Posts Tagged ‘Berks County Traffic Attorneys’

Client Avoids Jail Time in Traffic Case

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a young man who was charged with 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(a), Driving on a Suspended License. Our client had several prior convictions under this offense, and, as a result, he was facing mandatory jail time. In this case, our client had his license suspended as a juvenile, and he had repeatedly gotten into trouble with the authorities, which resulted in additional license suspensions. This all occurred well before our client was 18 years old. Now, our client was in his twenties, and he was gainfully employed, earning money and providing for his girlfriend and her young daughter. He was still, however, paying the price for his misdeeds in his youth by not being eligible to get his license.

At the court hearing, Attorney McAllister negotiated an agreement with the police officer who had issued the ticket. By bringing to light the above information, Attorney McAllister was able to convince the officer that this was not a young man who should be in jail. Although our client still had to pay a fine, he did not have to spend any time in jail, and he avoided any further suspension of his license. Attorney McAllister is not working with out client to get him eligible to receive a license as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know has been charged with Driving on a Suspended License under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(a) or 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(b), please contact us right away at 610-372-5128. One of our experienced and dedicated attorneys will be happy to meet with you to discuss your case in more detail. As always, we offer free consultations in traffic cases and criminal / DUI cases.

Charges Dropped – Driving on a Suspended License

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a client who was charged with driving on a suspended license under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(a). Our client was pulled over for running a stop sign, at which time the police officer checked our client’s license and determine that it was officially “suspended”. Our client, however, had no knowledge that his license was under suspension. Nevertheless, the police officer seized our client’s license and issue him a ticket.

Our client was facing a hefty fine and court costs if convicted. Most importantly, though, he was looking at an additional one year license suspension if he was convicted of this offense. Our client had just gotten a new job, and he needed to commute to work in his vehicle. A one year license suspension would have been devastating.

Attorney McAllister advised his client to plead “not guilty” to the traffic citation and request a trial before the local district judge. At the trial, Attorney McAllister was able to present “caselaw” to show that the Commonwealth could not prove their case against our client “beyond a reasonable doubt”. As a result, the charges against our client were dropped.

Our client was extremely happy with the outcome of his case since he was not going to suffer an additional one year license suspension. If you or someone you know is charged with driving on a suspended license in Berks County, Pennsylvania, or Reading, PA, please contact us right away at 610-372-5128. One of our skilled and experienced attorneys will be happy to meet with you in person to discuss your case in more detail.

Client Saved From 60-90 Day Jail Sentence

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a Berks County resident who was issued a traffic citation for Driving on a Suspended License-DUI Related, which is codified at 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(b). Even though this is technically a traffic offense, there is a mandatory 60-90 day jail sentence that applies if convicted. Our client was employed full-time and was the sole source of support for her young daughter. A 60-90 day jail sentence would have had devastating consequences both financially and emotionally.

Attorney McAllister was able to successfully enter into negotiations with the police officer at the District Court hearing. In exchange for pleading guilty to some other citations that our client was facing, the police officer was willing to modify the 1543(b) charge so that our client could avoid having to do any jail time. Our client was very respectful and appreciate for being given the opportunity to stay out of jail, keep her job, and continue caring for her daughter.

If you or someone you know is charged with driving on a suspended license, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(b), in Reading, Pennsylvania, or Berks County, PA, please call us right away at 610-372-5128. One of our experienced traffic attorneys will be more than happy to meet with you in person to discuss your case in greater detail.

Client Not Guilty of 1543(a)-Avoids 1 Year Suspension

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Attorney Ryan W. McAllister recently represented a client who had been charged with driving on a suspended license under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(a).  Although this section of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code is only a summary offense that typically is punishable by a fine, the greater concern is that a conviction under this section will result in a one (1) year suspension of a defendant’s driver’s license by PennDOT.

In this case, our client was a professional with an advanced degree who was a full-time employee at an area hospital.  Additionally, our client had a family that he had to support.  Getting his driver’s license suspended for an entire year was, quite simply, not an option.

On the day of the hearing, Attorney McAllister attempted to negotiate with the police officer who wrote the citation.  The officer, however, was unwilling to reduce the citation to a different subsection of the Vehicle Code.  Therefore, Attorney McAllister had a hearing in front of the Judge.  The burden of proof was on the Commonwealth to prove our client guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

Attorney McAllister was able to successfully argue to the Judge that the Police Officer  couldn’t prove that our client knew his license was suspended.  In fact, Attorney McAllister was able to introduce evidence that our client was genuinely surprised to find out that his license was suspended.  The Judge agreed with Attorney McAllister’s arguments, and our client was found “not guilty”.  In the end, this outcome saved our client from losing his license for one (1) entire year, and, quite possibly, saved our client from losing his job.

If you or someone you know has been cited for an offense under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, please contact one of our attorneys right away at 610-372-5128 to discuss your case in more detail.  We offer  a free initial consultation in many types of cases.

1543(a) / 1543(b) – Driving Under Suspension in Berks County

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Most people think of a traffic ticket as a pretty minor offense.  The only punishment is usually paying a fine and court costs.  Sometimes, a driver might get a couple of points added to their license.  If it is a serious traffic offense, perhaps a driver would get his license suspended.  Hardly anyone, however, would expect to go to jail.

In some instances, incarceration is not only a possibility, it is MANDATORY under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code.  Most commonly, this occurs when a driver is issued a citation for driving with a suspended license, which is codified at 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543.  There are two basic types of citations for driving with a suspended license.

First, a “1543(a)”, covers any person who is caught driving a vehicle after the commencement of a suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a operating privilege but before the operating privilege has been restored.  The penalty, upon conviction, is a $200 fine per statute.  However, under a separate section of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. 6503, upon conviction of a second offense under 1543(a), the fine changes to a sliding scale of $200 to $1,000.  Furthermore, a Judge has the option to sentence a “second offender” to up to six months in prison.

Perhaps even more significantly, anyone convicted of a sixth or subsequent offense under1543(a) SHALL be sentenced to a MANDATORY fine of not less than $1,000 and MANDATORY imprisonment of not less than 30 days to six months.  In other words, a Judge does not have any discretion to sentence someone in this situation to less than 30 days in jail.

The second type of citation for driving with a suspended license is a “1543(b)”; it is commonly referred to as a license suspension that is “DUI-Related”.  A 1543(b) applies to anyone caught driving a vehicle while his operating privileges have been suspended or revoked because of a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) conviction in Pennsylvania.  The law also applies to a conviction for a “substantially similar” offense to DUI in another state.  The law even applies to someone who has their license suspended for refusing to submit to chemical testing as part of a DUI arrest.  And since the suspension is “DUI-Related”, the Pennsylvania Legislature decided to make the punishment more severe than a more general 1543(a) offense.  Under 1543(b), a first time offender, if convicted, must pay a MANDATORY fine of $500 and serve a MANDATORY 60-90 days in prison.

I have represented many clients charged with 1543(a) and 1543(b).  In the vast majority of these cases, the number one goal of my client is to eliminate the threat of any jail time.  I have been successful in achieving that goal in most of my clients’ cases.  Whether it is negotiating with the police officer who charged the citation or arguing the case in front of the Judge, there are many different strategies that I can utilize to minimize the impact that this type of case can have on someone’s life.

If you have been charged with a traffic citation for driving with a suspended license under 75 Pa.C.S.A. 1543(a) or 1543(b) in Reading or Berks County, call my office today.  I would be happy to set up a no cost consultation to discuss your situation in more detail.