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Don't underestimate the toll of criminal charges in Pennsylvania

When people make a small mistake or seemingly harmless bad decision, they typically don't expect it to haunt them months or years later. Unfortunately, that can and does happen when that misstep is a criminal offense. 

For instance, failing to pay your E-ZPass tolls in Pennsylvania may not seem like it warrants criminal charges. However, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is cracking down on toll violations across the state, and so far, they have opened more than 120 criminal cases against egregious toll violators. 

According to sources, people owing more than $2,000 in toll fines can face criminal charges. In at least one case, a woman was charged with felony theft, which is a very serious offense in Pennsylvania. The penalties for a second degree felony theft offense can range from 90 days in jail to seven years imprisonment.

Toll violations may not seem serious or deserving of felony charges. However, authorities report that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has lost over $7.5 million in revenue from turnpike violations, which means they have millions of reasons to crack down on those who are among the worst offenders.

The theft charges are not the only penalties a person might face, either. People can face fines that continue to increase if a person does not pay them, and anyone who has at least six toll violations can have their license suspended.

If you are concerned about toll violations or any other types of theft charges in Pennsylvania, it is important that you not wait to explore your legal options. There may be ways to mitigate charges or penalties, but these options can become more limited the longer you wait. Talking to an attorney about defending yourself against such charges can help you protect yourself and your future.

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