Arrested for driving on a suspended license
Driving on a suspended license, especially if that license has been suspend because of a drunk driving conviction in Pennsylvania, can be a painful process that may lead to jail and longer suspension times. A good Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney can help you avoid jail time, costly fines, and a longer suspension. Pittsburgh drunk driving charges attorney Gary Gerson may be able to help you if you have been pulled over for driving without a license. Section 1543(a) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code (PMVC) penalizes driving on a suspended driver’s license in PA. Section 1543(b) penalizes drivers who drive on a suspended license that stems from a drunk driving conviction or ARD admission. Driving on a drunk driving suspended license carries a mandatory jail sentence of 60 to 90 days. If you are caught driving on a drunk driving suspended license and the officer is feeling forgiving, he or she may issue you a citation for a A§1543(a), which carries no mandatory jail time, but does carry an additional license suspension of one year. Many people are happy getting this type of citation because they are avoiding time in jail; however, after a short time, those feelings will wear off and serving a one year license suspension presents many more problems than originally perceived. For these types of citations, it is important to always plead not guilty. The goal of a criminal defense attorney for these types of cases is to plead to 75 Pa.C.S. At The Law Offices of Gary E. Gerson, we have had great success pleading A§1543(a) down to A§1501. A§1501 carries no license suspension and you will not receive points on your license. If convicted of A§1501, you are required to pay a fine. Some of our clients are nervous when I tell them that for the police officer to amend the citation to A§1543(b) from A§1543(a), they have to plead not guilty and have a hearing requested. They get nervous because of the risk involved of going to trial. Regardless, my advice remains the same and I always tell people to plead not guilty. In my experience as a Pittsburgh drunk driving defense attorney, it’s rare that police amend to A§1543(b). And even if that was the case, we would back away and have you plead guilty to a lesser charge to ensure your livelihood. I once had a A§1543(b) case plead down to A§1501. My client was driving on a DUI suspension and had two prior DUIs, three in total. After talking with the arresting police officers (there were two on the scene), they let up and accommodated my client. In my experience, one of the most important things to have on your side is an attorney who knows how to talk to law enforcement and has a good reputation with others in the criminal justice system in Pittsburgh. Being polite, yet stern, and knowing what to say and when to say it are some of the finest qualities we possess. If you have questions about license suspensions or being charged with driving with a drunk driving suspended license, call Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney Gary Gerson today for a free consultation at 412-219-6875.