Receiving a traffic citation in Pennsylvania is more than a mere inconvenience. These citations carry penalties that can extend beyond fines.
Ignoring traffic citations in Pennsylvania has serious consequences, It is important to understand the implications of failing to pay the citations and the impact it can have on one’s driving privileges and financial situation.
Points accumulation and the impact on your driving record
In Pennsylvania, traffic violations add points to a driver’s record. Should a driver accumulate six or more points, they must pass a written examination about safe driving practices or face a 15-day suspension. Accumulating 11 or more points results in an automatic suspension of driving privileges. Therefore, ignoring citations contributes to a point accumulation that could lead to suspension.
Financial implications and additional penalties
Failing to pay a traffic citation in Pennsylvania will result in added costs. The initial fine will accrue late fees and interest over time, significantly increasing the original amount owed. Moreover, if a citation goes unpaid, the court may refer the case to a collection agency, adding additional costs to the original fine.
License suspension and possible arrest
Beyond financial penalties, if a person fails to respond to a traffic citation, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation may suspend their driving privileges. Reinstating these privileges requires paying the outstanding fines in full, including any additional fees and a restoration fee to PennDOT.
In certain cases, failing to pay traffic citations can result in a bench warrant for arrest. While this is not common for minor traffic infractions, it becomes more likely for serious offenses or multiple unpaid citations.
To maintain driving privileges and avoid unnecessary costs, it is essential to respond to traffic citations promptly and responsibly. If you feel that you received a citation in error, it is important to contest the ticket instead of ignoring it.