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Careless Driving section 3714a in PA. Had a sheet of paper propped between lap and steering wheel, which I had glanced at several times. Officer claims I was "reading" for 3/10 of a mile, which is about 16 seconds at 65 mph speed limit. There was no unsafe handling of vehicle (e.g. no speeding, no unsafe following distance, no leaving lane, no accident, etc.), and I responded within 2 seconds to officer's lights and began to pull over, demonstrating full attention to operation of vehicle. I do not feel I deserve 3 points. My opinion is the officer was assigning motives to actions that were never committed, and that there was no evidence whatsoever of "careless disregard for the safety of persons or property." In fact, I have not been anywhere near an accident for over 25 years... very safe record. Can I fight the points by appearing before the local magistrate? What is my best defense?
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There were no passengers with me at the time. I have heard that the court will not retract a citation once issued, as they need the revenue. If this is true, the suggestion was to ask the magistrate to reduce the citation to one that bears no points against my license, but which still requires payment.
Do you agree with the above strategy? If so, reduce to what charge? If not, do you believe the charge should be dismissed outright? (We are assuming the magistrate is a reasonable person, which may or may not be true).
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