Philadelphia Driving with a Suspended License Lawyer
Driving with a suspended license in Pennsylvania can lead to serious penalties and potential jail time. If you have a suspended license, it is vital that you follow the terms of your suspension and avoid driving, especially if your license was suspended for drunk driving. Philadelphia driving with a suspended license lawyer Lloyd Long explains the penalties associated with this offense and what your options are if you were caught driving on a suspended license.
For a free consultation on your suspended license case, contact our law offices right away. Our attorneys offer free consultations to help you understand how your case might progress and what options you have to fight the charges and avoid penalties. To schedule your consultation, contact our lawyers today at (215) 302-0171.
Is It Illegal to Drive with a Suspended License in Pennsylvania?
Every driver in PA is required to have a valid driver’s license when they get behind the wheel. If you never had a driver’s license, you may only face a small fine for driving without a license. However, if the government has revoked or suspended your license because of other offenses or dangerous driving, you could face more serious penalties by defying their order. If you never had a license in the first place, your license can still be officially “suspended” because of drunk driving or other serious or repeat traffic offenses, opening you to the same penalties as someone who has lost their license.
75 Pa.C.S. § 1543 makes it illegal to drive with a suspended license. This statute is broken down into multiple sections for different types of suspensions.
If your license was generally suspended, you would face a summary offense and a $200 fine. This is the same penalty for driving without a license.
If your license was suspended because of a DUI offense in PA or another state (or because you accepted ARD for a DUI charge in PA), you face upgraded penalties:
- Driving with a DUI suspended license generally carries a $500 fine and 60-90 days in jail.
- Driving with a DUI suspended license while you have a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .02% or higher comes with a $1,000 fine and at least 90 days in jail.
- A second DUI while DUI-suspended comes with a $2,500 fine and at least 6 months in jail.
- A third DUI while DUI-suspended comes with a $5,000 fine and at least 2 years in prison.
In addition to these penalties, you face additional license suspensions that add on to your original suspension. If your license was “suspended,” “recalled,” or “canceled” when you were caught driving, you would face an additional year of suspension. If your license was “revoked,” you would face an additional 2 years of suspension.
Disputing Suspended License Violations in Philadelphia
If your license is suspended, it will show on your driving record. Many times, slow-downs at the DMV and confusing technicalities keep a license suspended longer than it should be. Technically, you cannot drive again until you have confirmation that PennDOT has restored your driving privileges and changed the status on your driving record, but accidents happen. If your license was suspended in error, your lawyer can fight the case and work to get charges dropped.
Since your driving record is a firm way for prosecutors to prove your license suspension, these cases are often handled as summary trials at the municipal court level. This means that your case may be heard by a municipal court judge rather than a Court of Common Pleas judge. If that is the case, you may be able to appeal your case to a common pleas judge or appeals court justice to have your case reviewed.
Alternatively, your best defense may be to fight the penalties rather than the charges. Our lawyers can guide you through possible options to avoid the strict mandatory penalties from suspended license violations. Many DUI-suspended driving violations come with mandatory jail time starting at 60 days in jail. Even in this case, your attorney may be able to fight the penalties and work to get you alternative or reduced punishments.
Probation, home confinement, GPS monitoring, and other penalties may be possible instead of imprisonment in some cases. Talk to your lawyer to see what options are available for avoiding jail time.
If your license is suspended and you need to get around for work, school, medical treatment, or other reasons, you may be able to get special permission for a “hardship license,” also known as an “Occupational Limited License” (OLL). This allows you to continue driving to and from those locations and permits you to drive even when your license is suspended. Talk to a lawyer today to see if this is possible in your case. If you were charged with driving on a suspended license while taking advantage of your hardship license or OLL, talk to a lawyer about fighting the charges.
Philadelphia Driving with a Suspended License Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one has had their license suspended, it is imperative that they do not drive. Even driving to and from court to address the charges can lead to additional violations and penalties. Talk to a Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer about your case today to help fight the charges and penalties you face and to help avoid further violations by getting a hardship license. For a free consultation on your case, contact the Philadelphia driving with a suspended license lawyer at The Law Offices of Lloyd Long today at (215) 302-0171.