Q: I have recently been charged with “Careless Driving” and “No Passing Zone”. This is the first time ever I have been guilty of anything. I was never drunk, nor arrested or fingerprinted or anything. The fine came in the mail because at the time cop pulled me over, I couldn’t find my registration. Anyhow, I am a medical student so I was wondering if it would show up on FBI background checks? Would it hinder my employment? This happened in the state of PA.
A: Most traffic offenses, such as these two, are not considered criminal offenses in PA. They will not show up on a criminal record check with the PA State Police. They will show up on a PA driver’s record, but again, they are not crimes. Please be aware that some no passing zone type offenses carry a driver’s license suspension that is not listed on your ticket, and is a separate matter handled administratively by PennDOT. Many times the unsuspecting motorist pleads guilty by mail and sends his or her money in, only to learn weeks later that PennDOT suspended his or her license. I would check to make sure this “No Passing Zone” offense does not involve school zones, school buses, construction sites, and other situations that may trigger such suspension. You should consult with a lawyer about the specific statute citation for which you are charged.