Why are my Pennsylvania driving privileges being suspended for my drug conviction when the conviction had nothing to do with a car?
Driving Privileges Suspended
Under section 1532(c) of the Vehicle Code, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is required to suspend a person’s Pennsylvania driving privileges if they are convicted “of any offense involving the possession, sale, delivery, offering for sale, holding for sale or giving away of any controlled substance.” The language used in the law is very broad and basically covers any conviction related to drugs. Pennsylvania courts have held that convictions of conspiracy to possess or delivery fall under section 1532(c) and allow for the suspension of driving privileges.
The duration of the suspension is based upon number of prior offenses. For first-time offenders, the suspension is six months. Second offenses result in a one-year suspension, and third and subsequent offenses results in a suspension of two years. In order for an offense to be considered a “prior offense,” a person must be convicted of the first offense before the date of the offensive conduct on the new offense. For example, if a person is charged in one complaint with three drug delivery charges stemming from three separate incidents, then the person has not been convicted of any offense before committing a new offense. In this scenario, the person would be subject to three suspensions from PennDOT if the person were convicted. PennDOT would treat all three offenses as first offenses and thereby impose three separate six month suspensions. If the same person was charged with another drug related offense, then PennDOT would probably count the three prior first offenses individually, making the new offense a fourth offense, and thereby issue a two-year suspension.