A suspension is DUI-related if a person was suspended for a DUI, be it a conviction or acceptance of ARD, for a chemical test refusal, or for a prior Driving Under Suspension DUI-related conviction. A suspension remains DUI-related until the driver restores his or her driving privileges.
When Pennsylvania suspends driving privileges of a Pennsylvania resident, the resident must send in the physical Pennsylvania driver's license in order to receive credit, and the person cannot drive until the physical license is in his or her possession.
Many people mistakenly believe that they can drive upon the expiration of the suspension time even if they do not have the physical license in hand. Such people are routinely charged and convicted of Driving Under Suspension.
Sentence and Penalties for a Conviction of Driving on a DUI Suspended License
Many people do not realize the severe penalties associated with Driving Under Suspension when the suspension is DUI-related. In many situations, the penalty for Driving Under Suspension is the same or even more severe than the initial DUI charge that caused the suspension. While the general charge of driving under suspension in violation of section 1543(b)(1) is a summary offense, a conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 to 90 days incarceration and a $500 fine and an additional suspension of Pennsylvania driving privileges.
More severe penalties are imposed if the driver has a DUI-suspended license and:
- Is caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration of at least .02 percent
- Has any amount of a Schedule I or nonprescribed Schedule II or III controlled substance
- Refuses to submit to chemical testing and the person is currently under a DUI-related suspension
Such a charge, under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1543(b)(1.1), subjects a first-time offender to a mandatory sentence of 90 days incarceration and a $1,000 fine. The grading of a second offense increases to a misdemeanor of the third degree and carries a minimum sentence of six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. A third and subsequent offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries a fine of $5,000 and two years in jail.
You Could Face Additional License Suspension
As an added penalty, a conviction of Driving Under Suspension in violation of section 1543(b) also results in an additional suspension of driving privileges. If the person's driving privileges were under suspension at the time of driving, the person receives an additional one-year suspension of driving privileges. However, if the driving privileges were revoked, then the suspension is for an additional two-year period.
Are You Ready To Call? We Offer Free Initial Consultations.
If you are charged with Driving Under Suspension DUI-related, you should contact an experienced defense attorney such as State College criminal lawyer Jason S. Dunkle for a free consultation.
Call our office at 814-954-1094 to schedule your meeting. You can also tell us about your situation, and an attorney will contact you.