Being charged with a 2nd, 3rd or 4th offense for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Pennsylvania can have devastating consequences for you and your family. In fact, a 4th offense DUI is now graded as a 3rd degree felony regardless of the alcohol level.
A 3rd offense DUI will also be graded as a 3rd degree felony if you are found to be driving above the highest alcohol level or under the influence of drugs. Therefore, it is extremely important to hire a lawyer experienced in multiple DUI defense if you are charged with a 2nd or subsequent DUI offense in Pennsylvania.
What are the Consequences of a Second or Third DUI in PA?
Under Pennsylvania’s DUI sentencing laws, repeat DUI offenders face enhanced penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, extended suspension of driving privileges and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on all of the offender’s vehicles.
A conviction for a repeat DUI offense may also lead to significant fines, court costs and extended time on probation or parole. In addition, individuals who are convicted of 3 or more DUIs in a 5-year period cannot possess a firearm in Pennsylvania. Learn more about Pennsylvania DUI penalties.
I have over a decade of experience providing skilled and aggressive representation to individuals charged with DUI in Bucks County, Montgomery County and the surrounding counties. Contact me at (215) 752-5282 for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response. Appointments are available after business hours and on weekends.
Multiple DUI Sentencing Alternatives
There are many sentencing alternatives for individuals facing charges for a 2nd or subsequent DUI offense. Many of these sentencing alternative programs allow for early parole, house arrest, home confinement with electronic monitoring and the chance for you to complete necessary drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Often, these DUI sentencing alternatives allow you to keep your job and maintain close ties to your family for support during your rehabilitation. Depending on the circumstances of your case and your criminal history, you may be eligible for one of the following multiple DUI sentencing alternatives:
- Restrictive Probation with DUI Conditions (Bucks County)
- House Arrest
- GPS Electronic Monitoring
- Work Release
- Recidivism Risk Reduction Initiative (RRRI)
If you are facing charges for a 2nd or subsequent DUI offense, I can review your case to determine your eligibility for a DUI sentencing alternative.
Why is Drug and Alcohol Treatment Important in Multiple DUI Cases?
Most judges and prosecutors will conclude that an individual charged with a 2nd or subsequent DUI offense has a substance abuse problem, even when the prior DUI charges are many years apart. Resolving any outstanding drug and alcohol treatment issues before sentencing is an important aspect of any case involving a repeat DUI offense.
The DUI sentencing judge will be less likely to impose the most severe penalties if they believe that you are actively participating in or have completed a substance abuse treatment program. If necessary, I will direct you to available resources for drug and alcohol screening and treatment.
DUI Treatment Options Before Sentencing
I am familiar with the drug and alcohol treatment programs in Bucks County, Montgomery County and other areas of Pennsylvania. Depending on the extent of their substance abuse addiction, many individuals will benefit from participating in a substance abuse treatment program after an arrest for a repeat DUI offense.
The results of a drug and alcohol assessment will determine the type of treatment program required. The programs vary and may include long-term inpatient treatment, short-term inpatient treatment, group counseling, individualized counseling or placement in a sober living residence.
PA Multiple DUI Defenses
Anyone charged with a 2nd or subsequent DUI offense faces greatly enhanced penalties compared to a first-time DUI offender. To avoid those enhanced penalties, your attorney must aggressively investigate and pursue all potential DUI defenses. I will thoroughly review the facts and evidence in your case, including the following areas:
- Did the police have reasonable suspicion or probable cause for the vehicle stop?
- Did the police officer have proper jurisdiction for the vehicle stop?
- Were the field sobriety tests conducted properly?
- Did the police officer have probable cause for the DUI arrest?
- Was the accused actually driving the vehicle?
Additional Defenses in Multiple DUI Cases in PA
- Was there an unbroken chain of custody of the evidence in the case?
- Was the breath-testing machine properly calibrated?
- Was the breath-testing machine properly tested for accuracy?
- Was the breath-test operator properly certified to conduct the test?
- Did the blood-testing laboratory follow proper procedures?
Can the DUI Charges or Penalties be Reduced?
Yes. In many multiple DUI cases, the prosecutor’s evidence is weak or insufficient to prove the crime of DUI. In such instances, it is often possible to negotiate a plea agreement, resulting in reduced charges and reduced penalties. I can review the circumstances and evidence in your case to determine if a negotiated plea agreement should be considered as an option to successfully resolve your charges.
Start with a Strong Defense
If you have been charged with a DUI offense in Bucks County, Montgomery County or the surrounding counties, it is critical to act quickly to protect your rights and build the strongest possible defense against the charges. Phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day at (215) 752-5282. Contact me for a free initial consultation or fill out the confidential contact form for an immediate response.