The penalties for driving under the influence just got stiffer for repeat offenders in Pennsylvania. Penalties have also become more harsh for homicide convictions in connection with drunk driving in Pennsylvania. Two mothers who lost children to drunk drivers were instrumental in paving the way for the new legislation that just recently went into effect, so it is imperative that those charged with DUI more than once obtain legal counsel to fight those charges aggressively.
Those who are charged for a third or more times for drunk driving will now face felony charges rather than upgraded misdemeanors. Now, Pennsylvania joins the ranks of most other states that treat repeat DUIs as felonies. There are only three now that don’t.
If a driver is convicted for homicide by vehicle while drunk driving, he or she will now face a minimum of five to seven years in prison instead of three, depending upon how many prior convictions he or she has had. Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving says there are currently one million drivers in the state with DUI convictions. They will now be subject to the new law if they have DUIs in the future.
So, the stakes are higher for those facing drunk driving charges for three or more times. Getting legal advice in these circumstances to fight the charges aggressively could mean the difference between spending years in prison and a lesser punishment. Having the guidance of a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney may increase the chances of an acquittal or of facing the minimum penalties upon conviction.