Out of all of the offenses that warrant a suspended license in the state, DUI-related offenses undoubtedly carry some of the most strict penalties. A person can get their license suspended for up to a year in the state of Pennsylvania for having a BAC over the legal limit. Everyone has obligations, such as work, school, picking up kids from school, religious activities etc. Enduring a license suspension for a whole year is incredibly inconvenient for the average person. Some people mistakenly believe that if they drive safely without a physical license in hand that they will avoid run-ins with law enforcement. However, in the event that they are pulled over, they will be charged and with Driving Under Suspension.
DUI-Related Driving Under Suspension
The majority of people may not be aware that they can get their license suspended or revoked for offenses other than a DUI. There are several DUI-related offenses that could ultimately lead to a driving under suspension charge.
Chemical Test Refusal
Pennsylvania has imposed legislation known as implied consent laws that prohibit residents from denying chemical testing. This means that if an officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are driving impaired, he or she can request that you take a chemical test to affirm this notion. A refusal to do so leads to a license suspension.
Acceptance into ARD (Accelerated Rehabilitation Diversion)
The first time that a person is arrested for driving under the influence, they have the option of being accepted into the ARD program to avoid jail time and hefty fines. In order for a person to be granted entry into the program, the DA's office must confirm that a defendant has never been convicted of a crime ever, whether it be in Pennsylvania or another state in the country. Once accepted, a person will have to pay court costs or do community service. A license suspension for a short time may be ordered by the courts also.
Penalties for a DUI-Related Driving Under Suspension
A driving under suspension charge carries pretty severe penalties. Oftentimes, they are more severe than the initial DUI-related charge a motorist previously acquired. Although this charge is categorized as a summary offense, a conviction leads to penalties of a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 to 90 days spent in a county jail and a maximum $500 fine. In addition to these penalties, a motorist's driving privileges will be suspended for an even longer period of time than originally penalized.
Reinstating a Suspended License in Pennsylvania
In order to legally get back on the road in the state of Pennsylvania, motorists must wait for the duration of an extended penalty period. This waiting period is a requirement that must be fulfilled for a license to be reinstated, which means that there is no way to get around it. The length of this period often times depends on the nature of a case. In the eyes of the state, a DUI is considered an incredibly serious offense, which means that the penalty may be lengthy in comparison to other crimes. In addition to the severity of a crime, factors such as the number of prior offenses a driver has accrued are considered when dictating how long the penalty period will ultimately last.
The state imposes reinstatement fees for drivers who wish to get their license back. The amount one is expected to pay varies based on the penalty sanctioned due to a crime. After a motorist is informed of the payment, they can provide the full payment through PennDOT's website with an authorized credit or debit card.
Motorists are also expected to satisfy orders of the court correlated with the crime, submit proof of all related forms of insurance and re-apply for a new license (if applicable). It's important to note that each motorist's process for a reinstatement will be different. Some drivers will be required to complete additional steps that are associated with their circumstance.
Experienced Philadelphia DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested for driving on a suspended license, it is imperative you consult with an experienced attorney. Skilled legal professional Joseph D. Lento is here to help. Contact him today.