Q: I was pulled over for going 10mph over the limit, but the trooper was kind and only gave me a ticket for going 9mph over as I have never had a moving violation on my record in the 19 years I’ve been driving. I deserve the ticket and will pay the fine, but I really do not want any points on my license as my insurance is already going up moving to Maryland. Should I mitigate the ticket to keep it off my record and the points off my license or just take the hit?(Pittsburgh, PA)
A: 6-10 miles over in PA is 2 points on your record. PA and MD have reciprocity through the IC. My guess is that PennDOT will assess 2 points when the information from the MD DMV is received. Plead not guilty, go to the hearing and ask the trooper if he can make it 5 over, so you get no points in PA. He may not care since he will get his conviction, MD will get its $ and you were nice.
Q: I need to transfer my boyfriend’s title to his car. I’m currently trying to sell his car, but he is going to be incarcerated for 8 months and I have potential buyer. How do I do the title change? (Baldwin Borough, PA)
A: You will likely need to take the title to the jail for him to sign and you may need to take a notary with you. You may also be able to have a Limited Power of Attorney drafted for him to sign which authorizes you to sign a title for him.
Q: If a 17-year-old with no license receives an underage drinking citation with an immediate loss of license for 3 months, but doesn’t get his license until he is 25, is the citation still valid?
A: Assuming you pleaded guilty or were found guilty of the underage drinking offense, the correlating driver’s license suspension from PennDOT does not take effect until the person gets a driver’s license, if they had none at the time of the offense. PennDOT doesn’t forget.
Q: I got a speeding ticket in Allegheny County, PA. The officer cited “Speeding 60 MPH Allowed 55 MPH”. He told that I was doing 78 MPH (He did put that on the ticket: actual 78 mph), he was giving me a break and there would be no points and record. Should I just plead guilty and pay the $150 fine or hire a lawyer to fight for it? (Youngstown, OH)
A: Unless a motorist has a bad driving, record was going excessively fast, or was a jerk to the officer, most officers will work out a speeding ticket to 5 mph and under to avoid points being assigned to the motorists driving record. Usually the officers only do this at the hearing. If you trust the ticket is indicated so, you could mail in a guilty plea and the required payment.
Q: I got caught with 2 grams of marijuana when I was driving. I already had my preliminary hearing where I signed a waiver saying I am eligible for the “probation without verdict” program. If I do this, will I have to go to rehab. I’ve been there, and it doesn’t help, that is where I got hooked again. And, I don’t have the money. Will I lose my license? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: If the judge orders drug and alcohol treatment, you will need to go. Otherwise, no. With Probation Without Verdict, there is no conviction. You cannot have your driver’s license suspended when there is no conviction. There are exceptions, such as when you refuse sobriety testing, but that does not apply to you. Make sure to expunge your record of this offense when your case is closed.
Q: It’s not the type of warrant where they come to your door. But I don’t want to go to Family Court to file for child support, if I’m going to get arrested. My son won’t have anyone to take care of him. I plan on handling the warrant when my mother comes to visit. Can I file for support without arrest? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: If the warrant was issued by a District Justice office for failure to appear, I would call the office. Most of the time you can reschedule a missed traffic hearing. This may involve paying the collateral deposit and pleading not-guilty. Once this is done the warrant would be cleared
Q: I was pulled over for speeding outside of Pittsburgh and was given a citation for 75 Pa. C.S.A § 3111 (a). The officer said he was giving me a break as it was a no point offense. As a Massachusetts driver, will this result in points being added to my Mass driving record? (Acton, MA)
A: It is a no point offense in PA. You need to ask a MA attorney as I only know PA law. In PA, when the DMV receives a notice of a conviction of a motor vehicle offense from another state, it is reviewed to see what the similar offense in the PA Motor Vehicle Code is. If it is in substance it is similar to a PA offense, the PA DMV will impose whatever sanction on the licensee that is fitting under the similar PA offense. If I had to guess, I would not imagine that the DMV of MA would take any action on such a relatively minor driving offense. Different story with DUI, Reckless Driving, Accidents Involving Death or Serious Bodily Injury, etc. Happy Motoring!
