Restoration Requirements & Driving Record
The first step in obtaining restoration of one’s driver’s license is to obtain a copy of the restoration requirements letter and the driving record. Both of these documents can be obtained on the PennDOT website. The restoration requirements letter is free and the driving record costs $11.00.
The quickest way to start the process is for the driver to obtain both the restoration requirements letter and driving record and provide it to us so that we can make a determination as to exactly what, if anything, can be done to aid in the quicker restoration of someone’s operating privileges.
The restoration requirements letter is usually fairly self-explanatory and tells the licensee everything that’s necessary to do in order to be restored. The driving record sometimes is very confusing and it is necessary to read both the driver’s restoration requirements letter in conjunction with the driving record in order to best determine if and how someone’s license can be restored.
Statute of Limitations
If a citation is issued under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code, there is a statute of limitations which prohibits any action being taken on that citation after three years from the date of its issuance. What this means is that if the defendant has not been convicted or pleaded guilty within the three year period from the date the citation was issued, a court can take no further action against the defendant and the charges must be dismissed.
Therefore, in cases where a defendant is cited with a violation that contains a license suspension, and there has been no trial for at least three years, those charges can and should be dismissed by the Magisterial District Judge. This can sometimes be accomplished by a letter from a defendant or by the defendant’s counsel. If the Magisterial District Judge will not dismiss the citations without a hearing, then a hearing would be necessary; the result of that hearing should be that the charges are dismissed. Once those charges are dismissed, the non-term suspension should be removed from your restoration requirements letter.
Nunc Pro Tunc Appeal
Nunc Pro Tunc is a latin term which describes an attorney's ability to retroactively change a previous court ruling. Since most license suspensions are based upon convictions, it is sometimes possible to have those convictions removed. The statutory appeal period for a conviction of a motor vehicle violation is 30 days. However, if an operator can prove that there was a breakdown in the court system, and for some reason he or she was not aware to file an appeal within 30 days, a late appeal will be allowed. If a late appeal is allowed, the operator can make an effort to remove the conviction which has caused the license suspension in the first place. If the licensee is successful in removing the conviction, then the suspension is also removed. In some cases, in some counties, it is possible to obtain relief by filing a request for a late appeal and then removing the conviction so as to remove the license suspension. Once the license suspension is removed, the operator may be eligible to be restored sooner.
Appeals to Correct the Record
In most cases, licensees are given credit towards the serving of a license suspension immediately upon the suspension going into effect. However, there are certain situations that may arise where it is necessary to petition the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation directly to either correct the record or recalculate the terms of the suspension because of some alleged mistake made by the Department. Those cases are handled by an administrative law judge in Harrisburg and an appeal must be filed directly with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Since the Rules of Administrative Procedure are somewhat complicated, it is probably a good idea to hire an attorney for this purpose.
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