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Expired Inspection Sticker and Fines

On Lawyer & Legal » Traffic Law

5,215 words with 4 Comments; publish: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 15:37:00 GMT; (80046.88, « »)

The state is: Pennsylvania

I was recently stopped for an expired Pennsylvania inspection sticker. The problem is that it had expired five months previous and I am absolutely amazed that I completely forgot to have this taken care of in a timely manner. Being forgetful in this type of manner is not like me, in fact, I always keep my car in good running condition and take care of all registration, inspections, etc. in a very timely manner.

I was given a citation and was informed that I would have to take care of this matter or risk being written up again, and that I was to contact the local county court house to find out how much the fine would be. Well, I did try and call them a day later and subsequently the day after that but could never get through. I did get my car inspected and it passed with absolutely no repair work needed. (Considering that I always keep my vehicle in good shape, it would have passed inspection even if I did take it in before the expiration date. And the inspection that I had performed prooves this.)

The day after I got my car inspected, I came down with a very serious viral infection and my doctor ordered bed rest for approximately 1-week. I couldn't even go in to work for all that time, that's how bad it was. Larengitus also set in which meant that I was literally out of touch with everyone for some time.

On the back of the citation it states that if I plead guilty (which I was) that I could do so by notifying the proper judge in writing and forwarding an amount equal to the total due as specified on the traffic citation. Well, the reason for my trying to (unsuccessfully) call the court office was to find out just HOW MUCH my fine would be. And since I had no luck in reaching them, and considering that I was very effectively "grounded" due to my health, I decided to send my notice in writing. But did not enclose any amount of money since I was also on a fact finding mission to find out just HOW MUCH I was to pay.

Two weeks go by, and I finally heard from the courts office in the form of a Notice of Trial Summary Case. Upon examination of the document, it stated the following:

"This court has received your plea of NOT GUILTY to the above summary violation(s). The sum of $.00 has been accepted as collateral for your appearance at trial."

Further down in the document it states: "Should you fail to appear for your trial, a warrant may be issued for your arrest."

The fact of the matter is that I took care of having my car inspected right away, and I also contacted the court offices, in writing, and within the stipulated 10 day timeframe. I notified them, in writing, that I WAS guilty and wanted to know HOW MUCH the fine would be considering I could not get in touch with them any other way. Since when (and WHY) can they change a GUILTY plea and acknowledge that they received my plea of NOT GUILTY when, in fact, I did NOT plea NOT GUILTY?! Since they did this in writing, could this be considered libel? And another thing, if there was a problem, they had my home phone number and could have called to discuss this issue.

I next contacted them again, in writing, to find out what is going on but still haven't heard from anyone. I simply wanted to find out HOW MUCH my fine was going to be, pay it, and be done with it.

Yes, I am guilty of not taking care of this situation when it was required several months previous. And again, I am absolutely amazed that I didn't notice this much earlier. I realize that I most likely will get points against my driving record (which has been very good over the past 10 years), but just HOW MUCH do you think I will have to pay in fines? Since I am late in having this taken care of several months ago, would there be any additional penalties apart from the usual fine for driving with an expired inspection sticker? This is all I wanted to know right from the beginning so I could avoid having to appear in court.

I happen to be quite broke right now with only a part time job assisting me with meeting my financial responsibilities and I cannot afford a fine that's going to cost me hundreds of dollars. Could I ask the judge for leniency in this case? May I ask to perform community service or even go to traffic school if it would mean the reduction of my fine?

Thank you!

The state is: Pennsylvania

All Comments

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    • Yes, if you pay, then you will not be required to go to court. Call and find out the fine. I don't even live in your area, so I don't know what it will be.
      #1; Mon, 09 Oct 2006 15:49:00 GMT
    • You will not have "points against your license" for an administrative violation. You can go to court to find out the fine. You can call until you reach someone to find out the fine.
      #2; Mon, 09 Oct 2006 15:39:00 GMT
    • Should I finally find out how much the fine will be, may I pay it to avoid having to appear in court? Would my doing this cancel the court trial? Any guess as to how much the fine might be?

      Thank you!

      #3; Mon, 09 Oct 2006 15:47:00 GMT
    • Why not just call the court clerk? Also,,if you plead guitly and ask defered payment you'll prob get it. Most judges are pretty happy with folks who seem responsible enough to come in and make the effort. K-
      #4; Mon, 09 Oct 2006 17:14:00 GMT