Driving with a suspended LicenseThere are literally a hundred reasons why a motorist can have their driver’s license suspended in the state of Pennsylvania and a lot of them have nothing to do with being convicted of a motor vehicle violation.  Far and away the most common reason for a suspended license is the driver’s failure to respond to a ticket that they received at some point in their driving lives.  

The scenario that occurs far too often goes something like this:  A driver gets a ticket for an offense such as speeding and forgets about, or ignores, the ticket.  The District Court that has jurisdiction over the area where the ticket was given then sends notice to PennDot that the driver has not  responded to the ticket.  PennDot then suspends the driver’s license.   To get the license “unsuspended”  the driver need merely perform the simple task of contacting the court and responding to the ticket by pleading guilty or not guilty.  The Court will then contact PennDot and the license will be restored.

When the driver catches the suspension early he or she can avoid a lot of trouble but too often I have seen a client come to me with a ticket for Driving While Suspended because they were pulled over during the period when they failed to respond to a citation and had  their license suspended.  Now, not only is here the original ticket that was never responded to, but there is also a ticket for Driving While Suspended where, if the driver is convicted, their license will be suspended for a period  one (1) year by PennDot.  No calling the Court.  No second chances to fix things.  The conviction triggers this mandatory suspension.   Drivers who are less than attentive can accumulate multiple Driving While Suspended Tickets and multiple years of suspension.  The driver is literally digging a hole that just keeps getting deeper.

The point of it all?  When you receive a ticket respond to it in a timely manner by mailing the  portion of the ticket that requires you to plead “guilty” or “not guilty”.  If you feel you need an attorney, get one.   Don’t get yourself suspended for being slack and letting the ticket slide too long.  An ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure.

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