Homicide by Vehicle While DUI - Facing Charges in Pennsylvania

DUI – Homicide by Vehicle Charges in Pennsylvania

Information on Being Charged with Vehicular DUI Homicide in PA

In Pennsylvania, being charged with Homicide by Vehicle while DUI (involving drugs or alcohol) is an extremely serious legal matter that can have severe, lifelong consequences. It is a second-degree felony, and if convicted, means spending several years in prison.

DUI homicide by vehicle occurs when an individual causes the death of another person as a result of operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. The penalties for this offense are significant, with potential life-altering consequences for the accused.

At the time of the accident special law enforcement officers are called to the scene and will begin an investigation of the death(s). It is important to not speak to law enforcement officers or an insurance adjuster about the accident until you have retained the services of a DUI attorney.

Upon being charged with DUI homicide by vehicle in Pennsylvania, the accused may be subject to a lengthy and complex legal battle, involving investigations, evidence gathering, and court proceedings. If convicted, the penalties can include substantial fines, a lengthy prison sentence, and the loss of driving privileges. Additionally, the individual may be required to attend substance abuse programs and face other consequences aimed at preventing future incidents of impaired driving.

Beyond the legal consequences, being charged with DUI homicide by vehicle can have profound personal and social implications. The accused may experience a damaged reputation, strained relationships, and emotional distress. Families of the victims may seek restitution and may also pursue civil actions against the individual, adding another layer of potential financial and legal repercussions.

Overall, a DUI homicide by vehicle charge in Pennsylvania is a grave matter that necessitates a strong legal defense and can have enduring consequences for the accused’s life.

An Arrest is Not a Conviction

Despite the many challenges a person will face if they are charged with DUI homicide by vehicle in Pennsylvania, being charged does not always mean a person will be found guilty. There are numerous factors at play for every serious court case and plenty of options for a case to be dismissed or for a reduced sentence to be sought.

At Ketchel Law, we understand that good people make bad decisions and the punishment may not always fit the crime. We also understand that people are often not guilty of crimes they are accused of or that accidents can happen at any moment. We know every individual is valuable and has other people who depend on them – every defendant has parents, a spouse, children, friends, and family who also need them. That’s why we try our very best to use every legal strategy to defend our clients and fight for the best possible outcome for them and their families.

Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyers are experienced and fierce when it comes to fighting for our clients and their rights. We thoroughly understand the laws and the Allegheny County court system and we are ranked as one of the top criminal law firms in Western Pennsylvania.

Attorney Justin J. Ketchel provides free consultations—call today to speak with him about your charges and find out how Ketchel Law can help defend you and protect your legal rights.


OUR #1 GOAL:  YOUR CHARGES DISMISSED

Call Ketchel Law: 412-456-1221 for a Free Consultation


Penalties for DUI – Vehicular Homicide in PA

Homicide While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol in Pennsylvania is a second-degree felony. It is also known as vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide.

A minimum sentence for a second-degree DUI homicide conviction involves a mandatory three years in prison and up to ten years imprisonment for each victim whose death is the result of the accident. This penalty is if you had no prior DUIs on your record. If it was a second DUI, you could be sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison for each victim.

Additionally, you could be charged with a fine of up to $25,000. The court could also order you to pay the victim’s estate restitution for their related medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.

Prison Sentencing in Pennsylvania (18 Pa.C.S. § 1103) for Homicide By Vehicle While DUIs include:

  • First-Degree Felony: 5 – 20 years;
  • Second-degree Felony: 3 – 10 years;
  • One Prior Conviction: Minimum of five years for first- or second-degree felony;
  • Two Prior Convictions: Minimum of seven years for a first- or second-degree felony.

Title § 3735.  Homicide by vehicle while driving under influence. (Under the PA Code of Law) describes how you could either be sentenced under first-degree or second-degree charges. 


OUR #1 GOAL:  YOUR CHARGES DISMISSED

Call Ketchel Law: 412-456-1221 for a Free Consultation


How Ketchel Law Can Help

Any case involving homicide is going to be complex to defend, but that does not mean it is impossible. Tough cases are fought and won in court every day.

Witnesses will be interviewed, evidence and police reports will need to be gathered and examined, and experts, such as substance abuse counselors, accident reconstructionists, and independent chemical test experts, may be consulted. 

Our attorneys are experienced and fight tough cases every day in the Pennsylvania court system. We have a track record of successfully litigating cases and getting the best possible outcomes for our clients. 

We are skilled negotiators who can carefully discuss plea bargains with the prosecutors to have DUI charges significantly reduced or penalties limited.

At Ketchel Law, our greatest strength lies in critically analyzing and dissecting the details of your specific case. When a complete dismissal is not possible, we strive to negotiate an alternative to jail time (home detention, alternative housing, or work release) or have the charges reduced.

If you or your loved one is facing DUI vehicular homicide charges in Pennsylvania our Pittsburgh DUI attorneys will fight for your legal rights and freedom. 

Our Pittsburgh DUI Lawyers are experienced and fierce when it comes to fighting for our clients and their rights. We thoroughly understand the laws and the Allegheny County court system and we are ranked as one of the top criminal law firms in Western Pennsylvania.

Attorney Justin J. Ketchel provides free consultations—call today to speak with him about your charges and find out how Ketchel Law can help defend you and protect your legal rights.

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