In Pennsylvania, mandatory penalties are associated with repeat DUI charges. When an individual accused of a DUI has a previous DUI in the 10 years prior to the current charge, they may face additional penalties associated with the charges. Multiple offenses can mean increased penalties and consequences for the accused individual so it is important to understand how drunk driving charges are assigned.
Drunk driving charges in Pennsylvania are based on the accused individual's blood alcohol content level (BAC) and any DUI history. The first level of drunk driving charge is General Impairment which is charged if the accused individual has a BAC between .08 and .099 and carries a possible jail or prison sentence ranging from 5 days to 2 years; fines ranging from $300 to $5,000; and driving privileges being revoked for a minimum of one year. The second level of drunk driving charge is High BAC if the accused individual has a BAC between .10 and .159 and carries a possible jail or prison sentence ranging from 30 days to 5 years; fines ranging from $750 to $10,000; and driving privileges can be revoked for a minimum of 12 to 18 months.
The third level of drunk driving charge is Highest BAC if the accused individual has a BAC of .16 or higher and carries a possible jail or prison sentence ranging from 90 days to 5 years; fines ranging from $1,500 to $10,000; and driving privileges being revoked for 18 months along with the requirement of an ignition interlock device for the driver's license to be reinstated. Because of the severity of the potential penalties associated with DUI charges and multiple DUI charges, it is essential to understand criminal defense options that can help minimize or eliminate the potential penalties and consequences the accused individual is facing.
All accused individuals have constitutionally protected criminal defense rights. It is important to understand how to challenge evidence being used against the accused individual that may have been collected improperly or in violation of the accused individual's rights. To do so, it is necessary to understand what the criminal defense rights the accused individual has are and how they apply to the circumstances at hand.