Losing your license to drive, whether temporarily or permanently, is among the most common penalties for driving offenses.
License suspension or revocation can follow from charges of driving recklessly or under the influence, or refusing to take a breath, urine or blood sobriety test after a stop. Sometimes, the charges may not seem directly driving-related, such as drug possession or underage drinking.
Even given the expense of fines and other court costs, the consequences of losing your license can be so severe and counterproductive that many find it brings more hardship than any other punishment.
Options for reducing your penalties
Above all else, remember that no punishment is truly automatic. An experienced criminal defense attorney can try to build a case and conduct negotiations to have your charges dismissed or reduced.
Many states offer special licenses allowing people with such convictions to drive under restricted conditions. Not surprisingly, some states call them “hardship licenses.” Pennsylvania has its own way of doing things.
If you do face the suspension or revocation of your license, Pennsylvania allows the issuing of limited licenses. Instead of hardship licenses, the two kinds are called the Occupational Limited License (OLL) and the Probationary License (PL).
The OLL lets you use your own car (or another designated car) only when needed to commute to and from your work, medical treatment, or your education. The PL allows you to drive anytime from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
There are very specific rules for current or past convictions that may leave you eligible or ineligible for each of these licenses, and both the OLL and PL carry fees and various requirements.
Reducing the impact of criminal charges on your life starts with strong legal representation. If you’re concerned an arrest may damage your ability to move on with your life, consider contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney to advocate for your right to a promising future.