Philadelphia Suspended Driver’s License Appeal Hearing Lawyer
Pennsylvania considers public safety to be a top priority and concern, especially on our streets and highways. Careless, negligent or dangerous behavior while operating a motor vehicle can result in serious legal penalties. What many people forget is driving is a privilege not a right. This means that if you abuse it, you may lose it. If the state of Pennsylvania has informed you via PennDOT that your driving privileges are being suspended, the time to act is now. Upon receiving a notice of your suspension from PennDOT, you may attempt an appeal through the county Court of Common Appeal.
While in some states it is possible to appeal your Driver’s License Suspension in a hearing after the suspension has gone into effect, this is not the case in Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, it is crucial you file appeal prior to the suspension going into effect. This will be your only opportunity to contest a forthcoming license suspension.
The process of appealing a License Suspension is complex, and in most situations requires a criminal appeal of the cause(s) of suspension in addition to the civil appeal of the suspension itself. This means a great deal of paperwork, multiple court appearances, and interactions with police, prosecutors, and judges.
Understanding the Pennsylvania Appeal Hearing Process
In almost every scenario, it will be necessary to first successfully appeal the underlying traffic or criminal citation. To succeed in an appeal of a license suspension, you must provide legal grounds to avoid suspension and that usually means reversing the outcome which led to the initial suspension.
Once you have been given notice from PennDOT that your license is scheduled to be suspended, you have 30 days from the date provided on the notice to file an appeal. This can be a hard and fast deadline. The effect of this filing will be to – in most cases – stay the suspension. It is advisable, however, that you both contact an attorney to make sure you are eligible as there are exceptions and contact PennDOT in order to make sure they are in possession of your appeal and the suspension has in fact been stayed. If you Drive While Suspended, your legal problems will only further compound.
The Criminal or Traffic Appeal
Though you only have 30 days from the time of your conviction to file an appeal, in many circumstances this hurdle may be overcome after the fact, and you will still be able to proceed with an appeal.
You will have to either negotiate a plea with the prosecutor so that the plea will not result in a suspension penalty or you will have to overcome the charges at trial. If your primary goal is to save your license, it will be in your best interest to agree to a favorable plea deal. Trial is complicated, and depending upon the circumstances may not yield the outcome you require.
If you are successful in your criminal or traffic appeal, you can also be successful in your license appeal.
The Civil Appeal
A license suspension appeal is a trial. There may be evidence put forth and witnesses examined. You and your attorney must be prepared for this eventuality. That said, if you won your criminal or traffic appeal and that was basis for the license suspension, then as a result of winning your appeal, you have a good chance at being able to save your license.
Remember, the rules of court still apply so though you’ve won your criminal appeal, you will still require counsel to enter documents into evidence and put forth your case.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
At this point, the need for a lawyer should be evident. To save your license you will need to win not one, but two appeals!
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.