As states—including Pennsylvania—continue to crack down on DUI offenders with increasingly severe penalties, drivers need to be aware of the likely consequences if they are convicted of a second DUI within a 10-year period. Not only will you face a mandatory term of incarceration, but you are likely to face additional penalties, as well. This is why you need the assistance of an experienced DUI defense attorney, especially if you have a prior DUI conviction your record.
If you find yourself in this situation, your first step should be to contact The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, where you will be able to schedule an immediate free consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer about your DUI or DUI-related charges. We know just how stressful and difficult your situation can be; let us help calm your fears and work toward a positive resolution of your case.
Determining the Penalties for a DUI Conviction
In the state of Pennsylvania, DUI penalties are categorized according to the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of his or her arrest. While the BAC legal limit for a driver is 0.08%, a driver whose BAC is in excess of that level can face increasingly more severe consequences if convicted. More specifically, a BAC of between 0.08% and 0.09% constitutes General Impairment. On the other hand, a person who drives with a BAC of between 0.10% and 0.159% commits an offense classified as High BAC, whereas a person who drives with a BAC of 0.16% and higher commits an offense classified as Highest BAC. Essentially, the higher the BAC, the more severe your penalties are likely to be. For example, the amount of fines that you will be ordered to pay if convicted of DUI will vary depending on your BAC level:
- General Impairment: $300-$2,500
- High BAC: $750-$5,000
- Highest BAC: $1,500-$10,000
Other penalties, such as terms of imprisonment and the length of your driver’s license suspension, also will be affected by the level of your alcohol density at the time of your arrest.
Penalties for Second DUI
Depending on your BAC, you are subject to a range of punishment the second time you are convicted for driving while intoxicated in Pennsylvania :
- 5 days to 6 months in jail for General Impairment, 30 days-six months for High BAC, and 90 days to five years of incarceration for Highest BAC
- Driver’s license suspended for 1 year for General Impairment and High BAC, and 18 months for Highest BAC
- Ignition interlock device for one year (mandatory before license reinstatement)
- As many as 150 hours of community service
- Alcohol Highway Safety School
- Alcohol and drug treatment program
Defending Against Second-Time DUI Charges
Many times, it will appear that the state’s case against you is fully supported by the evidence; in these cases, some lawyers may advise you to simply plead guilty to the charges and accept the punishment that you receive. Steven E. Kellis, who has more than 20 years of experience in DUI-related cases, knows that pleading guilty is not always the only option. Rather, Mr. Kellis wants you to know that many DUI charges are quite defensible, based on the evidence surrounding your charges and any missteps that may have been made by law enforcement authorities along the way. For instance, some successful DUI charges have involved disputing the reliability of breathalyzer results, challenging the appropriateness of a traffic stop, and defects in the administration of field sobriety tests. Any shortcomings by police and prosecutors could lead to reduced penalties or charges being dismissed altogether.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, we will devote our best efforts to defending your interests in your DUI case. Call today to schedule your free consultation, and learn what options may be available to you.