What Effect Will a Virginia Ticket Have On My Pennsylvania Driver License?
Both Virginia and Pennsylvania are members of the Driver’s License Compact, a compact designed to promote highway safety and traffic law obedience among motorists traveling outside of their home state. This means any tickets received in Virginia will be reported to Pennsylvania.
Per the Driver’s License Compact, certain serious offenses are required to be treated as if they occurred in the license holder’s home state. These offenses included Vehicular Manslaughter, DUI, Hit & Run, and any motor vehicle-related felony convictions. Pennsylvania would then impose the appropriate license suspension according to the laws of Pennsylvania.
As for minor traffic offenses, such as speeding or running a red light – the Virginia conviction is reported to Pennsylvania, but the Pennsylvania DMV chooses not to impose points for these out of state violations. For Pennsylvania license holders without a Commercial Driver’s License, these Virginia convictions are not even documented on your driving record. For Commercial Driver’s License holders, these out-of-state offenses are documented on your driving record, but no points are applied.
Does this mean you should just pay your ticket in Virginia?
The answer to this question will almost always be NO. For example, many Pennsylvania drivers are charged with Reckless Driving by Speed in Virginia. This is not a minor traffic offense, but a Class 1 Criminal Misdemeanor. Paying the ticket would result in a criminal conviction even if it would not be classified as a criminal offense in Pennsylvania.
Even for minor traffic offenses, there are various considerations even if Pennsylvania would not apply the ticket to your record. For example, are you planning to transfer your license to another state? If so, there is a chance that conviction could end up showing on a different state’s driving record.
We always advise speaking with a licensed Pennsylvania attorney if you require a more detailed analysis of the effect an out-of-state conviction will have on your Pennsylvania license.
In most cases, a Virginia traffic attorney can avoid the criminal conviction by either having the case dismissed or reduced to a minor traffic infraction. They can often do so without you having to travel back for the court date. Most attorneys will provide a free consultation during which you can get answers regarding your particular case, likely outcomes, and a fee quote.
If you are a Pennsylvania driver and have been charged with Reckless Driving, speeding, or another traffic violation in Virginia and would like to discuss your charge with one of our experienced attorneys, please give us a call at (804) 355-8037. We will give you a free consultation and can discuss our strategy for achieving the best possible outcome in your case.