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Whenever you are charged with a crime, it must be taken seriously. This is particularly true if you depend on driving for your livelihood. In Pennsylvania, it is a serious crime to be caught operating a motorized vehicle when your driver’s license is under suspension. If you have a suspended license, you still have a need to get to work or school, and you need to have some way to run errands and do the shopping. This is why the temptation is often great to just get in the car anyway for a quick trip. That is when disaster can strike. If you are pulled over by the police, you will likely be charged with driving under a suspended license. The penalties for this can be rather severe. You may find that the term of your suspension is lengthened and you may be issued a hefty fine. This is why you will want to immediately consult with a professional and experienced lawyer who will work to get your punishment reduced as much as possible.
How Can A License Be Suspended?
You might be wondering how a license can even be suspended. There are actually a number of reasons why your driving privileges can be taken from you for a period of time. To begin with, understand that Pennsylvania operates on a points system. Every traffic violation you receive will amount to a certain number of points being added to your record. Once you reach eleven points or more, the court may suspend your license for a certain period of time.
There are other reasons why you might have your license suspended in Pennsylvania. A serious traffic offense may result in this happening. An example is if you are found to have fled the scene of an accident. A DUI conviction is also a likely reason to have your license suspended, as is using a vehicle as you commit a felony. If you are convicted of homicide while using a vehicle, suspension can occur. Another problem is drag racing on a highway or reckless driving. Finally, you can also have your driver’s license suspended for driving on a suspended license.
Here Is What You Need to Know
As you can tell by now, driving on a suspended license is not allowed. That does not mean that your life is over if you are charged with this violation. However, it does mean that you need professional legal representation in order to explain your side of the story. Pennsylvania defines driving under suspension as being when an individual is in control of a motorized vehicle on an established road while knowing that their license has already been suspended, canceled, or otherwise taken away.
It interesting to note that the law does not require you to actually be driving the vehicle in order to be charged with this crime. If you are just sitting in the vehicle, you may be determined to be in control of the car or truck. This could give the police cause to charge you with driving under suspension as well. This usually happens if you are in the passenger’s seat with the key in the ignition.
What Are the Possible Penalties?
This is a logical question to ask if you are ever charged with driving under a suspended license. To begin, you will typically be charged with a summary offense and fined a total of $200. This is if it is your first offense. If this is your second offense, you are looking at up to a $1,000 fine and a possible jail sentence of six months. It also depends on why your license was suspended. If it was due to a DUI, for example, you are looking at a fine of around $500 and up to three months in jail. If this keeps happening, you can eventually end up with five years in jail.
If you have been charged with driving under suspension, contact our office right away. It is important to have professional legal representation from the beginning. We can help you.