I Got a Ticket After a Traffic Stop! - Now What?



First you need to determine the type of paper issued. 

A written warning will look like this:


A citation will look like this:


A written warning may require you to make a correction and respond back to the officer within a specified time frame (up to 30 days).  Be sure to follow all of the instructions of the officer – they may ask you to register your vehicle, renew your driver’s license, obtain inspection, or fix a faulty light.  Any of these will require you to show proof to the officer that you made the corrections.  This can be accomplished by taking the warning notice to any police officer in PA and have them verify that you made the correction.  They will sign the written warning for you and you can then mail the signed notice back to the officer who stopped you.

A traffic citation is a charge a driver or vehicle owner receives for committing an offense under the vehicle code.  Most citations will have the fine and total amount listed on the right-hand side.  Some offenses require you to contact the judge to determine what the fine will be.  The phone number and address for the judge is in the upper left-hand corner of the citation.  If the violation assigns points on your license or carries a driver’s license suspension, this will not be noted anywhere on the citation.  The citation requires you to respond to the local judge to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, within ten days.  A plea of guilty requires you to make full payment on the citation and the case ends there.  A plea of not guilty requires you to make fully payment on the citation and you will be assigned a court date to bring your case in front of the judge.  If you are found not guilty, your money is returned to you.

For more information about how traffic citations can affect your PA driver’s license, please see PennDOT’s websites.  Click HERE for information about points.  Click HERE for information about suspensions.

As always, stay safe, slow down, wear your seat belt and put the phone down!

MEDIA CONTACT: Sergeant Michael T. Piacentino, W: 717-569-6401 Ext: 1583, C: 717-340-2130, piacentm@police.co.lancaster.pa.us