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Speeding Ticket Pennsylvania

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Junior Member
Does anyone know if i have the right to request a trial by peers for a pennsylvania speeding ticket, and if this is worth doing?


Senior Member
RandTalf said:
Does anyone know if i have the right to request a trial by peers for a pennsylvania speeding ticket, and if this is worth doing?
There is no such thing in the United States as "a jury of your peers".


Wikipedia got that one wrong.

Here's what the Constitution really says:

Amendment VII.

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Standard answer

Here are some hints on appearing in court:

Dress professionally in clean clothes.

Do not wear message shirts.

Don't chew gum, smoke, or eat. (Smokers...pot or tobacco...literally stink. Remember that before you head for court.)

Bathe and wash your hair.

Do not bring small children or your friends.

Go to court beforehand some day before you actually have to go to watch how things go.

Speak politely and deferentially. If you argue or dispute something, do it professionally and without emotion.

Ask the court clerk who you talk to about a diversion (meaning you want to plead to a different, lesser charge), if applicable in your situation. Ask about traffic school and that the ticket not go on your record, if applicable. Ask also about getting a hardship driving permit, if applicable. Ask about drug court, if applicable.

From marbol:


You forgot the one thing that I've seen that seems to frizz up most judges these days:

If you have a cell phone, make DAMN SURE that it doesn't make ANY noise in the courtroom. This means when you are talking to the judge AND when you are simply sitting in the court room.

If you have a ‘vibrate’ position on your cell phone, MAKE sure the judge DOESN'T EVEN HEAR IT VIBRATE!

Turn it off or put it in silent mode where it flashes a LED if it rings. AND DON'T even DREAM about answering it if it rings.”

(Better yet, don’t carry your cell phone into the courtroom.)”

Here are five stories that criminal court judges hear the most (and I suggest you do not use them or variations of them):

1. I’ve been saved! (This is not religion specific; folks from all kinds of religious backgrounds use this one.)

2. My girlfriend/mother/sister/daughter/wife/ex-wife/niece/grandma/grand-daughter is pregnant/sick/dying/dead/crippled/crazy and needs my help.

3. I’ve got a job/military posting in [name a place five hundred miles away].

4. This is the first time I ever did this. (This conflicts with number 5 below, but that hasn’t stopped some defendants from using both.)

5. You’ve got the wrong guy. (A variation of this one is the phantom defendant story: “It wasn’t me driving, it was a hitchhiker I picked up. He wrecked the car, drug me behind the wheel then took off.” Or, another variation: “I was forced into it by a bad guy!”)


Public defender’s advice


Other people may give you other advice; stand by.

When you go to court, plead not guilty and tell the judge you want a jury trial.


Senior Member
I am pretty sure that tickets in PA are listed as civil infractions. If that is the case, there is not a right to a trial by jury. Some states do allow jury trials but they list traffic tickets as criminal.

PA does not allow a jury trial at the traffic court level but you have the right to appeal for a new trial by jury in the Court of common Pleas. The officer is not required to appear at the traffic court level but he has to appear if you appeal.
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