DRIVING UNDER A SUSPENDED OR REVOKED LICENSE
75 Pa.C.S. § 1543
If you have been charged with Driving under a Suspended License (DUS), the first and most important thing you can do is talk to an attorney right away.
THE GENERAL RULE:
If you are “convicted” for driving under a suspended or revoked license before it is legally restored, then you are guilty of a summary offense and shall pay a $200 fine. Also, if your license is merely “suspended, recalled, cancelled or not restored” then you will lose your license for an additional year (75 Pa.C.S. § 1543(c)(1)). If however, your license is “revoked,” then you will lose it for an additional 2 years (75 Pa.C.S. § 1543(c)(2)).
This “general rule” ONLY applies if you have lost your license for non-payment of a fine, too many points or the like and do not fall into one of the more serious DUS categories. The general rule is shown below:
MORE SERIOUS DUS CATEGORY:
If your license is suspended or revoked for one of the following, then it is possible that you are facing a summary offence and a MANDATORY 60-90 DAY JAIL SENTENCE:
1. Being placed in accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) for DUI or a DUI violation itself.
2. A violation of § 1547(b)(1) – meaning a license suspension for refusal to submit to chemical or blood testing.
3. A violation of § 1581 of the Drivers License Compact – this means your out of state DUIs can be reported to Pennsylvania and affect your rights here.
EVEN MORE SERIOUS DUS CATEGORY:
If your license is suspended or revoked for any one of the three reasons mentioned earlier AND you have alcohol in your system greater than .02 or are under the influence of any schedule I, II, or III controlled substances, then the following penalties apply:
1. A first conviction is a summary offense, $1,000 fine and a prison sentence NOT LESS THAN 90 DAYS.
2. A second conviction is a third degree misdemeanor, $2,500 fine and a prison sentence NOT LESS THAN 6 MONTHS.
3. A third or subsequent offense is a first degree misdemeanor, $5,000 fine and a prison sentence NOT LESS THAN 2 YEARS.
IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING DUS:
Remember, these sections apply if you are currently serving a suspension or revocation, but they also apply even if:
1. Your suspension is deferred.
2. Your license is revoked because you are classified as a habitual offender if any of the enumerated offenses was for a DUI or a similar out-of-state DUI.
Also, these sections will continue to apply until your driving privileges are restored.
WHAT CAN ROMINGER & ASSOCIATES DO TO HELP ME?
The attorneys at Rominger & Associates have vast experience dealing with DUS charges, and will work with you to explain your rights, options and what we can do to help. Whether it be getting the charges dismissed or working with the authorities to get you a successful outcome, we will be by your side every step of the way. If you have been charged with a DUS, the most important thing you can do is talk to an attorney right away to protect your rights.
By: Robert Kulling