Mr. Boland was the first lawyer in the history of Berks County to challenge the policy of the Adult Probation and Parole Department which required that a DUI offender pays all costs and fines in full before becoming eligible for restoration of operating privileges. By filing a petition with the assigned judge, Mr. Boland was able to implement the provisions of the Pennsylvania statutes which provide that a DUI offender is entitled to an approved payment plan in lieu of full payment, and when approved by the court, the court may order that the Adult Probation Department and the Clerk of Courts forward the necessary documents to PENNDOT to immediately restore the operating privileges of the DUI offender pending the installment payment plan as approved by the Court. Since Mr. Boland’s success in such effort, numerous other attorneys in Berks County have followed his lead and have filed similar petitions. Notwithstanding this, the current policy of the Berks County Adult Probation and Parole Department remains in effect. A DUI offender will not be certified eligible for reinstatement until and unless all fines and costs are paid in full.
In addition to driver license reinstatement involving DUI cases, Mr. Boland has been involved in the reclassification of status for motorists and has successfully obtained an internet driver’s license for individuals. He has obtained probationary licenses and occupational limited licenses for eligible clients. The rules regarding eligibility for such special licenses are extremely complex. Oftentimes PENNDOT improperly fails to grant such licenses to clients who are otherwise eligible, requiring initially administrative action. In the event the administrative action is unsuccessful, a departmental hearing in PENNDOT may be necessary, or litigation.
Probably one of the most frustrating areas of practice involves clients who are eligible for a special license such as a probationary or occupational limited license but fail to apply for such license not knowing that they are eligible. In such circumstances, the potentially restorable motorist may face severe fines and even imprisonment for driving when he or she was otherwise eligible to obtain a special license. Mr. Boland has seen this occur on dozens of occasions for prospective clients who fail to consult with him and retain his services prior to a driving under suspension charge being lodged against them.
Mr. Boland has also handles medical recall cases with the Department where disabilities of certain motorists involving vision, age or other physical or mental disability prevents such motorists from continuing to drive. Medical recall cases are extremely difficult to fight. There is no automatic restoration of operating privilege upon the filing of a lawsuit against the Department of Transportation in a medical recall, contrary to a typical license suspension appeal. It is necessary to obtain the services of a medical doctor to certify that the motorist is capable of driving. On many occasions, Mr. Boland has been successful in obtaining operator licenses for individuals during certain daylight periods when they are subjected to particular disabilities. On other occasions, Mr. Boland has been successful in obtaining a complete restoration of motorists subject to medical recall.
Another area of driver license reinstatement which presents difficulty is the suspension for underage drinking as well as the suspension incidental to any possession or other drug offense. Under present law, a conviction for, or alternative disposition on, a first offense of underage drinking or exhibiting a false identification card, is subject to a ninety-day license suspension, a one-year suspension for a second offense, and a two-year suspension for a third or subsequent offense. However, on a first offense, the underage drinker is eligible for an immediate occupational limited license. Such occupation may include the occupation of student or homemaker. Many people who obtain this charge are unaware of such right to an occupational limited license.
Another frustrating example of the policies of PENNDOT restricting motorists’ privileges concerns drug offenses. Whenever anyone is convicted of a drug offense, such person is subject to a six-month suspension for a first offense, a one-year suspension for a second offense and a two-year suspension for a third offense regardless of the quantity of drugs involved and no exception is provided for the use of a small amount of marijuana under § §(a)31 of the Health and Safety Law. Thus, someone who is charged with possession of a small amount of marijuana will only face a fine and cost as a criminal penalty in a criminal court but the most serious consequence of the offense is not only the stigma of a drug conviction but the license suspension which results therefrom and which oftentimes is not brought to the attention of the offender by their counsel. An exception to the imposition of the license suspension for possession of a small amount of drugs, whether marijuana or other controlled substances, exists when the offender is able to obtain a diversionary program such as ARD or §17 under the Drug Act.
Driver license suspensions under PENNDOT policy are always consecutive and never concurrent. Thus it is not unusual for someone to contact Mr. Boland and for Mr. Boland to review the client’s certified record and determine that an operator is suspended for a period of ten or more years. What these individuals do not realize, however, is that there are ways for their license to be restored much faster than the stated amount of suspension. Mr. Boland has successfully restored the operating privileges of individuals who were suspended in excess of twenty years in a period of four years. In other cases, he has successfully restored the operating privileges of individuals suspended for periods of ten years in three years. Mr. Boland would be happy to discuss the rules and regulations regarding any restoration and the requirements therefor.
Mr. Boland’s wide range of knowledge and experience in the area of driver licensing in the state of Pennsylvania enables him to review an operator’s record and analyze whether early restoration is possible and whether PENNDOT has properly calculated the length or suspension or revocation. Should you desire a review of your driver record even if you have an extensive outstanding period of suspension or revocation, please contact Mr. Boland and he will be more than happy to review your certified driving history with you and inform you whether or not an early restoration can be obtained.