Our Philadelphia criminal lawyers have over 25 years
of combined legal practice – handling some of the
toughest cases in the country.
SKA Law is a premier, Philadelphia criminal defense law firm, founded by professional criminal attorneys. We take on cases other law firms turn down, because we know how to fight – and when to negotiate. Our goal is to get you the best outcome possible. No fluff. No nonsense. Our focus is results.
SKA Law takes on fewer clients than other firms – it’s because we believe that taking on fewer clients means we can provide more service, and better results.
Our firm has over 25 years of combined legal practice. Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys have been recognized by the top lawyer ranking services.
Our Philadelphia criminal attorneys are available 24/7- regardless of the holiday, or time of week. We are always available to help you.
We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
At the law offices of Amato T Sanita, Esq, this is more than just a slogan – it’s our philosophy, and belief. Our goal is to protect your freedom, and to ensure your future is protected. By working with our firm, you get legal representation when you need it the most for your criminal case in Philadelphia. We understand that dealing with the criminal system is overwhelming – the consequences cannot be underestimated. Regardless of whether it’s a small misdemeanor, or a severe federal crime, you need to understand the legal process – how it impacts you – and a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney, who will work for you. Our Philadelphia criminal lawyers treat each case as it’s own unique situation, and work hard to uncover evidence that will get you the best possible outcome. Founding partner Amato Sanita, understands that you’re very concerned about possible sentences, and issues in the future you might face. There are many aspects to a criminal defense case. Our goal is to show the court you didn’t commit the crime and/or don’t deserve the maximum sentence for the crime you’re accused of committing. Regardless of whether it’s a drug offense, assault charge, or bank fraud, our Philadelphia criminal lawyers work tirelessly to represent your interests in court.
Were you recently charged with a traffic violation? Depending on the circumstances, this could be a serious offense with very bad consequences. These could include getting more points on your driving record, being fined, or incurring an unpleasant hike in your car insurance premiums.
However, the consequences could be even more serious, including the prospect of having your driver’s license suspended for several months or a year. If you have enough convictions for prior offenses and enough points on your driving record, your license could even be permanently revoked.
There are several possible lines of defense that your lawyer can use in order to keep you from being convicted of a traffic violation conviction. These include the following:
You may be able to successfully deny that you committed the alleged violation. After all, you cannot be legally convicted of an offense you never committed.
Your lawyer can argue that the police officer who gave you the ticket made an error in judgment. This line of defense will tend to be contingent on your being able to prove that it was not your car that committed the alleged traffic violation.
Your lawyer can also claim that the equipment that was used to determine that you committed a violation was faulty. In the state of Pennsylvania, traffic violations, such as speeding, are usually tracked with a device called VASCAR. These devices must be calibrated every 60 days.
Likewise, radar guns and police car speedometers must be calibrated once a year. If the necessary calibration was not performed within that period, it will produce results that won’t hold up in court.
Police officers are only human. It’s inevitable that a certain amount of negligence or oversight will play a part in delivering faulty tickets from time to time. Your lawyer can exploit this possible factor in order to get your traffic violation revoked.
It’s entirely possible that the police officer who followed your car in order to determine that you committed an offense was distracted. They may not have followed you long or far enough to get a truly accurate reading.
There may be other factors that can skew the results, such as driving down a very dark highway or along a road that is curvy enough to cause the reading given by the equipment to be inaccurate.
The final thing to keep in mind is that before you can be convicted of a traffic offense, you must first be proven to be guilty. This proof must be strong enough to overcome all possible doubt.
Your traffic violation attorney will examine each and every aspect of the evidence that is presented against you. If there is reasonable doubt to be found, your lawyer will then present it to the court. This is one of your strongest lines of defense.
One thing is certain: You can’t afford to get too many points on your license. You can’t afford to pay a huge fine or get ordered to traffic school. And you certainly don’t want to be in a situation where your driver’s license is either suspended or revoked.
This is the time for you to hire a lawyer from our firm. We will do all in our power to get your traffic violation either revoked or, at the very least, reduced as far as possible. We will work to make sure that you don’t accumulate traffic points that could cause you to lose your license. Get in touch with us today for more info.
Did you recently receive a ticket for following too closely behind another vehicle? This may have come as the result of an accident after you were tailgating the car in front of you. If the driver of that car suddenly slammed on their brakes and you hit them, this is reason enough for a police officer to issue a ticket for this offense.
One Ticket is Too Many, But Two or Three Can Be Much Worse
While following too closely isn’t a felony that will send you to the big house, it can be costly. A ticket for the average minor traffic violation can quickly lead to two or three if you aren’t careful. And, from there, other problems, such as a hike in your insurance payments, can quickly follow.
