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Traffic Violations Lawyer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Traffic violations are more than just a temporary charge—they can carry substantial consequences that may affect both your driving privileges and your finances. For Pennsylvania drivers, understanding the laws surrounding these infractions is essential to safeguard not only your rights but your peace of mind.   

At my firm, Natalie Snyder Law, I can help you through the challenges of traffic violations in the Keystone State, shedding light on the point system, fines, and the crucial steps for defense.

Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I proudly serve clients in Allegheny County, Butler County, Washington County, Westmoreland County, and throughout Western Pennsylvania.  

Understanding Traffic Violations 

Pennsylvania law categorizes traffic violations into various offenses, ranging from minor infractions to severe misdemeanors. A traffic violation occurs when a driver breaches the rules of the road and can be divided into two broad categories: moving violations and non-moving violations. 

Moving violations involve a vehicle in motion, such as: 

  • Speeding 

  • Running a red light 

  • Improper passing 

  • Driving under the influence 

  • Failing to yield to emergency vehicles 

Non-moving violations occur when the vehicle is stationary, such as: 

  • Improper parking, leading to parking tickets 

  • Equipment violations, such as a broken headlight or missing license plate 

The consequences of these violations depend on the severity of the offense and the driver's driving history, but can often result in monetary fines, points on your driver's license, or even the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.

At Natalie Snyder Law, I am committed to providing comprehensive guidance and assertive defense for those facing traffic charges, ensuring a thorough understanding and robust representation throughout the legal process. 

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Understanding the Pennsylvania Point System

When a driver commits a traffic violation in Pennsylvania, points are added to their driving record based on the severity of the offense. This is designed to track violations and identify drivers who may pose a risk on the road. Accumulating too many points can lead to anything from a hefty surcharge to license suspension. For instance: 

  • Minor offenses, such as speeding less than ten miles over the limit, might result in 2 to 3 points on your record. 

  • More serious violations, such as failing to stop for a school bus, could add 5 points to your record. 

  • Major offenses, like reckless driving, accrue a significant 6 points and potentially carry criminal penalties. 

When a driver accumulates 6 or more points for the first time, they will receive a written notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and will be required to pass a written examination to retain their driving privileges or attend a Driver Improvement School.

Three points will be removed from a driver's record every 12 months from the date of the last violation, but continued infractions could lead to the accumulation of additional points. 

At Natalie Snyder Law, I understand the Pennsylvania point system and I am dedicated to advocating for your rights and driving privileges with compassion and professionalism. 

Traffic Violation Fines and Penalties

Fines and penalties for traffic violations in Pennsylvania can vary depending on the nature and severity of the offense. Minor violations, such as speeding slightly over the limit, often result in fines that may seem nominal but can accumulate significantly over time, especially when court costs and surcharges are applied.

More severe infractions like driving under the influence (DUI) or reckless driving often carry heavier fines and may also lead to: 

  • Imprisonment 

  • Community service 

  • Mandatory completion of driving safety courses 

  • Increased insurance premiums 

The specific monetary penalty for each violation is outlined in Pennsylvania's vehicle code, and judges can impose fines within a given range for each offense.

For instance, fines for speeding can range from $25 to $500, depending on the speed over the limit and the specific zone in which the infraction occurred (e.g., construction zones, work zones, school zones).  

Conversely, DUI penalties are much steeper, potentially involving thousands of dollars in fines, the loss of driving privileges for a year or more, and mandatory alcohol treatment programs. 

Increased Insurance

Even if the fine seems manageable, the impact of points on your driving record can drastically increase your insurance rates. Insurers are likely to look less favorably on a driver with moving violations, and they may enact surcharges that can exponentially increase your annual premiums.  

Driving Safety Courses

Upon reaching 6 or more points for the first time, drivers face a mandatory examination to retain their driving privileges. If points continue to accumulate, or for certain high-level offenses, drivers face potential suspension or revocation of their driver's license, representing a significant impact on their ability to work, commute, and manage daily life. 

At Natalie Snyder Law, my mission is to minimize these potential consequences by providing knowledgeable, assertive legal representation. Whether you're contesting the charges against you or negotiating for reduced penalties, I'm ready to defend you to make sure your rights are protected. 

Disputing a Traffic Violation

If you've been charged with a traffic violation, you have the legal right to challenge it. In Pennsylvania, you have several options for contesting a traffic violation:  

  • Plea Bargaining: Negotiating a reduction in charges or penalties can be an effective strategy for avoiding points and minimizing fines. 

  • Taking a Driving Course: In some scenarios, completing a driving course can lessen the charge or points on your record.  

  • Representation: Many drivers choose to hire a traffic attorney who is experienced with Pennsylvania traffic law to present their case.  

Steps for Contesting a Traffic Violation

If you decide to challenge a traffic violation, here are the crucial steps to take:  

  1. Document Everything: If you plan to contest the ticket, gather as much supporting documentation as possible. This can include witness statements, photographs, or even dashcam footage—every bit helps build your defense.  

  2. File a Ticket Defense: Depending on the violation, you will, generally, need to plead not guilty in response to the citation and prepare to attend a hearing. At this hearing, you or your representative can contest the charges and present evidence to support your case.  

  3. Appeal the Verdict: If the results of your case do not go in your favor at the hearing, you can often appeal to a higher court for a retrial. Be sure to gather new evidence and prepare diligently for the appeal.  

  4. Consider a Plea Agreement: Working with an experienced traffic attorney, you can negotiate plea deals that could potentially avoid a trial and lead to reduced charges, fines, or points.  

Take Advantage of Legal Expertise

If you've been charged with a traffic violation in Pennsylvania, enlisting the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be critical to make sure your rights are protected. They understand local traffic laws, know what strategies work best, and have experience negotiating and litigating cases similar to yours.

At Natalie Snyder Law, I provide compassionate and assertive legal representation to those facing traffic charges, from minor infractions to more severe offenses. My goal is to help my clients minimize the impact of traffic violations on their records. 

Traffic Violations Lawyer Serving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

At Natalie Snyder Law, I am committed to providing comprehensive legal representation for drivers throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Contact me today to schedule a consultation and learn how I can help protect your rights and driving privileges. With Natalie Snyder Law on your side, you can feel confident in facing any traffic violation charges with assertive and professional support.