Dear Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer: License Suspension Due to Refusal

Every Friday we take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about Pennsylvania DUI so we can clear up any misconceptions and provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information about Pennsylvania DUI laws and related topics. Today:

Dear Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer,

Please explain Pennsylvania’s Administrative License Suspension Law.

Refusing a DUI chemical test in Pennsylvania
Refusing a DUI chemical test in Pennsylvania can lead to License Suspension

The Pennsylvania Administrative License Suspension Law pertains to those who are not only convicted of a DUI or a license triggering offense, but also charged with refusing to submit to a chemical test (breath or blood) for DUI.  It is the context of the refusal that this post will focus upon while later posts will focus on the others.  Under the circumstances of a refusal, PENNDOT will proceed to attempt to suspend your driving license for at least one year and perhaps up to 18 months depending upon your prior record.  This suspension is separate and apart from your criminal DUI case.  You have 30 days from the mail date on the suspension notice to appeal this suspension. If you do not appeal within this time period or if your appeal is denied, your license will be suspended regardless of the outcome of the separate criminal DUI case.  Under Pennsylvania DUI Law, an acquittal in your criminal DUI case cannot be used to re-open the administrative license suspension case.  You must act quickly!

If you opt for an appeal of the administrative license suspension, your case will be heard at the PENNDOT Statutory License Appeals Hearings heard before a Judge of proper jurisdiction in the Court of Common Pleas.  To preserve your right to drive, you must be successful at both the PENNDOT Statutory License Appeals Hearings and in the criminal DUI case.  This is why I recommend everyone charged with a Pennsylvania DUI Refusal to consult with a qualified DUI Lawyer who can review the issues in your case and chart out a proper defense.  The penalties for  a Pennsylvania DUI Refusal are very serious so please seek out the best legal advice you can find.  If you are in Harrisburg, York or anywhere in central Pennsylvania, please call 1-866-MCSHANE

If you would like to ask a question, please submit it via the contact us link.

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.



7 responses to “Dear Pennsylvania DUI Lawyer: License Suspension Due to Refusal”

  • Scott Pettit says:

    Mr. McShane:
    I am an attorney in Missouri. I have a client who was arrested in Missouri for suspicion of DWI. We have appealed the administrative suspension, but I anticipate the hearings officer will rule against us. The results will be transmitted to PA. My questions are:
    1. What is the 1st offense admin suspension in PA?
    2. Does the client have to do some type of alcohol education/treatment to reinstate?
    3. What is the reinstatement fee for a 1st offense DWI?
    4. Is a Suspended Imposition of Sentence treated as a conviction and go on the client’s record in PA?
    Thank you for any help you can give me.

    Scott R. Pettit – 33068
    PO Box 148/200 S. Elliott
    Aurora, MO 65605
    Ph: 417-678-2187
    Fx: 417-678-3538

    This e-mail contains proprietary information and may be confidential. If you are not the intended recipient of this e-mail, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you received this message in error, please delete it immediately.

  • If convicted of a 3802 (a) (1)…. with a refusal, can the sentencing judge add a one year suspension as a condition of your sentence, resulting in a two year suspension? One for the refusal and one for the conviction?

  • Justin J. McShane says:

    It depends upon how many prior offenses you have had within the last 10 years. We would be happy to help you. We need to know all the details of your case and then we will be able to get you in the best possible direction. Please give us a call today at 7176573900.

  • In my situation, I received a one year suspension for first time DUI. However, I also refused to consent to a chemical test. For whatever reason, the police officer never sent the paperwork to Penndot for the refusal suspension. My court date has come and gone and I was thinking about filing a DL-15. How long does the police officer have to submit the paperwork? Can Penndot go after me without the paperwork?

    • There is no hard and fast time line for when or if the arresting officer has to submit the refusal paperwork to PennDOT (known as the DL26). However, there is an outside limit in some of the case law called “laches” which basically states that if the officer waits too long, then it will not be allowed. There is no fast and loose rule. Some police officers will dangle the turning the DL26 form in in exchange for you to give up, plead guilty and otherwise abandon your rights to contest the charges. It should not be allowed, but nevertheless this is what they do. You need an experienced attorney who will make sure that you do not get railroaded. Please give us a call at 7176573900. We can and will help.

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