Here’s what you need to know…
If your Pennsylvania driver’s license is suspended or revoked for any reason, and you are caught driving, you could be facing serious penalties.
If the original suspension was due to a DUI or you have multiple suspended license violations, you may be subject to mandatory jail time.
Many people do not realize (until it’s too late) that driving on a suspended license is such a major offense. In fact, many people are not even aware that their license is suspended until they are pulled over for some other reason.
Most people don’t think about it this way, but… having a drivers’ license is a privilege and not a right.
Once your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, if you chose to drive you are directly violating the suspension, and that can have serious consequences if you are caught.
Here’s how the law about driving under suspension is written in Pennsylvania:
§ 1543(b) of Pennsylvania’s Motor Vehicle Code is the law regarding “driving while [a person’s] operating privilege is suspended or revoked.” A § 1543(b) citation applies to those who’s operating privileges have been suspended, revoked or canceled due to a condition of acceptance of Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition for a DUI violation or for refusing to submit to chemical testing as part of a DUI arrest. Section 1543(b) applies and is considered suspended until a person’s driving privileges have been restored.
The Consequences for driving with a § 1543(b) suspended license are severe. Understanding the consequences of this charge can help prevent and avoid further violations that could cause even longer suspension or possible incarceration.
What are the penalties for a 1543(b) charge in Pennsylvania?
The punishment for this violation is:
- First Offense: 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
- Second Offense: 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine
- Third or subsequent offense: at least 6 months in jail and a $2,500 fine
75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1543 (b) (1.1) – 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.
The punishment for this driving under suspension violation is:
- First Offense: 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine
- Second Offense: At least 6 months in jail and a $2500 fine
- Third or subsequent offense: At least 2 years in jail and a $5,000 fine for a third offense.
Many drivers make the mistake of thinking that they can drive after 12 months of suspension. You are eligible for reinstatement after serving your suspension, but you must go through the steps of getting your license reinstated, including the installation of an ignition interlock device in repeat DUI cases.
How A Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney Can Assist When You’re Charged With Driving Under Suspension
If you are charged with a 1543(b) or violation, it’s in your best interest to consult with a criminal attorney before your first hearing. Call us today at (717) 823-0899 to find out how we can help to get your life back to normal.