While Pennsylvania law allows some leniency for a first offense of DUI, it comes down very hard on repeat DUI charges. The law also harshly punishes first-time and repeat offenders for conduct deemed especially reckless or which results in actual harm to others.
If you have a previous drunk driving conviction, or if there were aggravating factors in your DUI arrest, it is all the more important to hire an experienced defense attorney. At Bentley, Gibson, Kopecki, Smith, P.C., we believe in the presumption of innocence and your other constitutional rights. We will make every effort to avoid a conviction or lessen the punishment, including fighting for your freedom in a jury trial.
Our criminal defense lawyers handle DUI cases in Berks County, Lebanon County and Lancaster County, with notable outcomes even in cases with damning evidence and aggravating factors.
Subsequent DUI Offenses Within 10 Years
The penalties for DUI increase dramatically on a second offense. For example, a first-time DUI with no other factors does not include any presumptive jail time. However, a second DUI carries a jail sentence of five days to six months, a third offense is punishable by 90 days to five years, and a fourth offense has a minimum sentence of one year in jail.
The repeat DUI “lookback” is 10 years, including prior implied consent violations, prior Zero Tolerance offenses as a high school or college student, and prior DUIs that were dismissed through accelerated rehabilitative disposition (ARD) or alternative sentencing.
Enhanced DUI Penalties For Aggravating Circumstances
The circumstances of your DUI arrest can push your case into a Tier 2 or Tier 3 offense, triggering severe and sometimes mandatory penalties. You could face enhanced charges and more serious consequences if any of the following factors apply:
- You had a passenger under the age of 14 in the car
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .10 or greater
- Your BAC was .16 or greater
- You were under the influence of drugs
- You refused the blood alcohol test
- Your license was suspended from a prior DUI
- You caused an accident resulting in damage, injury or death
The Pennsylvania legislature ratcheted up the penalties in response to public advocacy groups such as MADD and SADD. However, the law also provides an outlet for prosecutors and for the accused of repeat DUI charges. There is much that our skilled attorneys can do to challenge the underlying criminal offense or limit the damage.
Contact Our Qualified Lawyers Today About Repeat DUI Charges
Our DUI defense attorneys are former public defenders with extensive courtroom experience. Our early involvement can make a big difference in your case, including possible dismissal or downgrading of charges. Call our us at 610-685-8000 or (toll free) 888-320-7928, or contact us online to schedule your free 30-minute initial consultation. We have offices in Wyomissing, Lancaster and Lebanon, and we can come to your jail.