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Traffic Citation FAQs

Q. I was cited for a school zone violation, will I get points for that violation?

A. Yes. Pennsylvania assesses 3 points for exceeding the speed limit in a school zone plus an additional number of points depending on miles per hour traveled over the speed limit. Any motorist who receives more than 6 points for the first time is required to take a safe driving class or special examination.

Q. I was traveling in a line of cars. The officer pulled me over for speeding but didn’t stop the other drivers. Do I have a defense?

A. No. Pennsylvania recognizes the defense of selective prosecution, but it is extremely difficult to win. This is true even if you are an out of state motorist and believe you were pulled over just because of that fact. Even though selective prosecution may not aid your defense, it is possible that it could be considered as a mitigating factor by the judge.

Q. How do I get a postponement in City of Pittsburgh Municipal Court’s Traffic Court?

A. The postponement policy for the City of Pittsburgh traffic court as of March 1, 2009 consists of the following: you can fax a postponement request to the City of Pittsburgh Municipal Courts Traffic Division at 412.350.6725. The request must be in writing and received by 3:00 PM no less than two business days prior to the hearing. Make sure the fax is legible, contains your name, phone number, and citation number, and explains the reason for your postponement request. The City of Pittsburgh limits this process to the first request only. If you need a second postponement, contact Goldberg Legal Services immediately. Please note, you should always check with the court directly because court policies can change at any time!

Q. I’m an out of state driver who received a ticket in Pittsburgh. I can’t get back to Pittsburgh for trial. Can you still represent me?

A. Yes, Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure 454 and 455 permit a trial in the defendant’s absence as long as jail time is not involved.

Q. I was warned by the Court that my license will be suspended, but nothing has happened yet. What do I do now?

A. There is a significant legal distinction between when a license suspension begins, and when a motorist begins receiving credit for a suspension. Assuming that there is proper notice of suspension, a motorist must surrender his or her license to begin receiving credit time toward the suspension. There are many ways to surrender your license to PennDOT (courier service, certified mail/ return receipt requested), but always obtain written confirmation for your records. And, when possible, have PennDOT confirm that your license has been surrendered. You can never take too many precautions when it comes to the proper surrender of your license!

Q. I was caught for speeding in another state. Will I get points on my Pennsylvania Driver’s License for that violation?

A. No. Pennsylvania has entered into a Driver’s License Compact with many other states. However, under the current compact as of March 1, 2009, Pennsylvania is not obligated to assess points to motorists’ licenses. See, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1581. The ticketing state will notify PennDOT of the violation, but PennDOT will not assess you points for the violation. (However, it is possible that your insurance carrier will find out about the out-of-state violation).

Goldberg Legal Services LLC
Phone: 412-926-8898
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