Recently, I (attarney Ryan W. McAllister), represented a client who was issued two (2) traffic citations: one (1) for careless driving, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3714(a), and one (1) for driving at a safe speed, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3361. The client, who at that time was not represented by an attarney, was found guilty of both citations at district court. Once the client retained my services, I promptly filed a summary appeal in the Berks County Court of Common Pleas.
Although these are relatively minor offenses, my client was looking at a significant effect on his ability to drive if he was convictions were upheld on appeal. My client was looking at accumulating five (5) points on these two (2) citations alone. Coupled with the fact that my client already had points on his driving record, he was facing the possibility of PennDOT issuing administrative sanctions and / or a suspension of his license. For a hardworking father who needed to drive to work to support his wife and children, this outcome was not an option.
On the day of the trial, I approached the police officer who issued the citations to discuss the possibility of a plea bargain. The officer was initially reluctant to reduce any of the charges. I explained that my client was employed full-time and needed to support his family. Additionally, I informed the officer that if we were not able to come to any type of agreement, I would be willing to argue both citations at a trial in front of the Judge.
Ultimately, I was able to convince the officer to dismiss the more serious citation, careless driving, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 3714(a). This saved my client three (3) points on his driving record, and he was able to continue driving without the threat of administrative sanctions and / or a license suspension from PennDOT. My client was very happy with the result, and he said his only regret was not hiring me to represent him at the lower level court.
If you have been issued a traffic citation in Berks County, please call the 610-372-5128 to setup a no-cost consultation at my office. There are many options to pursue before resigning yourself to “pleading guilty” to a traffic citation.