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Being convicted for driving under suspension in can have serious repercussions. While these convictions are usually "only" summary offenses in Pennsylvania, you may face a mandatory minimum jail sentence if convicted.
Driving under suspension charges are generally divided into two different subsections. 1543(a) citations are often issued if the suspects license is suspended for reasons other than DUI. 1543(b) citations are issued to defendant's whom allegedly have had their license suspended for DUI reasons and always entail a mandatory minimum jail sentence.
1543(a) convictions may subject a defendant to a period of incarceration of up to 6 months of incarceration but they often do not come with mandatory prison sentences. The exception to this rule is the sixth or subsequent offense. Sixth or subsequent 1543(a) offenses come with a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days of incarceration.
1543(b) convictions always come with a mandatory minimum sentence. The length of the mandatory minimum is dependent upon the prior number of convictions at the BAC of the driver.
While the District Attorneys office does not prosecute 1543(a) or 1543(b) charges themselves, they have set policy which they require the police and District Judges to follow. For example, Northampton County generally does not allow the police to accept an amendments from 1543(b) to a 1543(a). Further, Lehigh County allows the imposition of house arrest to fulfill the mandatory sentences and Northampton county generally does not.
If you are in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton or the surrounding area and have been cited for a serious traffic violation, it is important that you figure out how to navigate the court system quickly. There are likely potential defenses against the violation, and your ticket and the circumstances surrounding it should be reviewed immediately by a local motor vehicles violations attorney.
Madsen Law Offices is located in Easton, Pennsylvania and represents clients throughout the Lehigh Valley, including Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Jim Thorpe, Stroudsburg and other outlying areas.