Driving on a Suspended License—Do I Need a Lawyer?
Driving with a suspended license is a crime under Pennsylvania law. Punishment may include fines, probation, and even jail time. As with any case that potentially puts a person’s freedom and future at stake, don’t go it alone if you have been charged with driving with a suspended license. You need the right advocate to get the best possible outcomes. Speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
License Suspension Crimes in Pennsylvania
Under Pennsylvania law, Title 75 Vehicle Statutes govern licensing, operation, suspensions, and other vehicle-related issues. These statutes also provide the penalties for compliance failures.
State statutes allow initial suspensions for offenses such as:
- Repeat traffic violations
- DUI and repeat DUI offenses
- Failure to stop for a school bus
- License points
- Underage drinking
- Racing on a highway
- Hit and run accidents
- Failure to meet state financial responsibility/insurance requirements
- Using a vehicle while committing a felony
- Vehicular injury or homicide
- Reckless operation
A suspended license may not seem as bad as other criminal consequences; however, it is important to recognize it as a serious marker in the state’s graduated punishment system. An initial license suspension may have been ordered because a driver had too many traffic offenses and fines to be deemed safe on the roads. However, the failure to adhere to the court means subsequent penalties are likely to be much more severe.
Driving while already under suspension indicates a pattern of criminal behavior to the court. The acts of sitting behind the wheel, turning on the ignition, and driving violate an existing court order and move someone further along the system of Pennsylvania criminal justice. However, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to help slow down or even stop this progression before it ends with life-changing consequences.
Penalties for Driving With a Suspended License
Continuing to meet the responsibilities of employment and family may seem almost impossible without driving privileges. Most people need transportation to get to their job, to buy groceries, and to take their children to school and the doctor. Because of this, a license suspension can create daily challenges and even hardship.
Perhaps your suspension was caused by unpaid traffic fines, or you were unable to afford auto insurance. In such cases, a suspension might feel particularly unfair. However, driving on a suspended license is a crime, and the state believes it demonstrates ongoing “criminal pattern.” Therefore, by doing so you risk increasingly severe penalties, including:
- A maximum of 90 days in jail
- Two years additional license suspension
- Fines beginning at $200
- Increased penalties for subsequent acts
- Increased penalties when a DUI is involved
Contact Skinner Law Firm
If you have been charged with driving on a suspended license, speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Mike Skinner at Skinner Law Firm has years of experience as a former prosecutor and defense attorney. He is dedicated to his clients and protecting their rights, and he has a strong record of successfully achieving the best possible outcomes in his cases. Contact Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 or online today to schedule your initial consultation and learn if we may be able to help you.