As a Pennsylvania suspended license lawyer, I have the opportunity to review hundreds of driving records a year. In my experience, there are basically four reasons why licenses are suspended.
- A suspension due to a criminal conviction for a DUI or drug charge. Can’t do anything about these, the client has to ride out the suspension.
- A license suspension for failure to respond to a ticket. I can get your license back for this.
- A license suspension for a conviction under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code which is less than thirty (30) days old. I can almost always get your drivers license back for these also because there is still time to appeal the conviction.
- A suspension due to a conviction under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code that is over thirty (30) days old. Yes, 3o is the magic number. Its is the magic number because once a conviction is over 3o days old the motorist loses their right to appeal the ticket. And there are plenty of people that don’t know this and let the conviction go. This brings us to the Appeal Nunc Pro Tunc.
What is the appeal Nunc Pro Tunc and how does is affect a license suspension? Here’s how it works. Lets say a lady comes in my office with a PennDot notice indicating that she will be suspended six months for a reckless driving conviction that occurred 32 days prior. Well, had she come in three days earlier I could have filed a timely appeal, stopped the suspension until the appeal was heard, and then gone into Common Pleas court, win the appeal, and have the conviction wiped from her record and her license saved. I spend my life doing this. But this isn’t the case. She’s too late to appeal so I will need to file a Petition for Allowance To To File A Late Appeal or “Nunc Pro Tunc” (literal translation is “now for later” in Latin). This is when I ask a judge to let me appeal that reckless driving ticket late. I need to give the judge a good reason why the appeal is late but I’m hired to worry about finding that reason and not my client. If the judge finds I have a good reason or the D.A does not object, the petition gets granted. The vast majority of the time the judge will grant my petition. When the petition is granted, it allows me to file the appeal. Once I file the appeal, I then go about the business of winning the appeal, and saving that license. Every Pa. drivers license lawyer must be familiar with the Pennsylvania Nunc Pro Tunc practice or he is not offering the suspended driver a full set of tools to work with. The late appeal is so often a savior in that it is a way to get years of suspension time taken off of a license and this helps my client. Which is all I really care about.