Going to work, the grocery or out to dinner are just a few of the reasons why we get behind the wheel. Those reasons don’t go away when your driver’s license is suspended. Relying on family or friends to provide you with rides is inconvenient, and Port Authority buses may not cover all the places you need to go.
However if you take the risk of driving under suspension, the problems caused by losing your license will multiply. You risk having your license taken away for an even longer period of time than your original suspension. And if your license was under suspension because of a DUI, your punishment will be much harsher and would include compulsory jail time. A Pittsburgh driving under suspended license lawyer can help you understand Pennsylvania law and how to regain your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation with Mike Worgul or Samir Sarna.
Penalties for Driving Under Suspension in Pennsylvania
In most cases driving under suspension is a summary offense, handled in a Magisterial District Court. Penalties include:
- License suspension for an additional year
- $200 fine
- A permanent criminal record, if convicted
Driving Under Suspension and DUI
Your penalties increase sharply if you drive while your license is suspended for DUI. If you are convicted, you will be sent to jail for 60 to 90 days.
If you have a suspension for DUI and are found guilty of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .02 percent BAC or more:
- Your first offense is a summary offense with a mandatory jail term of at least 90 days and a $1,000 fine.
- Your second offense is a misdemeanor of the third degree with a mandatory six to 12 months in jail and $2,500 fine.
- Your third offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree with a mandatory two to five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Your Pennsylvania License Suspension
Some of the most common reasons why a driver’s license is suspended in Pennsylvania include DUI, having 11 or more points on your driving record and serious traffic offenses.
You can be charged with driving under suspension if you drive a vehicle on a Pennsylvania highway or traffic way while your license is suspended, revoked or canceled.
What Pennsylvania Law Says About Driving With a Suspended License
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle after the commencement of a suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the license in license suspensions that are not related to DUI or alcohol. DUI-related driver’s license suspensions specify that it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle at a time when the person’s operating privilege is suspended or revoked as a result of a DUI conviction or because of a refusal to submit to chemical testing. This applies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. For DUIs related to alcohol in a person’s system, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle, with a BAC of .02 or higher, at the time when the person’s operating privilege is suspended or revoked as a result of a DUI conviction or because of a refusal to submit to chemical testing in Pennsylvania or otherwise.
Steps to Take if You Are Charged
Criminal traffic violations such as driving under suspension are criminal offenses and it is dangerous for you to ignore them or try to handle them yourself. If you have been charged with a criminal traffic offense, your first step should be to immediately hire a lawyer. Prosecutors will not negotiate with you alone. An experienced attorney will have worked with the prosecutors handling your case many times before. They can draw on their relationships and understanding of the local court system to lessen or dismiss your charges. If you are found guilty, your attorney may also be able to negotiate on your sentence. When your license was originally suspended or revoked, you should have received notice via first class mail from PennDOT. If you still have that notice, show it to your attorney along with your other paperwork.
Your Pittsburgh Driving On a Suspended License Lawyer Can Help
Your attorney will develop lines of defense depending on the circumstances of your case. The prosecutor must prove that you actually knew your license was suspended. If you did not, your attorney will work to find evidence that you didn’t have this knowledge. If you were not the actual driver, or you were not driving on a Pennsylvania highway or traffic way, your attorney will have strong evidence for your defense. Call us today to learn more about how we can defend your rights at .