OUT OF STATE DRIVER WITH TRAFFIC CITATION IN PITTSBURGH & WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
If you're an out of state driver without a Pennsylvania driver's license, or have a Pennsylvania driver's license but live out of state, you may be wondering what consequences you're facing for a traffic ticket received in Pennsylvania, and if you can contest the ticket without having to travel.
OUT OF STATE DRIVERS CAN RECEIVE POINTS AND SUSPENSIONS FOR PENNSYLVANIA TICKETS
The Interstate Drivers License Compact (DLC) is an agreement between 45 member states, whereby each member state agrees to provide information to a driver's home state regarding traffic violations and license suspensions. Wisconsin, Tennessee, Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts are not members of the DLC.
Under the DLC, some states (including Pennsylvania) will only impose penalties for major violations (i.e. DUI) which occurred out of state. However, other states will impose points and penalties for any traffic offense which occurs out of state if the elements of the Pennsylvania offense are similar to the elements of the offense out of that state. As an example, the statute language regarding speeding is often similar among member states.
If you receive a ticket in Pennsylvania, and are found guilty or plead guilty, Pennsylvania will notify your state about the violation. The Department of Transportation can then add this offense to your driving record, along with points or a suspension. Also, the failure to respond to a Pennsylvania citation can lead to you losing your license in your home state.
CAN A PITTSBURGH & WESTERN PA TRAFFIC TICKET DEFENSE ATTORNEY GO TO COURT FOR ME?
Under Rule 455 of the PA Rules of Criminal Procedure, the court may hold a summary trial (i.e. traffic hearing) in the Defendant's absence. However, there is no rule that specifically allows a lawyer to waive a client's appearance at a summary trial.
Even without a rule in place, the Zuckerman Law Firm has had success convincing Magisterial District Judges to not require the appearance of out of state clients. Examples include:
- Speeding and Driving Without Insurance for an Illinois Resident: An IL resident was facing a speeding ticket and driving without insurance violation, which carried 20 points and a suspension in his home state. Our firm entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and received permission from the Court to not have him appear. Result: Ticket reduced to a 5-point offense in Illinois, the lowest possible point total for a moving violation.
- Speeding for a resident of Miami, Florida: A client with a PA license who moved to Miami was cited with speeding. The Court granted permission for him not to appear. Result: Ticket reduced to a 5mph over offense, carrying no points on driving record.
- Speeding for a PA Resident Deployed on Active Military Duty: A PA resident was recently cited for 20MPH over, facing 4 points. Court agreed to waive appearance. Result: Pending
- Speeding & Careless Driving for a Washington DC Resident: Washington DC Resident was cited for speeding and careless driving. Court agreed to waive appearance. Result: 0 point ticket.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I RECEIVE A TRAFFIC TICKET IN PA AND LIVE OUT OF STATE?
First, you should conduct research and talk to a local traffic lawyer in the state where you are licensed, to determine if the PA traffic ticket will carry points or a license suspension. Many states have prepared "fact sheets" describing traffic ticket points and penalties, which are available online.
Second, you should contact your local DMV or Department of Transportation to obtain a copy of your driving record and points record, to see if you have any existing points on your record.
Third, you should contact the Zuckerman Law Firm at 412-447-5580 for a free consultation on your Pennsylvania traffic ticket. We are a full-service traffic ticket defense firm that can handle the following tasks for you:
- Enter a not-guilty plea on your behalf and request a waiver of collateral payment;
- Request a waiver of your appearance at your traffic ticket hearing and permission to offer evidence on your behalf;
- If required to appear, to schedule your traffic ticket hearing for a more convenient date and time;
- To minimize or eliminate points or suspensions, negotiate with the police officer and Court for a reduced traffic offense.
We offer competitive rates and payment plans on a case by case basis. If you're an out of state driver looking for help dealing with a traffic ticket in Pittsburgh or Western Pennsylvania, call the traffic ticket attorneys of the Zuckerman Law Firm at 412-447-5580 today.