Fleeing and Eluding Felony Charge Dismissed in DUI Case
A man in his mid-40s was recently charged with a high level DUI and fleeing and eluding a police officer. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a DUI is an ungraded misdemeanor. On the other hand, fleeing and eluding is a third degree felony when committed in conjunction with a DUI. The man had developed a severe alcohol dependency, and he was stopped one morning as he was driving to work. He had woken up late after a serious bender and was rushing to get into the office. People were complaining about the man’s erratic driving on the road, so a police officer tried to stop him. When the officer approached the vehicle, the man pulled away. A brief pursuit followed and the man was taken into custody, where his BAC was registered at .375 – four and a half times the legal limit.
Worried about his fate, he contacted Pittsburgh felony lawyer Mike Worgul to handle his case. The client was fired from his job as soon as the he was charged, and could not find other work while the case was pending. Prior to the offense, he was a software developer for a Fortune 500 company in Pittsburgh. The man had no prior criminal history, but because of the fleeing and eluding charge he was ineligible for Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), which is usually an option for first-time DUI offenders.
Mike attended four court dates on the client’s behalf in Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, and his defense centered around the client’s lack of intent and lack of knowledge. Fleeing and eluding requires that the defendant knew the police were trying to stop him and purposely ignores the police. Mike was able to successfully argue to the judge that because of the client’s BAC, the prosecution could not prove that he was aware that the police were trying to stop him. The felony charge was ultimately dismissed, and our client can have it expunged from his criminal record.
Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.