Many states have laws suspending a person's driving privileges for failing to pay court costs, fines, fees and child support. These laws apply even when the particular debtor did not commit a Motor Vehicle Code violation. PA Senate Bill 918 will authorize the suspension of a person's driver's license for failing to pay court-ordered fines or penalties, even if the penalties are unrelated to a Motor Vehicle Code violation.
The New York Times published an article focusing on how driver's license suspensions create a cycle of debt that can be nearly impossible to escape. Without a license, those individuals who are able and willing to work and pay down their "criminal" debts are unable to obtain and maintain gainful employment. To make matters worse, arrest warrants can be issued for failing to pay fines and costs as required. Many criminal cases disposed of at the Court of Common Pleas carry total fines and costs exceeding $2,000, not including restitution and mandatory fines.
If passed, Senate Bill 918 would create the same problems experienced by debtors in Tennessee - Can't make court ordered payments, can't get a license; can't get a license, can't get or maintain work; can't get work, can't make court ordered payments.
If you're facing a license suspension, or owe a large, outstanding balance on a criminal case - call us today at 412-447-5580. There may be a way to help.