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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.
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We take on fewer clients than other firms. Each client works 1:1 on with one of our senior attorneys.
The motor regulations in Pennsylvania can be just as taxing to deal with as serious criminal charges. If you live in an area with lots of traffic cops, it is easy to land yourself on their radar. The problem is that you can be hit with fines, points on your record that can lead to suspensions, and increased insurance rates.
And if you fail to pay the fines, you can also have your license suspended and a bench warrant issued. Failure to attend any scheduled proceedings can, likewise, lead to additional charges for contempt of court and jail time. For all these reasons, you need to hire an experienced traffic violation defense attorney to reduce the penalties and points.
If you are charged with traffic violations, there are numerous defenses that an experienced traffic violation attorney can present in the Philadelphia courts. Let’s take a look at the major defenses below.
If you are receiving a fine from an aircraft that is enforcing the speed limit, it is quite possible for them to misidentify your vehicle. It is easy to lose track of vehicles when they look so similar from a distance. This is especially the case if you drive a popular color or model that blends in too easily with other traffic.
The VASCAR equipment that is used to record speeds has to be calibrated every 60 days. The police speedometers and the radar guns also have to be calibrated at least on an annual basis. If these devices are not calibrated, then the results cannot be used to establish a violation in the courts.
VASCAR operates like a stopwatch but is known to suffer from inaccurate readings when the distance being measured is too short. Because the validity of VASCAR is always in question, your traffic violation attorney can challenge the accuracy. Because Philadelphia police officers are now wearing body cameras, it is easier to challenge this aspect of the case if you denied that you were speeding when they pulled you over. Your attorney can seek the body camera footage and determine if other testing methods were used to measure speed before issuing a citation.
It is possible for the violation to be invalid because the paperwork and other aspects of the evidence are erroneous. This can happen when the readings are not taken in an environment that would produce reliable results. This can be at night, around a curve, or across a long highway divide. They can also mark down the wrong speed or make an inaccurate reading if they are distracted.
If the prosecuting officer is unable to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on every element, then you are not guilty of the offense. In order to contradict the testimony of police officers, you need strong objective reasons. For example, you can argue that you could not have been speeding due to a high volume of congested traffic. If you were speeding, that means that a thousand other motorists were also speeding.
You can always argue statutory interpretation factors when the speeding violation occurs in special circumstances. For example, if there was light traffic late at night and the road was wide open on a straightaway, did the legislature truly intend to criminalize speeding 5 miles over the limit with a stiff fine.
Some factors of statutory interpretation are based on the intent of the legislature, the evil to be remedied, absurd results, unreasonableness, or violating a constitutional right. When you apply these factors to certain situations, where it is safer to speed up or technically violate a law, the defendant should not be penalized.
For example, if you had to speed up briefly to avoid an accident or road hazard, these would all be justifications that would fail to establish the type of criminal intent that was intended by the legislature.