If you have been arrested for drunk driving for the third time, you need to be aware that a third DUI imposes more serious consequences for a conviction. The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis is focused exclusively on DUI cases and has the understanding and background necessary to represent you when facing these life-changing criminal charges. It is important to call a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest for a third drunk driving offense so you can make informed choices at arraignment and your attorney can start building your case.
Penalties for a Third DUI in PA
The state of Pennsylvania considers both the number of prior offenses as well as your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level when determining the penalties for a DUI conviction. Under Act 24 , which was passed in 2003:
- A person with two or more prior DUI offenses and a BAC between .08 and .099 percent will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. This carries a penalty of 10 days to two years of incarceration as well as a 12-month license suspension and a fine between $500 and $5,000.
- A person with two or more prior DUI offenses and a BAC between .10 and .159 percent will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This results in an 18-month license suspension, as well as between one and five years of incarceration and a fine between $1,500 and $10,000.
- A person with two or more prior convictions and a BAC of .16 or higher will also be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.
In addition to fines and jail time, the court may order treatment for alcohol and drug use and will also require the use of an ignition interlock device for a one-year period. This is a device that is attached to your vehicle’s ignition system at your expense and that requires you to undergo a breathalyzer test prior to starting your car and periodically as you drive the vehicle.
Your insurance company will be informed of your third DUI and your insurance rates are likely to be prohibitively high after conviction. You will also have a criminal record that can follow you for life and impact your employment opportunities.
You Need Legal Help
Although the consequences of a third DUI in Pennsylvania can impact your freedom, your finances, your livelihood and your reputation, the penalties are imposed on you only if convicted. There are many cases where those accused of drunk driving offenses are able to avoid a guilty verdict, so you should never lose hope. Instead, you should get help from a qualified legal professional.
The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis is here to help you. Mr. Kellis worked as a Senior Assistant District Attorney and a DUI prosecutor for five years and has firsthand knowledge of how prosecutors approach drunk driving cases. He also has more than 20 years of experience representing clients in jury trials and he focuses only on drunk driving offenders. His aggressive investigation techniques and his skill in cross-examining witnesses can help to protect you during your DUI proceedings. Mr. Kellis can also use his knowledge of how prosecutors approach DUI cases to help negotiate a plea bargain for you, and will work to find ways to keep evidence out of court and potentially get charges dropped before trial.
With your third DUI, it is more important than ever to have a lawyer you can trust. Steven E. Kellis handles your case personally, communicates with you regularly and cares about the outcome of your drunk driving accusation. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.