Frequently Asked Questions
I recently received a traffic citation, what should I do next?
Within 10 days, you must respond in writing to the appropriate Magisterial District Judge. (See Box #1 on the front of the citation for the district court number and box #2 for the district court address). To respond, you must plead NOT GUILTY or GUILTY. If you plead GUILTY, you must sign the bottom potion of the citation indicating a guilty plea and pay the total amount due as indicated. If you cannot afford to pay the entire amount due, you must go in person to the appropriate District Court and request a payment plan. If the total amount due is not indicated, then you must appear before the appropriate Magisterial District Judge to obtain your sentence. If you plead NOT GUILTY, you must sign the bottom portion of the citation indicating a not guilty plea and pay the required collateral. Generally, the Collateral equals the total amount due PLUS $8 (court costs). If you cannot afford the total collateral required, you must contact the appropriate District Court. If the total amount due is not indicated, then $50 collateral should be forwarded to the appropriate district court.
After I plead Not Guilty and post the collateral, what happens?
After receiving your not guilty plea, and collateral, the District Court will schedule a hearing and notify you by mail.
What happens to the collateral I posted after the hearing?
If you are found NOT GUILTY, the collateral you posted will be refunded to you. If you are found GUILTY, the collateral will be applied to total amount due.
I recently received a notice that my license was going to be suspended. What should I do next?
You must immediately respond to the District Court and follow the steps in the first question listed above. If you fail to respond within 15 days, the District Court will notify PennDOT to suspend your license. In addition, a Warrant will be issued for your arrest.
A warrant was issued for my arrest. What should I do now?
You must immediately respond to the District Court and follow the steps in question #1. If you fail to respond, a constable may place you under arrest and you will be brought before the appropriate Magisterial District Judge.
Will I receive points on my license if I plead guilty or am found guilty at a hearing?
Please refer to the PennDOT publication regarding points found at the bottom of this page.
Will my license be suspended if I plead guilty or I am found guilty at a hearing?
PennDOT determines whether or not to suspend a driver's license. We suggest you contact PennDOT at 1800-932-4600 to inquire about possible suspension.
How can I appeal the District Judge's ruling? Rule 207. Representation in Magisterial District Court Proceedings
Submit the Notice of Appeal for Summary Criminal Conviction Form. Please follow instructions on the form.
(A) In magisterial district court proceedings:
(1) Individuals may be represented by themselves, by an attorney at law, or by a representative with personal knowledge of the subject matter of the litigation and written authorization from the individual to appear as the individual’s representative.
(2) Partnerships may be represented by an attorney at law, a partner, or by an employee or authorized agent of the partnership with personal knowledge of the subject matter of the litigation and written authorization from a partner to appear as the partnership’s representative.
(3) Corporations or similar entities and unincorporated associations may be represented by an attorney at law, by an officer of the corporation, entity, or association, or by an employee or authorized agent of the corporation, entity, or association with personal knowledge of the subject matter of the litigation and written authorization from an officer of the corporation, entity, or association to appear as its representative.
(B) A representative, employee, or authorized agent may take no action on behalf of a party until the written authorization required under paragraph
(A)(1), (2), or (3) is filed with the court.
This rule is intended to permit a non-lawyer representative, employee, or authorized agent to appear on behalf of an individual, partnership, corporation or similar entity, or unincorporated association, but not to allow a non-lawyer to establish a business for the purpose of representing others in magisterial district court proceedings.
It is intended that the designation of a non-lawyer representative, employee, or authorized agent to represent a party is to apply only on a case-by-case basis. A party may not give blanket authorization for a non-lawyer representative, employee, or authorized agent to represent the party in all cases involving the party. As to ‘‘personal knowledge of the subject matter of the litigation’’ see Pa.R.E. 602 and Comment.
A business organized as a sole proprietorship may be represented in the same manner as an individual under paragraph (A)(1). See rules in Chapter 800 as to representation of minors and incapacitated persons by guardians.