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Quota-Driven Traffic Tickets — What are Your Options?

Do Police Officers Have Traffic Ticket Quotas?

It can often seem like police officers have either quotas or incentives related to the number of traffic tickets they issue. At certain times each month, they may set up traps in high traffic areas or zones where speeding is more likely. The question, of course, is so what? If you were speeding, does it matter whether the police officer had a quota?

Under Pennsylvania law, police departments (including the state police department) are prohibited from directly or indirectly ordering or encouraging officers to issue a given number of tickets. This includes setting “numbers” as part of a performance review, as well as offering bonuses or other rewards to those officers who issue the most traffic tickets.

And Pennsylvania police officers have a somewhat checkered history when it comes to the issue of quotas. A 2002 newspaper expose showed that state troopers were required to meet the “station average,” and could be subject to discipline for failing to do so. Officers told reporters that it was routine to be granted easy overtime pay if you met or exceeded unwritten quotas.

The unfortunate reality is that it will be extremely difficult to impossible to have a traffic ticket dismissed based solely on the argument that the officer was meeting a quota. Even those officers who admitted that they were forced to meet quotas still insisted that they only gave tickets to motorists who were in violation of the law. Nonetheless, the more tickets a police officer issues, the more times he or she will have to appear in court, should you decide to challenge the citation. One of the best ways to get your ticket dismissed is to request a hearing, as the officer who issued the ticket may not show up.

Contact the Law Firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP

At the Law Firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we have more than 30 years of practice experience. Contact us online or call us at 717-233-5292 to set up an appointment. There is no charge for your initial consultation. We are available to meet with you evenings or weekends upon request.

Nearly 70,000 Vulnerable Pennsylvanians Cut Off From Cash Assistance

Nearly 70,000 Pennsylvania residents have lost their cash assistance benefits due to the state’s elimination of the program. While this step will save the state approximately $150 million a year, the question remains: how badly will this draconian step impact the most vulnerable among us?

GA Cash Program Served the Needy Since Great Depression

The GA program, as it is called, had served the needy since the Great Depression. Those who had qualified for General Assistance included sick or disabled adults without children, survivors of domestic violence, adult caregivers for another disabled or sick person, and those enrolled in drug or alcohol or other treatment programs.

Ending the $200 Monthly Assistance Causes Serious Difficulty

The program had provided people who couldn’t work with $200 monthly, hardly enough to live on in any case. Many people believe that getting rid of the program will hurt innocent people who are already having serious difficulties in their lives.

The program had been scheduled to end on July 1, but Democrats obtained a one-month delay so that the Department of Public Welfare could actually notify those involved of the upcoming benefit loss!

Petition to Reconsider Elimination of GA Program

Many who work with those dealing with disability or work compensation issues expect that CareerLink and Social Security system will be overwhelmed with applicants. A variety of groups, including the PA Cares For All coalition, have protected this move. The PA Cares For All Coalition has started a petition to recall this move and offers other resources on its website. State Rep. W. Curtis Thomas has called for the governor to reconsider this drastic step.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney

Please contact the Harrisburg, PA, law firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP to schedule a free case evaluation with Roger Laguna or Laura Reyes Maloney: 717-233-5292. You may also contact us online.

Criminal Appeals

If you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you don’t have to simply accept the sentence handed down by the court. If there were mistakes made by the judge during the trial, you have the right to seek reversal from a court of appeals.

The appellate process is significantly different from the trial process. In an appeal, the court will only rule on issues of law, and never on issues of fact. Accordingly, you can only file an appeal if you believe there were errors of law at trial. These can include:

• Mistakes in allowing or denying the admission of evidence used to convict you. If evidence was illegally obtained, or is not relevant, and was allowed in over the objections of your attorney, you have a right to appeal. Likewise, if you have information that could have exonerated you, and the judge wrongfully denied its introduction, you can seek a reversal.
• Errors in the instructions given to the jury. In our criminal justice system, the jury determines the facts and the judge rules on the law. The judge will provide specific instructions to the jurors, telling them what the law is, should they make certain determinations of fact. Customarily, the judge asks counsel for the state and for the defendant to submit proposed jury instructions, and then approves them. As a result, mistakes can be made.

An appeal also differs from trial in that there is no jury. Your case will be heard by a single judge or by a panel of judges. If your ruling is overturned, your case will likely be sent back to the trial court for a new hearing.

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we offer a free initial consultation to every client. Contact us online or call us at 717-233-5292 to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys. We speak Spanish and understand the impact a criminal charge can have on your efforts to become or remain a permanent citizen.

Criminal Defense in Harrisburg, PA

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, our practice is focused on providing a strong criminal defense ? applying both our legal experience and attorney Roger Laguna’s work as a former police officer to our cases in the Greater Harrisburg community.

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