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Pennsylvania Traffic Courts

Many people who get a speeding ticket decide that they do not want to simply accept the penalties of their ticket at face value. Pennsylvania law allows people who have gotten speeding tickets to contest their tickets in court and have their case heard by a judge. In court, you have a chance to try and get the penalties from your ticket reduced or even to have your ticket dismissed altogether, especially if you enlist the help of a speeding ticket attorney.

In Pennsylvania, traffic tickets are heard in the Magisterial Court for your district or in the Philadelphia Municipal Court if you live in the city. These are specific courts that handle traffic cases (among others) in the Pennsylvania judicial system. When you decide to contest your traffic ticket, you will be given a court date at your district’s Magisterial Court, where you will have to appear and speak before the Magisterial Court judge to explain your side of the story.

In most cases, the police officer who wrote your ticket will also be there on your court date to speak before the judge as well. The officer will also explain to the judge why he or she wrote you your speeding ticket.

It is important to know that the odds are not in your favor when you go into traffic court unrepresented. Statistics have shown that judges are generally more likely to believe what the police officer says than what you say if you are trying to defend yourself. From the judge’s perspective, it is easier to believe the word of a police officer than of someone who was supposedly caught speeding.

However, your chances greatly improve if you have an experienced Pennsylvania speeding ticket lawyer with you in court to represent you and to provide you with a solid defense against the word of the police officer. Your lawyer will have the chance to cross examine the police officer and find out if there is any cause to believe that your ticket may have been written in error or that you do not deserve the full extent of the penalties that come with your speeding ticket. A judge is much more willing to consider a solid defense developed by an experienced lawyer than someone who simply tries to defend themselves. If presented with evidence and a strong argument, your judge is likely to decide that you do not deserve the full penalties of your speeding ticket or even that your ticket was issued incorrectly.

If you have gotten a speeding ticket, be sure to understand what kinds of penalties are associated with your speeding ticket — how many points will be added to your record, how expensive your fine will be, and any other consequences such as increased insurance premiums, surcharges, or a license suspension. Your speeding ticket lawyer can assist you with this as well. Then, you need to begin meeting with your lawyer to plan your defense

Here are a few helpful tips to know before your court date:

  • Be on time. Do not be late to your court date, as the judge is likely to hold your tardiness against you. Make sure you know exactly where the court is located so that you give yourself enough time to get there.
  • Dress professionally. Just as being on time matters, so does how you appear. Wearing nice clothes shows the judge that you are taking the hearing seriously.
  • Rehearse with your lawyer. Before you go into court, you need to carefully over your defense with your attorney. This includes knowing what kinds of questions you will be asked and practicing your answers so that you sound natural and confident before the judge.
  • Relax. Most importantly, do not panic or worry unnecessarily about your hearing. With the help of an experienced speeding ticket lawyer, you have an excellent chance at getting your penalties reduced or your ticket dismissed.

Call our offices today to begin planning your defense for your court date.

To learn more about the Pennsylvania court system 

Magisterial Courts by County:

Adams County

Allegheny County

Beaver County

Blair County

Bucks County

Butler County

Centre County

Chester County

Dauphin County

Delaware County

Erie County

Fayette County

Lackawanna County

Lancaster County

Lebanon County

Lehigh County

Luzerne County

Lycoming County 

Mercer County

Monroe County

Montgomery County 

Northampton County


Schuylkill County

Westmoreland County

Washington County

York County