DUI Criminal Conviction in Pennsylvania
Getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol has become a huge problem in the United States. In the quest to lessen road accidents, DUI criminal conviction has reached a massive number every year. On average, nearly 30 deaths daily are a direct result of crashes involving intoxicated drivers.
Statistically, this means at least one death every hour. Annually, a staggering one million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence. Most DUI fatalities involve alcohol, while other incidents include drugs.
Pennsylvania’s Revamped DUI Laws
As a response to federal laws, in 2004, the state of Pennsylvania revamped its DUI laws completely. In general, the revisions centered around lowered penalties for DUI first-time offenders and increased penalties for repeat violators.
Furthermore, the revision also included an increase in penalties for individuals with higher blood alcohol content (BAC) than defendants with lower BAC. This move abolished the ridiculousness of treating individuals with a 0.10 BAC the same as those with a 0.30 BAC.
DUI First Convictions
Under new DUI first offense laws, BAC greater than or equal to 0.16% will be considered a misdemeanor offense. The DUI offender will be subjected to 72 hours to 6 months jail time, a $1000 to $5000 fine, or a 12-month license suspension.
However, your DUI penalties are based on the severity of your DUI charges. The court may invoke your probation if proven that you violated certain probationary terms and restrictions.
DUI criminal convictions in Pennsylvania are normally considered to be public records and remain in your criminal records for eleven years. There is no expungement or sealing.
Understanding Statutory Fees
It is clear that the penalties under the DUI law of Pennsylvania relate to the monetary fees that an offender is required to pay. Moreover, The cost of these court fees depends on any pre-existing DUI offenses and the blood alcohol content level of a person during the time of the arrest.
DUI Sentencing Grid
|Offense||No Prior DUI Offense (fines)||One Prior DUI Offense (fines)||Two or more Prior DUI Offenses (fines)||Three or more Prior DUI Offenses (fines)|
|General Impairment||$300||$300 – $2,500||$500 – $5,000|
.10 – .159%
|$500 – $5,000||$750 – $5,000||$1,500 – $10,000||$1,500 – $10,000|
.16 and higher
|$1,000 – $5,000||$1,500 -$10,000||$2,500 – $10,000|
Additional Conditions Associated with DUI Convictions
Aside from the sanctioned mandatory fees for a DUI criminal conviction, there are several penalties which a convicted person will meet as part of the sentence. Here are the DUI penalties in Pennsylvania:
Suspension of License: The law requires a restoration fee for any suspended license. The fees can be between $25 and $100. The fees can be settled after the driving suspension period is over.
Ignition Interlock System: To prohibit individuals from driving under the influence, this innovative device is installed to prevent any vehicle from starting. The cost of the gadget is $1,000 for every car the convicted person owns.
Alcohol Highway Safety School: The cost of these classes can be $200 or more and shouldered by the offender.
In addition to the previously mentioned fees, drivers found guilty of a DUI in Erie, PA will likely have to pay for other miscellaneous expenses, including court fees, vehicle towing fees, alcohol treatment/rehabilitation programs, and fees for a DUI attorney.
Avoiding these costs is pretty simple. All it takes is refraining from consuming alcoholic beverages and prohibited substances. However, if you should find yourself arrested for a DUI charge, it is always best to seek the legal counsel of an accredited and experienced DUI lawyer.