Q: I received a traffic ticket for speeding while driving under a suspended license (from a DUI). The police officer did not bring it up or address it in the fine, but rather wrote that I was speeding 22 mph over the speed limit. I thought I was getting a huge break but when I got home I noted no fine amount so that I may plead guilty, pay the fine and hope I am not caught in the process of the suspension? Being that this would add 4 points to my driving record, does that warrant a mandatory appearance in front of a judge or could I call the Clerk of Courts to get the fine amount, pay it, and move on? (White Oak, PA)
A: Your question is a little unclear. I suggest taking the citation to a lawyer. If you were cited for speeding, 3362 and driving under a suspended license, DUI, 1543 b, you have a problem. The speeding will carry a fine, but the 1543 for a first offense can result in a one-year license suspension, 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If you were cited only with speeding citation, and not a 1543 b, if you plead guilty and pay the speeding fine, the police cannot cite you thereafter for the 1543 as it would constitute double jeopardy and violate Criminal Rule of Procedure 109 and/or 110. However, what will likely happen is the cop will run your record after he gets back to the station, discover you are under and DUI suspension and cite you with a 1543 before you can get to court on the speeding offense.
MOTOR VEHICLE LAW, MAXIMUM SPEEDS, DUI SUSPENSION, 1543 (b), PLEA
Q: I have recently received a traffic violation for improper passing in a no passing zone (3307) which is correct. I’m pleading guilty and getting ready to pay the $25 fine along with the other costs that come with citations. I’m worried about the points that will end up on my driving record and if I will lose my license. Is there a way to get rid of the points? I’m a graduate student doing a clinical placement and this is my first traffic citation and I’m wondering if it’s even worth trying to get rid of the points since my placement is five days a week.
A: A violation of 3307 of the Motor Vehicle Code carries three points. If you plead guilty, this is what will happen. I would advise to plead “not guilty” and request a hearing. Unless you argued with the officer, he or she may work the case out to a lesser offense. It is common for attorneys to do this. It is quite possible that your charge could be amended to another offense that carries no points. Under the PA Motor Vehicle Code, 3 points come off your record for every twelve consecutive months in which you are not under suspension or revocation.
Q: There was construction leading to a highway coming home from work. They just recently put up a stop sign on the road where the construction was being completed on, as you merge onto the highway. I stopped at the sign and didn’t see anyone over on the freeway. I merged over to the highway quickly and hear someone honking. I look back and I assume the guy behind me had to hit the breaks to avoid me merging in the lane. We did not collide and didn’t come close. However, the woman in the car behind him must have been tailgating and slammed on the breaks and to avoid hitting the guy behind me, she steers right and drives into the lane that is blocked by traffic barriers. She hit an orange/white construction road barrier and quickly got out of her car and was giving me the finger. I don’t think much damage was done and can’t imagine anyone was hurt. I was going to pull over but there was no place to do so since the road next to me was blocked by construction barriers. I made the next exit turned around, got stuck in traffic before I could get back to the accident. By the time I got back, she was gone. I’m not totally sure if it was my fault. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: Section 3744 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code requires a driver of a vehicle which causes damage to another vehicle or property to give, at a minimum, his or her name, address and registration number of his vehicle. If that is not possible the statute requires the driver to forthwith report the incident to the nearest police department. My advice would be to report it to the local police department where this occurred or to the state police as soon as possible. Get a record of your report from the police if you can and keep it. There is a risk that you could be cited with a Motor Vehicle Code summary violation if someone took your license plate number. Also, you may want to report this to your motor vehicle insurance carrier. If you receive a call from the police do not offer to speak to them and call an attorney.