maximum amount of points is to complete a Driver Improvement Program (DIP) or Probationary Driver Program (PDP), which would reduce three (3) points form your record.
In Pennsylvania, however, points will not be deducted from your driving record for simply completing a defensive driving course. In order to reduce points on your driving record in Pennsylvania, you only have two options. First, if you have accumulated six (6) or more points, two (2) points will be reduced from your driving record if you pass a written or on-road exam ordered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Second, three (3) points will be removed if you are able to stay violation-free for 12 consecutive months.
Contact Attorney Michael J. Dennin
If you receive a traffic ticket, you should first speak with an experienced attorney to determine the best way to go about handling your ticket. Michael J. Dennin, Esq. has protected the rights of people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 2005. An accomplished trial lawyer, Michael J. Dennin has successfully obtained significant verdicts and settlements for his clients.