Appeared at traffic court for a family member. The fine was $35 plus PA (“penalty assessments”). The clerk informed me that if I wanted to preserve my client’s right to “trial by declaration” I could not do so “OR” (own recognizance) and that I would have to put up bail. (Doesn’t sound right but that’s beside the question.) The question is how the hell does a $35 fine become nearly $300? It’s those pesky penalty assessments. Somehow somewise, somebody somewhere got this bright idea that PA could and should take a fine up over 400%. Excessive.