Thousands of Pennsylvania drivers are currently under suspension. In many instances, the driver is completely unaware that he is under suspension. One can suffer an indefinite suspension for failing to respond to an old traffic ticket or for failing to pay a fine. Many other drivers are serving term suspensions for traffic convictions, points violations, or for convictions of certain crimes including drug crimes, DUI, fleeing and eluding, etc.
Has your driver’s license been suspended? Are you facing a DUI charge or other traffic violation that may result in a suspended license? For experienced criminal and traffic defense representation throughout western Pennsylvania, call Attorneys Crosby & Sughrue.
Indefinite suspensions can usually be cleared up by addressing the underlying issue. However, one should not address these matters on his or her own. It is very important to know where one stands legally before addressing older citations to which a driver has failed to respond. You should first consult with us to make certain you don’t make a mistake that could cost you a new term suspension. In many instances, the statute of limitations can be used as a defense to have a suspension dropped. In other instances the ticket can be dismissed on procedural grounds or mitigated in to a traffic violation that does not result in a suspension of your driving privileges.
Term suspensions can result from crimes. For instance, a first time drug offender will receive a 6 month suspension per occurrence, NOT per count. If you have received more than one suspension for multiple drug counts resulting from the same circumstance, you have a credit issue that we can probably fix. A conviction for a second drug offense results in a one year suspension per occurrence. A third and subsequent conviction results in a two year suspension.
Convictions for the following crimes result in mandatory one year license suspensions. The suspensions are in addition to any jail time, probation and fines. Furthermore, drivers receive no credit for the period that they are incarcerated.
Convictions for the following charges result in mandatory 6 month license suspensions:
The most common suspensions suffered by Pennsylvanian drivers are Driving While Under Suspension. Section 1543(a) of the vehicle code applies when an operator is caught driving while under suspension. Many drivers have been caught several times. Each new conviction carries another one year license suspension consecutive to the last. Each new conviction also brings a driver closer to a mandatory jail sentence. In certain instances, drivers may qualify for a restricted license or credit on their suspension that they are currently serving.
Another common one year suspension results from 1543(b) driving under suspension DUI related. This is even more serious because it requires mandatory jail time in addition to fines costs and suspension. We can help drivers recognize potential defenses and or mitigate these charges to lessen the impact on the person charged. In some instances the penalties can be completely avoided.
A medical recall of one’s driver’s license arises when a doctor or police officer provides information to Penn Dot about one’s medical background. Typically, it is sparked by an event such as a seizure or loss of consciousness. A person doesn’t even have to be driving at the time of the event. The suspension is typically indefinite. These types of suspensions usually require medical exams and medical opinions in order to prevent and or mitigate the suspension. Unlike a typical license appeal, the mere filing of the statutory appeal does not stay the suspension. In order to continue driving, one must also file a supersedious to toll the suspension while awaiting the appeal itself. A Common Pleas Court judge will hear the motion and decide whether to permit the Appellant to drive.
The best way to keep one’s drivers license is to avoid the penalties at the District Court level. Call our offices to find out how your specific charges will affect you and what can be done to protect your license. If you have already been found guilty by the District Court and are within the thirty day appeal period, we can file a Summary Appeal which acts as a brand new trial. If outside the 30 day period all hope is not lost. Certain individuals will still qualify to have their day in court via a NUNC PRO TUNC appeal where we ask the court to open old cases that have already been decided. If granted, drivers can sometimes extinguish or reduce old suspensions.
A Statutory Appeal is a license appeal. A Statutory Appeal is filed to toll a license suspension while attempting to resolve an underlying issue such as a traffic ticket. In other words, it enables an operator to maintain his license while the appeal process takes place. In most instances it is used as a delay so that one can drive while attempting to resolve the underlying issue causing the suspension.
A minor can be charged and prosecuted under Pennsylvania law for underage drinking even if that person hasn’t consumed any alcohol. Mere purchase, possession or consumption is enough if proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The harshness of this law is felt by the mandatory license suspensions. The license suspensions apply to all cases even those that have nothing to do with driving. A first offense carries a ninety day suspension, a second conviction carries a one year suspension and the third and subsequent conviction carries a mandatory two year suspension. In many instances we can recognize defenses or mitigate license penalties. In many cases, we help avoid the suspensions all together. It is important for us to get involved immediately so that Penn Dot is never made aware of the violation. For those minors already serving this type of suspension, hope is not lost. Some of you will qualify for limited licenses and many can qualify for certain types of appeals.
In many instances we can help potential drivers become eligible for certain limited licenses that are available on a case by case determination.
If you are facing the possibility of a suspended license or other adverse consequences as a result of a traffic ticket or criminal traffic charge, contact a traffic defense lawyer at Crosby & Sughrue. To contact our Pittsburgh office for a free initial phone consultation, call (866) 652-9347 ((866) 6-LAWFIRM).
Located in Pittsburgh, we provide experienced legal representation on behalf of clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny, Fayette, Westmoreland, Washington, Beaver, Butler, Armstrong, Cambria, Erie, Mercer, and Clarion counties. If you are facing traffic charges that involve the possibility of a fine, suspended license, or revoked license, we can help.
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