Thousands of driver’s licenses are suspended each year in Pennsylvania. Often, drivers are completely unaware of their license’s suspension status until they are pulled over and notified by law enforcement. While a suspension of driving privileges may occur for obvious reasons, such as a DUI, other times, the scenarios are less evident.
A suspended driver’s license can lead to a wide range of challenges, especially if you need to drive to commute for work. In these situations, getting your driving privileges reinstated is of the most significant importance. However, restoring your driver’s license is not always an easy and straightforward process, especially if you don’t know why your license was suspended from the start. Keep reading to learn the most common reasons for suspended driver’s licenses in Pennsylvania.
Why Is My Pennsylvania Driver’s License Suspended?
There are several different explanations for a suspended driver’s license in Pennsylvania. While some are related to behaviors behind the wheel, others have nothing to do with driving at all.
Here are the top five reasons behind suspended driving privileges in Pennsylvania:
1. Driving Under the Influence
An arrest and conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to various adverse consequences, including a suspended driver’s license. If you were arrested for DUI, it is essential to retain an experienced DUI lawyer to defend you against the charges and reduce the impact of penalties you face. The outcome will largely depend on the severity of the violation and whether there are any aggravating circumstances, like, for instance, causing accident injuries.
It’s important to note that license suspensions from a DUI can differ in length. Often, drivers lose their driving privileges for a minimum of a few months, but it can last for years, depending on the circumstances.
2. Not Appearing in Court
Not appearing at a court appointment is a frequent cause of driver’s license suspensions in Pennsylvania. That can happen even if your day in court has nothing to do with traffic or moving violations. Often, drivers are entirely oblivious to the fact their license is suspended until the police stop them.
3. Outstanding Traffic Tickets
Like failing to appear in court, failing to pay fines, or overdue tickets can also lead to a suspension of driving privileges. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) requires an automatic suspension of residents’ licenses for not paying or responding to a traffic ticket. That applies even when the ticket doesn’t otherwise warrant a suspension, like running a red light.
According to an analysis from PublicSource, a non-profit news organization, 376,000 Pennsylvania drivers had their licenses suspended in January 2020 because of failure to pay or respond to traffic citations. With this in mind, it’s imperative to address any fines or tickets you may have immediately and ensure that your payment processes.
4. Accumulation of Driving Points
Whenever a Pennsylvania driver is found guilty of certain moving violations, points are assessed to their license. Points can range from one to six, depending on the offense. Drivers who have had their license for a more extended period usually get fewer points than newly licensed drivers.
PennDOT will suspend any driver’s license that accumulates 11 points within three years. For drivers who have had their license for one year or less, getting four points will lead to a suspension, while eight points will suspend a second-year driver’s license. In general, three points are removed from a driver’s record for every 12 consecutive months without committing a violation.
5. Outstanding Child Support Payments
Another common reason for unknown suspended licenses in Pennsylvania is the failure to pay overdue child support payments. Under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 4355, the Department of Public Welfare has the authority to suspend all driver’s licenses issued by Pennsylvania and prohibit the renewal or issuance of a license for failure to pay child support after three months or more. To reinstate driving privileges, Pennsylvania drivers have 30 days after the date of mailing the notice to pay child support in full, establish a payment plan, or be excused from failure to comply.
Is Your Driver’s License Suspended for DUI in PA? Speak to a Skilled DUI License Suspension Lawyer Today
Facing a suspension of your driver’s license is not ideal. However, understanding the reasons why this could happen will help you avoid this difficulty in the future. If your driver’s license was suspended for drunk driving in Pennsylvania, hiring an experienced DUI license suspension attorney can streamline the process and may help your driving privileges become reinstated faster than you may think.
At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, our criminal defense lawyers have advocated for clients in Montgomery County, Bucks County, and across Southeastern Pennsylvania for more than 65 years. Speak with a skilled DUI license suspension lawyer about your situation and learn your legal options by calling 215-822-7575 or completing our contact form today.