It can get even worse, though. A ticket for following too closely, if it indeed does follow too closely on a series of other tickets, can net you a huge fine and the suspension or even revocation of your driver’s license. If you find yourself at risk of a costly fine or the suspension of your license, you need to see a lawyer fast.
What is the Definition of Following Too Closely?
Following too closely cannot exactly be precisely defined in legal terms. Each case will vary depending on the judgment of the police officer who chooses to issue you a ticket for this offense. Usually, you will be ticketed if the officer decides that you are following a vehicle more closely than is “reasonable and prudent.”
Are There Any Exceptions to the Rule?
There may be several instances where you can argue that you had no choice but to follow another vehicle more closely than you would have normally done. For example, if an accident occurred while you were behind another vehicle in bumper to bumper traffic during the height of rush hour, “following too closely” may not apply.
If you are driving on a road where there has been an accident, you can usually avoid a ticket for following too closely. Likewise, if the road you are driving on is under intense ongoing construction, you may well be obliged to drive very closely behind the car ahead of you. This is also a case where following too closely will not apply.
What is the Penalty for Following Too Closely?
The penalty for driving too closely is to have three points added to your driving record. In and of itself, this is no big deal. However, if you have had other tickets in the past, a further three points on your record could put your license in serious jeopardy.
Imagine being forced to attend traffic classes that cost big bucks. This is on top of the already hefty fine you may receive. And all of this would be in consequence of getting your license back after a suspension. When viewed in this light, a seemingly minor offense can become quite crucial.
What Can a Traffic Violation Lawyer from Our Firm Do for You?
If you receive a ticket for following too closely, you can choose to pay the fine or fight it. If you do choose to fight it, you will need to show substantial proof that the ticket was unjustified. This is the kind of situation where the help of a traffic violation attorney from our firm will be essential.
We will work with you through every step of the process from start to finish. Our goal will be to discredit every piece of evidence that isn’t in your favor. We will show all of the evidence that does seem to be in agreement with your argument that the judgment of the police officer may have been faulty.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about what we can do to get your ticket erased from your record.
If you choose to operate a motorized vehicle in the state of Pennsylvania, then you are agreeing to obey the rules of the road. To be fair, there are many of these to keep in mind. Primary among these is what to do when you approach an intersection. On many major roads, you will have a traffic light that will indicate when you need to stop and when you can safely proceed. For other times, there will be a stop sign. There are actually quite a few different duties that the driver has when approaching a stop sign. If you obey them, you have nothing to worry about in terms of getting a citation.
The issue is that even the more conscientious of drivers are bound to make a mistake at some point. You might get distracted when you come to an intersection and drive right through the stop sign. If a police officer happens to see you do that, you will likely see the dreaded flashing lights in your rearview mirror before you know it. This will often result in a traffic citation. If you get too many of these, your driving record will be adversely impacted. This will bring a number of negative consequences your way, so it is important to have a lawyer fight the citation on your behalf. Continue reading to learn how a lawyer can help minimize the consequences of failing to abide by your duties at a stop sign.
Here Is Some Important Information
It is often beneficial to receive a refresher on what you should do when you approach a stop sign in Pennsylvania. In most cases, you are expected to come to a full stop whenever you come to a stop sign. The notable exception is when a police officer or other duly assigned individual waves you through the intersection without stopping due to one reason or another.
There are some other things that you will want to keep in mind. Many intersections do not a line that indicates where you are to stop. If that is the case, then you will need to come to a complete stop prior to the point that you touch a crosswalk. If there is no crosswalk either, then you will want to come to a complete stop prior to reaching the nearby intersecting road where you can have a clear view of any traffic that is approaching.
It is not enough to just stop at the sign itself. There are still some other duties that you must perform. Before you proceed, you must have a clear view of approaching traffic. If you do not, then you are required to first yield the roadway to any pedestrians that are present. Once they are clear, then you need to pull forward very slowly until such point that you are able to clearly see there is no oncoming traffic and that is safe to proceed. The bottom line is that you cannot leave the area behind the stop sign until it is obviously safe to do so.
What Happens Next?
If you are pulled over by the police for failing in your duties at a stop sign, do not panic. Just turn off your ignition and wait for the officer to approach the vehicle. You should not get out of the car unless directed to do so. Be polite to the officer at all times. Whatever you do, avoid the temptation to try and talk your way out of being issued a citation. At the same time, respectfully decline to answer any questions and inform the officer that you will wait for your lawyer to consult with you.
As soon as you possibly can, contact our office so that we can begin to mount your defense. It is important to fight the charges leveled against you. A guilty conviction will result in points being added to your driving record, and you want to avoid that.
No matter how long you have been driving, you are subconsciously aware of the variety of traffic devices that are on the road alongside you. Typically, you obey these without even thinking. They become second nature. At the same time, you may have lost sight over just how important they are. You might even be tempted to coast through that stoplight in the middle of the night when nobody else is on the road. You might even be distracted and go through a light without even being aware it is there.
