Drunk Driving Charges | Ketchel Law - Criminal Lawyers Pittsburgh

Certain DUI Charges Now Felonies in Pennsylvania

Information on DUI Penalty Changes in Pennsylvania

Starting in December of 2019 new penalties were put into effect in Pennsylvania for offenders with multiple DUI convictions.

Previously, Pennsylvania did not consider multiple DUI charges as felonies, and instead treated all DUIs as misdemeanor offenses. The penalties for DUI convictions in Pennsylvania have now changed to include a felony sentence, a longer prison sentence and higher fines.

Pennsylvania DUI Law—FelonyAn Increase in Penalties for a DUI Conviction in PA

Multiple Convictions

Those who drive under the influence are now subject to felony charges if, on their third DUI conviction, they are found to have driven with a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.16% or higher or under the influence of a controlled substance or refuse chemical testing under certain circumstances.

A fourth DUI conviction—regardless of blood alcohol level or substance involved—will now also be considered a felony.

The changes to the DUI law in Pennsylvania are as follows:

  • Under the new law, a person found guilty of a third DUI charge within 10 years and with a BAC level of .16% or higher or under the influence of a controlled substance, is subject to 1-7 years in jail and a $2,500—$15,000 fine.
  • Under the new law, a person found guilty of their fourth DUI offense in 10 years and with a BAC level between .08% and .10% is subject to 10 days to 7 years in jail and a $500—$15,000 fine.
  • Under the new law, a person found guilty for their fourth or subsequent DUI offense in 10 years with a blood-alcohol level of between .10% and .16% is subject to 1—7 years in jail and a $1,500—$15,000 fine.
  • Under the new law, a person found guilty on their fourth or subsequent DUI offense in 10 years with a BAC level of 0.16% or higher or under the influence of a controlled substance is subject to 1—7 years in jail and a $2,500—$15,000 fine.

Vehicular Homicide Under a DUI Conviction

The new law also increases the mandatory minimum sentence for past DUI offenders who commit intoxicated vehicular homicide. Under the old law, the maximum sentence was the same for everyone convicted of vehicular homicide while DUI: three years in prison. Under the new law, the penalty with one prior DUI is now five years in prison, while the minimum for an offender with two DUI convictions increases to seven years.

A DUI Charge While Under License Suspension

There are also increased penalties for those caught driving while their license is suspended for a DUI. The maximum penalty under the old law was a $500 fine and up mandatory 60-90 days in jail, regardless if it was a person’s first or subsequent offense. Under the new law, a second offense results in a Misdemeanor conviction and a mandatory $1,000 fine and at least 90 days in jail. A third offense leads to a $2,500 fine and a mandatory six months in jail.

What You Should Do When Facing DUI Charges in Pennsylvania

The first step is to get a free legal consultation from an experienced and successful DUI Lawyer in Pennsylvania, like Attorney Justin Ketchel. If you have been arrested for a DUI in Pennsylvania, Justin Ketchel can help build a strong defense for your case and keep fines and sentencing to a minimum.

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: HAVING YOUR DUI CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION

To better understand what happens in Pennsylvania after you have been charged with DUI, read about:

OUR NUMBER ONE GOAL: HAVING YOUR DUI CHARGES DISMISSED.

CALL KETCHEL LAW TODAY: 412-456-1221 FOR A FREE CONSULTATION