Did You Get an Unjust or Questionable Traffic Ticket?
It’s probably that time of the year again when police departments may implement their holiday traffic citation quotas. Typically, in Pennsylvania, these quotas go into effect on December 1st and run through New Year’s Day. You may however, start to see an increase in police activity starting as early as November!
If you’ve been unjustly given a traffic citation during this period, you may not be alone. Some people may be wrongly cited for minor infractions. But there is good news: in some situations, you may fight these citations and try to get them reduced or dismissed. Here’s what you need to know about holiday traffic citation quotas for 2022.
What Are Holiday Traffic Citation Quotas?
A holiday traffic citation quota is an unofficial goal set by a police department for the number of citations they issue during a specific period of time. This period is typically from December 1st through New Year’s Day.
The reasoning behind these quotas may be two-fold: general additional revenue and fewer accidents.
Why Are Holiday Quotas a Thing?
The simple answer is that police departments need to generate revenue, and traffic citations may be one of the easiest ways to do that. But that isn’t the only reason. Perhaps, it’s because when people hear about how many traffic tickets are issued during the holidays, it serves as a deterrent to reckless or careless driving. It makes people think twice before they get behind the wheel after having maybe one too many eggnogs.
Are Holiday Quotas Legal?
Well, Yes? Maybe? There are about 11 states that have recently/currently taken/taking steps to end ticket quotas, including Pennsylvania .** Some states have outlawed them; but in those states, it is possible police departments find other ways to get the message across.
**States include Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (House Bill134 would outlaw any quota order, mandate or requirement). The protection would forbid law enforcement agencies form directly or indirectly, suggesting to any officer that the officer issue a certain number of citations over a specified period of time.
What Happens If I Get Pulled Over During the Holiday Period?
If you are pulled over and issued a citation during the holiday quota period, it may be worth evaluating whether or not it is invalid. Have an attorney take a look. This is because the quotas may very well put pressure on officers to issues as many as possible. As a result, perhaps citations are given for minor infractions.
If you have been given a holiday traffic citation, you have the right to fight it in court. An experienced attorney can analyze it and determine whether you have a good case and increase the chance of getting the charges lowered or citation dismissed.
But, You Should Also Know…
Most alleged offenses occurred during the month of May, not the holiday season! The Pennsylvania Courts released on February 18, 2022 a infographic; and it seems, per the Release, that in 2020, the alleged traffic offenses decreased by 36% from the previous year. So, check out this infographic.
Credits to InfoShare Pa Courts. PA Courts InfoShare is a monthly product of the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC) that visually highlights the work of the courts with interesting data and statistics obtained through the judiciary’s case management systems, interactive dashboards and other research. Reproduction is permissible with source cited.
Your Next Step?
Don’t let a holiday traffic citation ruin your holidays. Fight back! If you have been cited during this period, contact one of our experienced traffic attorneys, Daniel C. Bardo or Anthony diDonato or Christopher M. Patterson today. With their help, you may be able to get the citation dismissed and put this stressful experience behind you.
Wishing you all a safe and happy holiday season! Pyfer Reese Straub Gray & Farhat PC happily accepts virtual consultations, or you can reach us by phone or in person at one of our 3 convenient locations. Contact our team of Attorneys today for more information.
Waiver: Nothing in this blog is intended to be legal advice. Contact the attorneys/Firm to discuss your particular case and matter, recognizing the law is constantly changing and may impact your rights.