Because a driver's license can be such an essential part of life in Pennsylvania, many citizens of this state, including those in Philadelphia, believe that driving is a right. However, in Pennsylvania, there is no such thing as a "right to drive." In fact, having a valid driver's license and being able to operate a motor vehicle on Pennsylvania roads is actually a privilege that can be suspended or revoked.
One of the circumstances in which this can occur is if you refuse to submit to chemical testing for DUI. Be that as it may, you do have an opportunity after refusal to submit to DUI testing to appeal this suspension, and a qualified Philadelphia DUI defense attorney can fight with you at the license suspension hearing to restore your Pennsylvania driving privilege.
Philadelphia License Suspension Hearing Lawyer
While driving is a privilege and not a right, it is your right to appeal a Pennsylvania driver's license suspension due to a DUI testing refusal. If you have refused to submit to testing in a DUI case in Philadelphia and wish to preserve your driving privilege, Lento Law Firm can help.
Joseph Lento has years of experience working as a criminal defense attorney and knows what it takes to fight to restore your driving privilege. To find out what Lento Law Firm can do for your DUI driver's license suspension hearing in Philadelphia, call (215) 535-5353 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.
Information About License Suspension Hearings in Philadelphia
- Philadelphia License Suspensions and Pennsylvania Implied Consent
- Procedure for Philadelphia DUI Refusal License Suspension Hearings
Implied consent is a legal concept related to DUI that is meant to make the DUI process more punitive. It enables the prosecution to use your refusal of evidence of guilt and the transportation department to impose sanctions like a suspended driver's license regardless of guilt. Generally, implied consent means that any person who drives on the roads in the state where the concept applies has given his or her consent to DUI testing.
In Pennsylvania, implied consent is governed by 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1547, which states that any person who drives, operates, or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle in this state has given his or her consent through such action to one or more chemical tests of his or her blood, breath, or urine for the existence of alcohol or controlled substances when a law enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe that he or she is committing DUI.
The tests cannot be forcefully administered, except for in very rare, specific circumstances, so implied consent does not mean you are not allowed to refuse. However, after you refuse to submit to DUI testing, the officer on the case will document your refusal and send it to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDoT), which will then suspend your license 30 days after such correspondence.
The suspension for a first refusal is one year, 18 months for a subsequent refusal, and will be an administrative suspension in addition to any other suspension incurred by DUI sentencing. You only have 30 days to dispute and appeal this administrative license suspension in a civil hearing, and the services of a skilled DUI defense attorney in Philadelphia are strongly recommended. When considering the services of an experienced DUI attorney for your Philadelphia license suspension hearing, it is best to contact him as soon as possible after your arrest.
It is very important to remember that you only have 30 days from your DUI chemical test refusal to appeal your PennDoT driver's license suspension. When appealing your DUI refusal license suspension in Philadelphia, you and your qualified DUI criminal defense lawyer must file a civil appeal.
This is done through the Civil Trials Division of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, and requires filling out a set of forms and a filing fee. If the Philadelphia Civil Trials Division grants your license suspension hearing, PennDoT will be required to prove beyond a preponderance of the evidence that:
- The law enforcement officer had reasonable cause for the stop
- The law enforcement officer had reasonable cause to believe involvement of DUI
- The law enforcement officer did request that you submit to one or more DUI chemical tests of your blood, breath, or urine
- You gave a legitimate refusal to the request to submit to DUI testing
- The law enforcement officer read you your O'Connell warnings or otherwise informed you the consequences of a refusal to submit to one or more DUI chemical tests of your blood, breath, or urine
- The DUI arrest was valid
The proof standard of preponderance of the evidence means that it is more likely to be true than it is not likely to be true, or proof beyond a 50% chance of truth. If PennDoT fails to meet this standard of evidence, your Philadelphia DUI refusal license suspension will be invalid and your driving privileges restored.
A skilled and knowledgeable Philadelphia DUI defense attorney can build a strong defense against PennDoT's evidence and work toward the restoration of your driver's license, as well as guide your DUI case through the rest of the process.
Finding the Best DUI Refusal License Suspension Defense Attorney in Philadelphia
Just by being licensed to drive on Pennsylvania roads, you have implied your agreement to DUI chemical testing. If you have refused to submit to DUI chemical testing of your blood, breath, or urine and thus violated this implied consent law, there is still hope for keeping your driving privileges. Lento Law Firm can represent you in your license suspension hearing.
Experienced Philadelphia DUI defense lawyer Joseph Lento knows what it takes to defend your ability to drive, as well as fight for an overall favorable outcome in your full DUI case. Your first consultation with Lento Law Firm is free, so call (215) 535-5353 today and schedule yours.