The majority of DUI convictions result in a license suspension for a specific period of time in Pennsylvania. When the state suspends the driving privileges of residents, they are required to send in their physical driver's license in order to validate the suspension. The person cannot drive until the physical license is back in his or her possession at the end of a suspension.
A license suspension serves as a huge inconvenience for people who are accustomed to driving their car to pick up their children, attend school, go to work, run to the grocery store and engage in other daily activities. People in this bothersome situation feel tempted to risk driving on a DUI-related license suspension, or they feel that once their suspension is over, they'll be able to drive without their physical license in hand. Unfortunately, these impulses and misinformation are the main culprits that expose people to DUI-related suspension violation penalties.
Driving With a DUI Suspended License in Pennsylvania
A suspension is DUI-related if a person's license was suspended for a DUI, a chemical test refusal, or an acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) programs. This suspension typically lasts from one to 18 months depending on the charge and how many prior DUIs a person has acquired. According to Pennsylvania statute PA 1543(b), any person that is caught driving a motor vehicle on a highway or traffic way at the time that their license was suspended or revoked for any of these reasons may be cited with driving with a DUI suspended license.
The penalties for driving with DUI-related suspension are serious. Even for a first offense, defendants are exposed to a mandatory jail sentence. The following penalties are typically imposed upon defendants cited for driving with a DUI-related license suspension:
- First offense: 90 days in jail and a fine of at least $1,000
- Second offense: 6 months in jail and a fine of $2,5000
- Subsequent offenses: two years in jail and a fine of $5,000
More severe penalties will be imposed if a driver has a DUI-suspended license and is caught with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .02 percent, has any controlled substances in their system, or refuses to submit chemical testing on suspension.
Additional Period of License Suspension
if convicted of this charge, a defendant will be required to undergo an extended license suspension. A total of one year will be added to a person's suspension. If a license was revoked at the time a driver was cited for this offense, the suspension will be extended to two years.
Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for driving with a DUI-related license suspension in Pennsylvania, you should immediately consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience representing people who've acquired these charges, and he's helped reduce these charges to forgo the mandatory jail requirements, to lessen the costly fines, and to shorten the additional license suspension. He can do the same for you. Contact him today.