The other day I represented a client at a district court hearing in Montgomery County. My client was issued three (3) citations back in September while driving home from the Philadelphia area. She was charged with 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3714, Careless Driving, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3310(a), Following Too Closely, and 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3362(a)(2), Speeding 88 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. Each of these citations carry a mandatory three (3) points, for a grand total of nine (9) points. After an initial accumulation of six (6) points, PennDOT mandates that a written exam be taken and passed; in the event a driver fails to take the exam or doesn’t pass the exam, their driver’s license become indefinitely suspended. Additionally, since the speeding citation was for exceeding 31 MPH, state law mandated a PennDOT departmental hearing if my client was found guilty.
I was prepared to fight the citations at a hearing, especially because at least two (2) of the citations appeared to be issued on information received. That is, the State Trooper may not have witnessed the traffic violations first hand. The witness who reported the erratic driving would need to be present to testify as to what took place; any testimony about what this witness allegedly “said” would be hearsay.
Nevertheless, I discussed with the State Trooper the option of working the case out to a lesser charge. I brought up the fact that my client is employed full-time, and my client was also smart enough to be very respectful to the State Trooper when she was initially pulled over. Based at-least in part on those two (2) factors, the State Trooper was willing to reduce the citations. Ultimately, we agreed that my client would attend a one-day safe driving school in Montgomery County; the cost of the driving school is $75, and, upon completion, my client will be issued a certificate by the school. I will then submit the certificate to the court. In exchange, the State Trooper agreed to withdraw the Careless Driving citation, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3714, as well as the Following Too Closely citation, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3310(a). Furthermore, the State Trooper agreed to amend the Speeding citation, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3362(a)(2), to Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3111(a). Importantly, this section of the vehicle code carries no points that would be applied to my client’s driver’s license.
My client was originally facing a possible nine (9) license points, a written exam administered by PennDOT, and PennDOT departmental hearing, which included the possibility of a 15-day license suspension. In the end, my client ended up having to attend a one-day safe driving school in Montgomery County. Additionally, my client will receive no (0) points on her license. She was, of course, extremely happy with the outcome of her case.
If you have been issued a traffic citation in Berks County or Montgomery County, please contact the firm to setup a no-cost consultation with one of our attarneys.