If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, it is likely that you have also been charged with one or more summary offense. A summary offense is a minor crime, for example careless driving or reckless driving, and often times, is the reason the officer pulled you over.
In Pennsylvania, after being charged with a DUI, or any crime for that matter, the first court appearance is normally at the District Court closest to where the incident occurred. Every person charged with a crime is entitled to a summary trial or preliminary hearing depending on the charges and this takes place at this court.
There are times when a DUI may get dismissed or withdrawn before or after a preliminary hearing. Sometimes, you still have to deal with the summary offenses after this happens. It is important to know that if the charges you are left with are careless and/or reckless driving, it is not something to take lightly.
Careless driving is defined by Pennsylvania statute as any person who drives a vehicle in careless disregard for the safety of persons or property. Along with court fines and fees, 3 points will be assessed on your license if you plead or are found guilty. It is important to be aware of your driving history as point accumulation could results in a license loss.
Reckless driving is considered a serious traffic offense and is defined by Pennsylvania statute as any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. If you plead guilty or are found guilty of reckless driving, along with court fines and fees, there is a six-month loss of license.