Can I avoid jail time for fifth driving under suspension?

Q: From 2009 – 2017 I got stopped driving 5 times under suspension. I got stopped a year ago in Harrisburg, but I never showed up to court because I moved and never got the letter for court. I just got stopped again a week ago and now I got court on Jan 14. I have a good paying job, a family to support, like can I get house arrest or just pay a big fine. I got pulled over because of inspection being outdated. (Lancaster, PA)

A: No attorney can possibly give you an accurate answer on this without having reviewed your complete driving record from PennDOT. You can order this yourself on the PennDOT website or go to a PennDOT driver’s center and order it in person. You say you were stopped 5 times between 1009 and 2017, but were you convicted of 1543 (b)? Was the charged lowered to something else? The concern is if you have 3 prior convictions of 1543 (b) there is some risk potential as a third or subsequent is a Misdemeanor 1: “(iii) A third or subsequent violation of this paragraph shall constitute a misdemeanor of the first degree, and upon conviction thereof the person shall be sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000 and to undergo imprisonment for not less than two years”. If I were you I would get my driver’s record from PennDOT and make an appointment with an experienced attorney and get ready for January 14. You may need to postpone the case on the 14th in order to have time to get your record and retain an attorney.

If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.