People might assume that one would only be at serious risk of losing one’s license in relation to criminal charges if the charges somehow involved driving. However, this is not the case here in Pennsylvania.
This is because, under state law, there is a mandatory license suspension for certain drug offense convictions. This mandatory suspension triggers regardless of whether the qualifying drug crime involved a vehicle or not. The length of the suspension depends on a person’s prior record. In most cases:
- A first offense triggers a six-month suspension
- A second offense triggers a one-year suspension
- A third or greater offense triggers a two-year suspension
So, among the things a person may be concerned about protecting when charged with drug crimes in the state is their license. Defense attorneys can advise individuals on what steps can be taken to protect what’s important to them when facing drug charges.
Currently, there are only 11 other states that have mandatory license suspensions for non-driving-related drug crimes. There has been a movement in recent years of states getting rid of these mandatory punishments. Critics of such mandatory suspensions argue that they put great burdens on individuals that could keep them from being able to put their life back together following a drug conviction, which could up risks of individuals reoffending.
There is legislation working its way through the system here in Pennsylvania aimed at eliminating mandatory suspensions for non-driving drug offenses. It has already been approved by the state’s house. One wonders what will ultimately happen with the bill.
What impacts do you think drug-crime-related mandatory license suspensions are having here in Pennsylvania? Do you think such mandatory suspensions should be eliminated?