DUI with Injuries in Pennsylvania
What Happens if You Are Arrested for a DUI after a Motor Vehicle Accident with Injuries
If you were arrested for a DUI in PA after an auto accident with injuries, you could face very different sentencing possibilities than being charged with a misdemeanor DUI. It is important that you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney who will listen to the details of your case and help build a strong defense.
Penalties for DUI accidents with injuries (other than to the driver) in Pennsylvania are more severe than a misdemeanor DUI and, if you are convicted, a felony will be on your permanent record.
Depending on the degree of the injuries, you may be charged with aggravated assault or, if there are deaths involved, you could be charged with homicide.
Charges You May Face – DUI with Injuries
If you were involved in an accident with injuries and were charged with a DUI you could face any of the following charges:
- Simple assault
- Recklessly endangering another person
- Aggravated assault
Aggravated Assault in conjunction with a DUI in PA
You could be charged with aggravated assault after an auto accident in which any person other than the intoxicated driver receives serious bodily injury.
The PA Vehicle Code Section 3735.1 deems a “serious bodily injury” as “any bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
A convicted aggravated assault with a DUI in PA is a second-degree felony.
In Pennsylvania a maximum sentence if convicted can include ten years in jail and a maximum $25,000 fine.
A person must first be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances in order to be found guilty of aggravated assault.
This means the person has to be proven guilty of driving, operating or having physical control of a vehicle, AND they had to have consumed enough alcohol to render them incapable of driving safely OR their blood alcohol content (BAC) level was at least .08% within two hours after the accident OR they had a controlled substance in their blood stream.
If you have been charged with DUI Aggravated Assault, it does not mean you will be convicted. Your best defense is to contact an experienced DUI attorney who knows the county-by-county laws in Pennsylvania and will listen to the details of your case to help you fight the charges and build a solid case.
Vehicular Homicide in Conjunction with a DUI in PA
If death results in the accident of which you were charged with DUI in Pennsylvania, and if you are convicted, a minimum sentence involves a mandatory three years of imprisonment for each victim whose death is the result of the accident. Additionally you could be charged with a fine of up to $25,000.
Homicide While Under the Influence is a second-degree felony in Pennsylvania. It is also known as vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide in PA.
At the time of the accident special law enforcement officers are called to the scene and will begin an investigation of the death(s). It is important that you do not speak to the law enforcement attorneys or an insurance adjuster about the accident until you have retained the services of a criminal defense attorney. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
What to do if you are arrested for a DUI with Injuries in Pennsylvania
Having a DUI arrest and being involved in a motor vehicle accident are very stressful situations, especially if you, your loved one, or another passenger was injured or worse. Dealing with auto repair, insurance companies, hospitals, and a possible drunk driving conviction can be a lot for anyone to bear.
A felony on your criminal record will affect your life forever – your career, reputation, inability to own firearms and license revocation, among many other personal needs. A misdemeanor, while still a severe punishment, is not nearly as harsh as a felony.
If you have been charged with a DUI, it is really in your best interest to call an experienced and strong DUI Attorney who can help you understand the process and ease some of that stress. An experienced DUI attorney will put a strong defense together for minimizing your charges or attempting to have them dismissed.
Not every DUI results in the worst-case scenario.
Many DUI charges do get dismissed for an array of reasons, including the mishandling of your arrest by police officers and problems with field sobriety testing. It is also possible to negotiate alternatives to jail time like house arrest.
Call Justin Ketchel Law today for a free consultation. Let an experienced attorney fight this battle so you can focus on the things that matter – your family, your work, your life.
Every case is unique and a detail-driven attorney like Justin J. Ketchel who understands the legal system in Western Pennsylvania can ensure that every possible angle will be investigated and all options will be considered.
Sentencing you may face if convicted of a DUI where injuries were suffered may include the following (does not include Aggravated Assault or DUI Homicide):
• First DUI: a $500 minimum to $5,000 maximum fine, a minimum of 48 consecutive hours in jail and maximum of six months in jail, a misdemeanor on your record, a loss of license for 12 months, attendance of alcohol highway safety school.
• Second DUI: a $750 minimum to $5,000 maximum fine, a minimum of 30 days in jail and maximum of six months in jail, a misdemeanor on your record, a loss of license for 12 months, attendance of alcohol highway safety school and mandatory one year Ignition Interlock.
• Third DUI: a $1,500 minimum to $10,000 maximum fine, a minimum of 90 days in jail, a Misdemeanor 1 on your record, a loss of license for 18 months and mandatory one year Ignition Interlock.
• Fourth and Subsequent DUI: a $1,500 minimum to $10,000 maximum fine, a minimum of one year in jail, a Misdemeanor 1 on your record, a loss of license for 18 months and mandatory one year Ignition Interlock.
If you have been involved in an accident and charged with DUI in Western PA, call Justin Ketchel Law immediately at (412) 456-1221 so that I can begin working with you on defending your reputation and your future. By calling me as soon as possible, we will be better equipped to prepare a strong defense.