Do I turn myself into the magistrate if I appeal?

Q: I got a driving under DUI suspended license, but it isn’t suspended anymore. I’m off probation for my DUI. So, if I want to fight it do I still have to turn myself in on the given date at the magistrate. (West Mifflin, PA) A: I assume you are saying that at the time you were stopped and charged with 1543 (b), driving under a DUI suspension, the suspension period had expired beforehand and you think therefore that you should not be charged as you were not under suspension at the time of the stop? If so, and you obviously didn’t have your license in your possession, you can still not only be charged but can be convicted for not having RESTORED your driving privileges after the suspension period ran. The law is brutal in that it still views you as under suspension if you did not restore your license, even if your period of suspension has expired.

A 1543 (b) violation carries 60 days in jail, a $500 fine a one-year suspension for the first offense. In these circumstances, I have luck on occasion with the police working the charge out to a lesser offense that does not involve jail or a license suspension. You can restore your driving privileges by calling PennDOT or ordering from their website, a restoration requirements letter. It will require at least sending in the completed form and a fee, and, possibly, paying any unpaid fines or costs you have from OTHER cases in the system. The requirements letter will state what you need to do. I am not sure what kind of date you have before the magistrate, but if you were convicted and he gave you 30 days to turn yourself in, that sounds like you may be going to jail on that day. If you were convicted by him, you need to appeal. If you appeal to the Court of Common Pleas, Summary Appeals, the judge can give you house arrest. It sounds like you should take your papers to an attorney immediately.