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Pennsylvania Legislature to Consider Bills to End License Suspensions for Non-Driving Offenses

Certain criminal offenses, including many drug crimes, may lead to the loss or suspension of a driver’s license in Pennsylvania. For example, those convicted of drug offenses and who serve several months in prison could complete their sentences and still have their licenses under suspension.
There are now several bills pending in the Pennsylvania legislature that would change the way the state handles license suspensions in cases involving non-driving offenses. These include the following:

  • House Bill 42: Sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County), this bill would eliminate license suspensions for non-driving offenses such as purchase of alcohol by a minor.
  • House Bill 163: Also sponsored by Rep. Saccone, this bill would eliminate license suspensions for drug-related crimes, such as those related to the possession or delivery of controlled substances.
  • House Bill 177: Sponsored by Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Pittsburgh), this bill would implement an amnesty program for people who lost their licenses because they could not pay certain fines and fees.

Rep. Saccone’s reasoning for pursuing these measures is that in many of these cases, offenders’ inability to drive takes away their livelihood and ability to provide for their family as a productive member of society. This, in turn, makes them more likely to return to criminal activity.
If any or all this legislation passes and gets signed into law, it could have a significant effect on the penalties people face for various criminal offenses. To protect your rights if you’ve been arrested, contact skilled Reading criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.


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