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Driving without a Valid License in PA

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Section 1501(a) of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code provides for the six month suspension of one's license if it's a second offense within 5 years.

By Attorney Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Traffic Ticket Lawyer, Harrisburg, PA

Section 1501 of the PA Motor Vehicle Code is an often-cited provision of the Motor Vehicle Code.  An offense is committed if one "shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway or public property in this Commonwealth unless the person has a driver's license valid under the provisions of this chapter."  An officer or your attorney may sometimes seek to replace this section for a 1543(a) or (b), which is driving while your license is suspended for a DUI or otherwise.  The penalty for a violation of 1543 is a one year license suspension. 

However, getting a 1501 as a citation is not always a favor if you've gotten cited within the last 5 years for this section.  Section 1501 provides as follows:

The department shall suspend the operating privilege of any driver for six months upon receiving a certified record of the driver's conviction of a subsequent offense under section 1501(a) (relating to drivers required to be licensed) if the prior offense occurred within five years of the violation date of the subsequent offense.

You should always speak to an attorney before you enter a guilty plea to a traffic citation.  This is because the points and possible suspension period is not listed on the citation.  The officer usually doesn't know or expect that you will lose your license for some offenses as well.  If you are an out-of-state driver, your home state may provide for different penalties as well.  Contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney at Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC toll free or email us today.

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