These devices are on the road for a reason, and they are a primary target of law enforcement officials. If you disregard any of these devices, no matter what the reason might be, you have opened yourself up to receiving a possible citation. This is no laughing matter. You know it’s not. At the same time, you need to fight the violation as it will impact your driving record when it is all said and done. If you were to receive several such moving traffic violations in quick succession, you could open yourself up to higher insurance premiums and a possible suspension of your license. This is why you will want to have a lawyer working on your behalf to fight any such traffic violation that you receive.
Information Relating to Disregarding a Traffic Device
The most common traffic device that is ignored is the traffic light. Typically, you will receive a citation for this offense when you are observed driving through a red light before it has changed colors. You will want to remember that you must stop at a blinking red light as well. If you fail to come to a full stop before proceeding through such an intersection, you can be cited for this traffic offense as well.
The state of Pennsylvania is also quite clear on what you must do if you approach a traffic light that is obviously broken. If you do approach such a device, you are required to come to a full stop before proceeding. If you fail to do that, the police have grounds to issue you a citation. You can also be cited if you make a right turn on a red light when there is a sign indicating that you are not permitted to do so. Remember that you may only turn right on red if you first come to a full stop and there is no sign prohibiting the action.
Why Is This Important?
You will not want to make the mistake of thinking that this type of moving violation is minor and not worthy of much concern. The truth is that a citation for disregarding a traffic device will result in a few points being added to your driving record if you are convicted. These points can cause your insurance rates to go up. If you accumulate too many points, you will have to take a written exam again. If you cannot pass it, your license will be suspended until you are able to. In short, you need to fight such citations in order to prevent these points from being added if at all possible.
What Should You Do?
If you are pulled over by the police for disregarding a traffic device, you will want to come to a safe stop and turn off your ignition. There is no reason to get out of the car. You will want to respectful with the police. Do not argue, and do not try to talk your way out of the ticket. At the same time, do not answer any questions. Let the police know that you have a lawyer working on your case. That is when you will want to contact us so that we can immediately begin to examine the evidence in your case. We will propose a defense strategy to pursue and then begin our work to get the situation resolved for you.
America is a wonderful country to drive in. If you have a valid license in one state, you are free to drive anywhere. However, that does not mean that you do not have to follow the laws of each respective state that you are in. Since Pennsylvania has some traffic laws that are different than other states, you might find yourself getting issued a traffic violation. You might also find yourself with a citation for a law that exists your home state as well. This is equally true if you are a Pennsylvania driver.
If you are issued a ticket outside of the state, you might just hope that your home state will not find out about it. That is why we want to let you know that Pennsylvania is part of an agreement involving 46 states. They share driving information with one another, so chances are good that you will be caught. When you have a ticket to contest out of state, you need a professional lawyer to help you.
What Is the Multi-State Information Exchange?
If you have never heard of this type of information exchange, you will really want to pay attention here. This is a group of 46 states, of which Pennsylvania is a part of, that has formed an agreement referred to as the Driver License Compact. This agreement is designed to help each state access information about certain traffic violations and convictions that have occurred in other member states.
What does this mean for you? It means that receiving a traffic violation in a state that has signed onto the DLC will result in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation being automatically informed of the charge. It will likely be added to your driving record in the state, so this could come back to haunt you at a later date. It can get even more severe. If you commit a violation in another state that results in the suspension of your driver’s license, then Pennsylvania will likely suspend it as well.
Under this agreement, it is important to keep in mind that even minor traffic-related offenses will be reported to the state of Pennsylvania. However, it is not common that they will be added to your established record. The exception to this rule is if you are in possession of a commercial driver’s license.
Why Is All of This Important?
As you may be aware, Pennsylvania operates on a points system when it comes to retaining your driving privileges. If you accumulate too many points, then your license may be eventually suspended. You will also find that your insurance rates will eventually go up if you have too many accumulated points. Since the state of Pennsylvania has the prerogative to add points to your record based on violations in other states, it important to take notice.
It does not matter where you receive a traffic violation if it is within the 46 states that are a part of the multi-state information exchange. Your insurance company will find out about it. When that happens, you might be looking at a rate increase. If your license is suspended in a state other than Pennsylvania, your name will be added to the National Driving Register and any state will be able to access it. The moral of that story is do not drive on a suspended driver’s license, no matter what state you in.
Consult With a Lawyer
Receiving a traffic violation in any state can have ramifications on your driving record. You want to keep that as clean as possible for obvious reasons. You might not be able to fight every ticket you receive out of state because of distance and other practical considerations. That does not mean you want to just leave them be or pay them out of your own pocket. Hand this over to our office and we will fight on your behalf and see what we can do.