Driver’s License Restoration
Dec. 2, 2020
Driver’s License Restoration in the State of Pennsylvania
Thousands of Pennsylvania drivers are currently under suspension. In many instances, the driver is completely unaware that their driving privileges have been suspended. This can lead to even worse consequences. For example, a person 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 criminal offenses such as drug crimes, DUI, fleeing and eluding police, etc.
Has your driver’s license been suspended? Are you facing a DUI charge or some other traffic violation that can result in a suspended license? For experienced criminal and traffic defense representation throughout Western Pennsylvania, call the Law Offices of James Crosby.
Why should I Hire an Attorney – Can’t I just file a Petition?
Indefinite suspensions can usually be cleared up by addressing the underlying issue. However, one should not address these matters on their 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 the Law Offices of James Crosby to ensure that 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 get a suspension dropped. In other instances, the traffic ticket can be dismissed on procedural grounds or mitigated to a traffic violation that does not result in suspension of your driving privileges.
Term suspensions can result from crimes. For instance, a first-time drug offender will receive a six-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 may be able to fix for you. A conviction for a second drug offense results in a one-year suspension per occurrence. A third or subsequent conviction results in a two-year suspension of your driver’s license in Pennsylvania.
Driver’s License Suspensions and Criminal Offenses
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.
Any felony in which a vehicle was essentially involved
Aggravated assault by vehicle DUI
Accidents involving death or injury
Altered or forged documents
Certain titling offenses
Convictions for the following charges result in mandatory six-month license suspensions:
Racing on highways
Careless driving (depending on subsection violated)
Accidents involving damage to the attended vehicle
Driving without lights to avoid apprehension
One of the most common suspensions suffered by Pennsylvania drivers is for Driving While Under Suspension. Section 1543(a) of the vehicle code applies when an operator is caught driving while under suspension. Many drivers on PA roadways 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 offense is even more serious because it requires mandatory jail time, in addition to fines, costs and license suspension. We can help drivers recognize potential defenses and/or mitigate these charges so as to lessen the impact on the person charged. In some instances, the harsh penalties can be completely avoided.
Medical Recall and Driver’s License Restoration
A medical recall of a person’s license arises when a doctor or police officer provides information to PennDot about one’s medical background. Typically, this 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 resulting suspension is typically indefinite. These types of license 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 ultimately hear the motion and decide whether to permit the Appellant to drive.
Avoiding the Loss of Your License
The best way to keep your drivers license is to avoid the penalties at the District Court level. Call the Law Offices of James Crosby 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 30-day appeal period, we can file a Summary Appeal which acts as a brand new trial. If you are already 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 the appeal is granted, a driver can sometimes extinguish or reduce an old suspension.
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 their license while the appeals 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.
Underage Drinking and Driver’s License Restoration
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 90-day suspension, a second conviction carries a one-year suspension, and a third or subsequent conviction carries a mandatory two-year license suspension. In many instances, we can recognize viable defenses or mitigate license-related penalties. In a lot cases, we help our clients avoid the suspensions all together. It is important for us to get involved immediately so that PennDot is never made aware of the violation. For those minors already serving this type of license suspension, there is still a chance to get the suspension overturned. Some of you will qualify for limited licenses and many can qualify for certain types of appeals.
In many instances, we can help suspended drivers become eligible for certain limited licenses that are available on a case-by-case determination.
Contact Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania License Reinstatement Attorneys Today
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 in Pennsylvania, you need to speak with an experienced traffic defense lawyer at the Law Offices of James Crosby. To contact our Pittsburgh office for a free initial phone consultation, call today.
Located in Murrysville and 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, a suspended license, or a revoked license, we can help.