JUNIOR DRIVER AND MINOR DRIVER TRAFFIC TICKET DEFENSE IN PITTSBURGH
If you are a junior driver, or the parent of a minor who has been cited for a traffic violation, DO NOT enter a guilty plea to citations until you have a full understanding of the consequences. There are better ways to teach your teenager a lesson rather than jeopardizing his or her future driving privileges. You're better off setting a new curfew or taking the car away voluntarily than allowing the state to do it for you. Unlike adult drivers, junior drivers face harsher penalties for certain types of speeding and points based violations.
EXCESSIVE SPEEDING LICENSE SUSPENSIONS FOR JUNIOR DRIVERS IN PA
Under PA law, a junior driver who is found guilty or who pleads guilty to exceeding 26 miles per hour over the speed limit will lose their license for 90 days for a first violation, and 120 days for a 2nd or subsequent violation. These suspensions are tacked on to any other suspensions that may apply under the law, such as for accumulating too many points or for speeding in a school or work zone. Furthermore, a 26 mile per hour violation will carry 5 points.
LICENSE SUSPENSION FOR JUNIOR DRIVER ACCRUING TOO MANY POINTS IN PA
Adult drivers who accumulate 6 points for the first time will have to take and successfully pass a written points based examination within 30 days upon receiving notice from PennDOT. The failure to do so will lead to an indefinite license suspension. Adult drivers who accumulate 6 points for the second time will have to attend a PennDOT departmental hearing, face a 15-day suspension and be ordered to take a on-road driver's examination.
Junior drivers who accumulate 6 points for the first time face a mandatory 90-day license suspension. A second accumulation of 6 points leads to an additional 120-day license suspension.
Junior drivers will also face the adult penalties listed in the paragraph above. For example, a junior driver who exceeds 6 points for the first time will face a 90-day license suspension AND have to pass a written points based examination. For a second accrual of 6 points, the junior driver now faces a 135 day suspension plus the on-road driver's examination.
DOUBLING OF SUSPENSIONS
Let's say a junior driver was cited for doing 15 over the speed limit, and has 3 points on his or her driving record. If the junior driver is then convicted of driving 26 miles per hour over the speed limit, he or she is facing multiple suspensions, which are run consecutively (i.e. stacked). Under this example, the driver will now have 8 points, ultimately facing a 90-day suspension for crossing the 6 point threshold for the first time. The driver is also facing an additional 90-day suspension for excessive speed, for a total of a 180-day suspension.
TIPS FOR JUNIOR DRIVERS AND PARENTS MOVING FORWARD
First, the junior driver should immediately contact the Zuckerman Law Firm immediately at 412-447-5580 for a free consultation. Our office will advise you of the possible points and penalties associated with each traffic offense, and any potential license suspensions that may apply under the circumstances.
Second, the junior driver should enter a not-guilty plea on the citations by following the directions on the back of the citation OR by hiring a dedicated Pittsburgh traffic ticket attorney for representation. When ZLF is hired, our attorneys will handle the entry of the not guilty plea and scheduling of a court hearing on your behalf, so you can focus on your daily activities.
Third, the junior driver should order a copy of his or her driving record by visiting PennDOT's online driver services. This driving record should be provided to your attorney as soon as possible. Our office frequently reviews these records to determine if there are any existing points on the driving record.
Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, the junior driver needs to be cautious and exercise care in his or her driving habits moving forward, while refraining from engaging in traffic violations. This is critically important while your traffic case is pending in the courts.
Your best chance of avoiding license suspensions while reducing or eliminating points is by hiring a traffic ticket defense attorney to represent you before the Magistrate. Our office offers fair pricing and has successfully defended junior drivers in courts throughout Pittsburgh and Western PA. Call today - 412-447-5580.