In Pennsylvania, the penalties for driving while suspended vary, according to the specific situation under which you were stopped. However, judges take driving while under suspension seriously, and are forced by strict Pennsylvania traffic law statutes to assign jail time if you have been charged with section 6503a or 6503b on conviction.
Additionally, if you are convicted of violation of 1543a for six or more times, you could be facing jail time of 30 days to six months. The first time that you have been convicted of driving a motor vehicle after being suspended or having a revoked license, you can be facing up to 90 days in prison and up to $200 in fines as well as a suspension of at least one year.
If you have been convicted of driving while revoked which has violated part of your Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for a DUI (ARD for DUI), you can be fined up to $500 and jailed for 60 – 90 days.
If it happens that you are in ARD and that your BAC was over .02% you’re looking at a fine up to $1000 and prison of minimum of 90 days on conviction.
A second driving with driver’s license suspended violation can result in $2,500 in fines, while a third conviction means a potential of two or more years in jail with a fine of up to $5000. Drivers will also lose their operating privileges for a longer period of time in situations like these.
Here’s a case study that was unfortunate but true, and depicts the harshness of the system. The person didn’t have a lawyer. He was convicted of a reckless driving charge, even though he had no prior record. His license was suspended. He didn’t know he was suspended, so he kept driving. Then he was pulled over for speeding – he had been on the way to a medical center where he learned a family member was sick. He was given another ticket for driving under suspension and for speeding.
The officer who pulled him over that time watched for him over the next several weeks, and each time he saw him drive, the man was given another ticket – that was not actually handed to him, but rather noted on the record and mailed to him.
In the meantime, the man needed to drive to work because he had a new family to support. Unfortunately, what happened is that he lost his license for six years and wound up serving jail time. Crazy? That’s justice. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it’s the law.
PennDOT can help you understand what you need to do. You can contact them and ask for a Restoration Requirements letter, which will spell out criteria for getting your driver’s license privilege reinstated.
It is never a good idea to drive with a suspended license, for the simple fact that if you get caught, you might get your license revoked or cancelled for a longer period of time, incur significant fines, possibly be sent to jail, be subject to stricter review when it comes time to re-store your license, and more.
There are occasions where a person who has a suspended license may be able to drive for very specific purposes, such as: You drive for your work or for your schooling or because you need to obtain medical treatment and must drive to get to the health professional. In these exceptional situations, you apply for an Occupational Limited License.
However, if you have been caught driving while suspended, then you cannot apply.
Dealing With a Driving While Suspended Charge in PA? Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney: 610-565-0240
If you or a loved one has been arrested on charges of driving while suspended, it can be helpful to have a criminal defense attorney fight for your rights and your freedom.
The Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., in Media, Pennsylvania, offers a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Here, you will find the help you need: answers, options, understanding, and attorneys who will fight for your rights at every stage of your case.
We are based in Media, Pennsylvania, and represent clients who have been charged with operating a vehicle with a suspended license, violation conditions of ARD and operating a motor vehicle, and other crimes.
We also handle cases involving divorce and family law, and personal injury law throughout Springfield, Chester, Upper Darby, Ridley Park, Newtown Square, and Havertown, PA.