Chester County Driving on Suspended License Attorney
Pennsylvania Penalties for Driving on a Suspended License
If you are arrested for driving while your license is suspended or revoked in Pennsylvania, you face the potential for serious penalties. Apart from the possibility of jail time and heavy fines, your driving record can be seriously affected and your criminal background can also impede future opportunities for years to come.
In order to avoid these daunting consequences, you need the help of an attorney who is familiar with Pennsylvania’s traffic laws. And criminal charge can be overwhelming, but a skilled lawyer can guide you through the confusing process ahead of you and get you started on the right track to defending your future.
Pennsylvania drivers who operate their vehicles without a valid license is a growing concern for state officials. This type of violation is considered an “invisible” violation, because, unlike speeding, or other traffic offenses, a patrol officer cannot readily observe a driver who is driving without a valid license. In most all cases, the lack of a driver’s license only comes to light after the driver is pulled over for another offense.
A study done two decades ago estimated that as many as 80 percent of those who don’t have a valid driver’s license drive anyway. It is hard to say what that number is today, however the NHTSA estimates that as many as 18 percent of all fatal crashes involve at least one improperly licensed driver. In 2007, it was estimated that more than 10 percent of Pennsylvania’s 8.5 million licensed drivers were under suspension. Pennsylvania drivers who drive while their license is suspended can face serious consequences, including a jail term if the suspension is DUI-related.
Those who have had a driver’s license suspension face a number of problems, particularly if they live in rural areas where they cannot rely on public transportation to get to and from work, to school, or even to go to the grocery store. We are a nation of drivers, with 253 million registered vehicles in the United States. Even in more populated areas which have public transportation, the majority of adults own a car, and use that car regularly. So, just how much trouble are you in, if you have been cited for driving on a suspended license in the state of Pennsylvania? That depends on the circumstances surrounding your suspension.
West Chester Suspended Drivers License Attorney
The experience legal team at Ciccarelli Law Offices has taken on traffic cases across Pennsylvania, including those involving a suspended or revoked license violation. We know exactly what you’re up against and what is necessary to proactively defend you. Let us take on your challenging situation and reduce your stress.
Call (610) 692-8700 today to schedule your free consultation with our attorneys. We can thoroughly analyze the details of your situation and give you an honest assessment of the process ahead of you. Let us help you chose the best way to proceed and guide you through this daunting situation.
Typical Reasons for a Pennsylvania Driver’s License Suspension
Your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked for specific driving offenses, some criminal convictions, or certain other matters, such as child support arrears. Like many states, Pennsylvania has a points-based system for determining when a driver’s license may be suspended. When 11 or more points accrue on your driving record, your license may be suspended under 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1539. The length of your suspension will depend on the number of points you have accumulated, and whether you have a prior suspension. Further, the state of Pennsylvania may deem you a habitual offender if you have accrued a number of convictions related to:
- Some traffic accidents
- Driving while under the influence
- Serious traffic offenses
- Driving while your license is revoked or suspended
Your driver’s license could also be suspended if you fail to respond to a summons ordering you to appear for a traffic violation, or if you fail to respond to a citation. Some criminal convictions in the state of Pennsylvania can also trigger a license suspension. These include:
- Homicide by vehicle
- Aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence
- Any felony in which a vehicle was used to facilitate the crime
- Careless driving
- Reckless driving
- Racing on highways
- Some accidents which involve property damage, injuries or a fatality
Driving on a Suspended License for a Non-DUI Reason
Under 1543a, there is no mandatory sentence for a first offense of driving on a suspended license (non-DUI-related). That being said, some district courts in the state can and do sentence offenders to jail time, and you could face up to 90 days in jail and a $200 fine, as well as a suspension of at least one additional year. Subsequent offenses of driving on a suspended license are punishable by up to six months in jail.
Defenses to Driving on a Suspended License for a Non-DUI Reason
In order to prove your guilt for the offense of driving on a suspended license for a non-DUI reason, the state is required to show that you had actual notification of the suspension from PennDot. The fact that the notification was mailed may not be sufficient, however if you move, and neglect to change your address, the notification can be mailed to your old address and it will be considered sufficient. In other words, while it is possible that you truly had no notice of your suspension, it could be difficult—but not impossible—to prove. Many people are also under the mistaken belief that as soon as their year’s suspension is up, they are automatically reinstated to drive. This is not true, and has caused many drivers to end up with an additional suspension simply because they did not know they had to have their license restored by PennDot. Usually, this is as simple as sending in a form with a fee of $25.00, but it is important that you not start driving until you receive notification from PennDot.
