Driving on a Suspended License in Pennsylvania

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Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, your driving privileges may be suspended or revoked for several reasons. If you drive on a suspended or revoked license, you may be charged with a crime. Fines and sometimes a jail sentence can be the result.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Your license may be suspended or revoked for certain driving offenses, criminal convictions, or other matters.

For example, Pennsylvania operates a points-based system for determining when your license may be suspended for certain driving offenses. If you accumulate 11 or more points on your driving record, your license may be suspended. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1539.) The length of the suspension depends on how many points you have accumulated and whether you have previous suspensions. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1539.)

Your license may be revoked if the state considers you to be a habitual offender because you have accumulated a certain number of convictions, including those relating to:

  • serious traffic offenses,
  • driving after consuming alcohol
  • driving while suspended or revoked, and
  • certain accidents. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1542.)

It may be suspended if you do not respond to a citation or summons ordering you to appear for a traffic violation. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1533(a).)

Your license may also be suspended or revoked for certain criminal convictions, including

  • a felony, if a vehicle was used
  • aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence
  • certain accidents involving death, injury, or property damage
  • homicide by vehicle
  • homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence
  • racing on highways, and
  • careless and reckless driving.  (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1532.)

Your license may be suspended or revoked for many other reasons.

Reinstating Your License

The period of time your license may be suspended or revoked varies. After the expiration of that period, you may be required to pay a reinstatement fee, pay other fees, or complete other conditions before your license is reinstated. The reinstatement fee may be:

  • $25, or
  • $50 if your registration was suspended for six unpaid parking violations in certain cities or if your license was suspended for an insurance violation. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1960.)

Criminal Charges for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

You should not drive while your license is suspended or revoked. If you do, you may be charged with a summary offense, or in some circumstances a more serious crime.

In certain circumstances for a summary offense, you may be fined $200. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(a).)

Penalties for alcohol-related suspensions

If your license was suspended or revoked due to alcohol-offenses such as DUI, you may be charged with a summary offense. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(b)(1).) Your sentence may involve:

  • a $500 fine, and
  • imprisonment for between 60 and 90 days. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(b)(1).)

If your license was suspended for an alcohol offense, and you have a certain amount of alcohol in your system when you are pulled over for driving after suspension or revocation, your sentence may involve:

  • a $1,000 fine and
  • imprisonment for at least 90 days. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(b)(1.1)(i).)

For a second offense in this situation, you may be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(b)(1.1)(ii).) Your sentence may involve:

  • a $2,500 fine, and
  • imprisonment for at least six months. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(b)(1.1)(ii).)

For a third offense in this situation, you may be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. 1543(b)(1.1)(iii). Your sentence may involve:

  • a $5,000 fine, and
  • imprisonment for at least two years. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(b)(1.1)(iii).)

Additional penalties

In addition, if you are convicted of driving after suspension or revocation your license may be suspended or revoked for a further period of time. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 1543(c).)

In certain situations, your vehicle many be impounded. (75 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 6309.1(b).)

Legal Help for Charges of Driving After Suspension or Revocation

A conviction for driving on a suspended or revoked license may have serious effects on your life. You may be fined, ordered to jail in some circumstances, and have your license suspended or revoked for a longer period of time. A conviction can hinder your ability to stay working or in school, can cause insurance problems, and can affect other areas of your life. While the law provides specific penalties for the crime, your actual sentence may be shaped by your circumstances and the view of local judges and prosecutors toward the crime. Only a lawyer who is familiar with these charges in your area can provide you with this information.

Updated by: , Attorney

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