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If I can't post collateral for traffic tk I can't plead not guilty and so can't defend myself. Doesn't this infringe on my right

Philadelphia, PA |

Doesn't that infringe on my right to contest the accusation? Are not my civil liberties thusly abridged by the peons at the MDJ?

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Filed under: Civil rights
Attorney answers 2



Rule 413(a) allows a defendant to appear before the Magisterial District Judge, enter a plea, and post "such collateral for appearance at trial as the issuing authority shall require." Meaning that you have an opportunity to explain to the court why posting the customary collateral is a hardship.

This, of course, is no guarantee that the MDJ will agree that you have a hardship. But you absolutely have the right to make the request for an exception.


No, but good try. The rule allows you to go into the Judge and explain why you cannot post sufficient collateral to cover the cost of the ticket. *If* the Judge agrees with your explanation, he or she may allow an exception so that you can proceed and give a defense on the ticket.

You may be required to fill out a form verifying or swearing to your indigence, or proof of income/lack thereof. So be aware of that.

Good luck!