Driving with a Suspended License Following a DUI Suspension
The penalties for driving with a suspended license when the license was suspended as a result of a DUI are much harsher than non-DUI suspensions. If you are found driving on a suspended license after a DUI conviction, you could be charged with a summary offense, and could receive a sentence of between 60 and 90 days in jail, and a $500 fine. If you are found driving on a suspended license after a DUI conviction, and you have a certain amount of alcohol in your system when you are stopped (over 0.02%), you could face jail time of at least 90 days, and a $1,000 fine.
If you are convicted of this offense for a second time (a third-degree misdemeanor), you could face at least six months in jail, and a $2,500 fine. A third offense is a first-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction could cost you up to $5,000 in fines and at least two years in prison. With any of these convictions, you could also have your license suspended or revoked for an additional length of time, and, in certain situations, your vehicle may also be impounded.
Pennsylvania Driving With License Revoked Information Center
- How do licenses get suspended or revoked in Pennsylvania?
- What consequences does a motorist face for driving on a license suspended or revoked for non-DUI reasons?
- How is a driver punished for operating a vehicle after his license has been suspended or revoked for DUI or related offenses?
Reasons for a License Suspension or Revocation in Chester County
A person may have their license suspended for many reasons, including:
- Refusal to submit to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test
- Conviction for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge
- Failing to adhere to interlock ignition device guidelines
- A conviction for careless or reckless driving
- A conviction of aggravated assault or homicide while driving
These suspensions may last from months to years, but they must be adhered to in order to avoid even more serious consequences.
Penalties for Driving While License Suspended for Non-DUI Offenses in West Chester
If an alleged offender is convicted of driving while his or her license was suspended, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) can suspend his or her driving privileges under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 75 § 1543(c) for an additional one-year period. If the alleged offender’s license was revoked, then PennDOT may revoke his or her privileges for an additional two-year period.
People who are convicted of driving under suspension for charges not relating to DUI, BAC test refusal, or Driver’s License Compact violations are subject to the following penalties:
- First Offense — $200 fine
- Second, Third, Fourth, or Fifth Offense — Fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail
- Sixth or Subsequent Offense — Fine of up to $1,000 and up to six months in jail
Pennsylvania Penalties for Driving While License Revoked for DUI
Alleged offenders charged with driving under suspension who had their operating privileges suspended or revoked because of DUI, BAC test refusal, or Driver’s License Compact violations are subject to much more serious penalties than motorists who had their licenses suspended or revoked for other reasons.
In these cases, a first offense can result in a $500 fine and up to 90 days in prison. However, if the alleged offender has a BAC of 0.02 percent at the time of testing or any amount of a Schedule I or nonprescribed Schedule II or III controlled substance in his or her system, the penalties are again increased:
- First Offense — Fine of $1,000 and minimum of 90 days in prison
- Second Offense — Classified as third-degree misdemeanor punishable by fine of $2,500 fine and minimum of six months in prison
- Third Offense — Classified as first-degree misdemeanor punishable by fine of $5,000 fine and minimum of two years in prison
It is also important to note that a person who is convicted of three driving under suspension offenses relating to DUI will be classified as a habitual offender under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 75 § 1542 and have his or her license revoked for an additional period of five years.
Find the Best Suspended Drivers License Attorney or License Restoration Lawyer in West Chester
When facing this challenging situation, you need to know that you attorney is not afraid to aggressively fight on your behalf. At Ciccarelli Law Offices we know that your future is on the line and we are prepared to proactively seek a positive resolution for you.
Our Chester County driving with license suspended attorneys also represent clients in Montgomery County, Delaware County, Philadelphia County, and Lancaster County. Call us today at (610) 692-8700 to schedule your free consultation.
How We Can Help
Whether you were charged with driving on a suspended license following a DUI, or driving on a suspended license non-DUI, the attorneys at the Ciccarelli Law Offices can help. We have several options we will consider, depending on your specific circumstances, such as fighting the basis for the stop, negotiating a downward departure to avoid DUS, or, in some cases, getting you on Intermediate Punishment (supervised probation) in order to avoid or reduce jail time. We will address the underlying circumstances of your charges, making sure you are not doubly punished, or unjustly accused of an offense. Our attorneys will fight for your freedom, as well as for the preservation or restoration of your driving privileges. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, success is our mission—we are driven to serve and ready to fight. Contact Ciccarelli Law Offices at (610)-692-8700.